Cedar Lakes Trail is a 13.5 mile out and back trail located near Libby, Montana that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, camping, and backpacking and is best used from July until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length13.5 miElevation gain4,117 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashBackpackingCampingHikingRunningLakeViewswild-flowersWildlifeBlowdown
Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (51)
Photos (73)
Recordings (30)
Completed (100)
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Ethan Smalt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 10, 2021
HikingGreat!

I did this back in June and it was very beautiful. there were a lot of signs of grizzly bears along the trail and at the camp sites. hiking up to dome mountain is a good bonus but make sure that there are no storms coming up the valley because the weather can change quick.

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Adnan Merchant
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Hiking
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Tim McGillicuddy
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HikingGreat!

The road to the trailhead is very good and accessible with a car. The trail is in good shape and to the lower and upper Cedar lakes is moderate in difficulty in my opinion. To the trail end on the ridge is more technical and agree with the hard rating and not for anyone with acrophobia. There is one main camping site at the lower lake and four at the upper lake. This is definitely one of my favorite backpacking hikes of the season so far.

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Katy Did Bitz
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Hiking
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Debi Griggs
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HikingGreat!
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Dana Field
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HikingMuddyOver grownRocky

Very hard hike. Beautiful lakes ! Some overgrown sections otherwise well kept.

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Douglas Pulsipher
Gray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 10, 2020
HikingGreat!

You can check out our hike here - https://www.youtube.com/user/TheDwpdds

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Sara Stone
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 10, 2020
HikingGreat!

We enjoyed the hike into the Cedar Lakes. Trail is steeper at the begining and then more moderate as you go. The upper lake is more beautiful than the lower one. Lots of big huckleberries along the trail. Trail is not real well marked so good to have a map along. After the upper lake keep hiking up the ridge (moderate switch backs) to get a beautiful view. We hiked to the wooden bridge.

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Thomas Fimbres
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Hiking

two lakes plus 2 more up past the top lake. good stuff.

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Dana Prestridge
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BackpackingBugs

This is a steep hike, not much for views until you get to the lower lake. So. Many. Mosquitoes! Recommend treating clothes and gear with permethrin and also bringing along a thermacell. I had this and it wasn't as bad for me. The hike from the upper lake to the Ridgeline overlooking the lakes is nice with lots of gentle switchbacks. A little narrow in places, but nothing too scary. Absolutely recommend that you do that. The bridge and views are incredible. I ran into a little snow on the that trail, only in the flatter areas and it was easy to cross.

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Charles Neace
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Hiking

The train to upper lake was still snowed over. Other than that, great trail. 30 May

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Ron Schaefer
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Hiking

Had a devastating ankle injury last October. This was the first long hike I went on since injury. Did a few short hikes before cedar lakes and my ankle was talking to me. No problems what so ever on this hike. The trail is a long constant up hill hike. The trail says hard but I would say moderate. I had thick fog 3/4 of the way up and then the sun came out. Following the creek almost all the way up, was quite tranquil. Made it to the first lake... very beautiful. The hike to the upper lake gives you a great view of the lower lake. The upper lake is absolutely beautiful as well. I wanted to hike to upper rim to look down on the upper lake but didn’t want to push my luck with my ankle. No mosquito problems what so ever. I would definitely do this hike again. I would love to make it to the upper rim. I would definitely recommend this hike. If your an experienced hiker you may be bored of the long continuous hike with very few obstacles.

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Christine Bennett
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 16, 2019
Hiking

Continual gradual incline - sometimes along the creek, sometimes not. Had good shade for majority of the way. Had to turn back a bit before the lower lake as a black bear was on the trail eating berries.

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kate baxter
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 10, 2019
Hiking

gorgeous hike. we camped at upper cedar lake. lots of mosquitos when the wind wasn’t howling. nice flat camp spots in the trees. trail is is great condition, couple looooooong uphill spots, but overall, i’d say this is moderate, not hard. met quite a few people hiking in on sunday as we were hiking out, so it probably gets a lot of traffic being so close to libby.

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Joel Booth
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HikingBugs

Don’t do this trail without bug spray. I’ve done plenty of trails in Montana and have never thought the bugs were bad, compared to other areas of the country. Should have listened to previous reviews, even with bug spray, the mosquitoes are relentless. Almost feel claustrophobic because they surround you. Lake is only 5.5 miles, but the last two miles are bug infested. And almost not worth sitting at the lake because of mosquitos. Two steeps part of the trail. One of them is early in the trail, but long. Gets better from there. Continuing up the trail to the ridge is worth it.

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Shyanne Schoenlein
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 24, 2019
Hiking

We absolutely loved this hike! Perfectly challenging with gorgeous views. We did the hike 6/22/2019 and we hit snow on the backside of the peak .5 miles before the end. So we couldn’t actually finish it, but still awesome!

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Hollie Hughes
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Backpacking

Awesome trail, long hike but gradual climb. We stayed two nights at upper cedar lake and enjoyed the views from Dome Mountain.

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Donna Vetter
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Most definitely ‘moderate’ — not ‘hard’. It’s all a steady gradual climb in beautiful forest: lots of shade, stream always close by, beautiful flowers and mushrooms. To me it was all about the journey up and less about the lakes at the end. I should say, lake views were tainted by recent/on-going wildfire smoke. Bottom line: if you’re in the area, DO IT! Totally worth a day of your life!!

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Jamie Walter
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 11, 2018
Hiking

Awesome hike. Make sure you don’t stop at the upper lake and make the extra hike up the ridge overlooking both lakes, the views are totally worth it. If not for the length I’d say it’s a moderate trail, there are very few painfully steep sections and most of it is just a long gradual climb that isn’t bad on the knees. However, I definitely felt it in my legs afterwards so the Hard designation is probably accurate.

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Lauren Kyryluk
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Camping

Just got off the trail and absolutely loved it! The lakes are so beautiful and the hike up is honestly well tracked out. I would almost rate this as an moderate trail as there is really no steep sections and its just a slow gradual climb. Dont forget to bring bug spray! I didnt find the beginning of the trail bad but once you get to the lakes you get swarmed by mosquitoes! There are a couple good campsites to choose from at both lakes. Definitely recommend doing this trail:)

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Jessamyn Tempel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 30, 2017
Hiking

Absolutely gorgeous, scrambled up to Dome mountain which made the hike about 21 miles round trip. definitely worth It!

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Tony Mancuso
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 18, 2017
Hiking

Awesome trail. Great views. We saw 2 bears and a moose.

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Katie Schoel
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A wonderful and breathtaking hike!

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Samual Hatfield
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Backpacking

Firstly, I will say that my 5 star is actually more of a 4.7. The hike was a gradual and steady climb with only a few steep parts that were barely 100 meters in length. While shaded 90% and near Cedar creek up to the lakes, be prepared for the dry and exposed mile and a half up to the ridge. With a moderate enjoyable hike along the creek and breathtaking scenery at the ridge, the only downside to this trail was the mosquitoes at the lakes. If you are just going on a day hike and don't stay near the lakes for too long, then the bugs are not a terrible experience, however if you are staying the night as I did (7/8/17-7/9/17) I would highly encourage camping as far away from the lakes as possible. While the bugs eventually went away around 10 PM, they were sitting on the netting outside of my tent waiting to greet the pups and I. Overall, I highly recommend this trail as the sights are beautiful and the trail is a great experience however, don't be a fool like me and neglect to bring bug spray.

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Cindy McCall
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We did this trail last week and camped at upper cedar lake. Steady climb up. It's breathtaking. However the mosquitos and flys were terrible. Worst I've ever seen here. We went up trail 360N around Dome mountain the next day and camped on the ridge line. They were a little better but still swarmed dawn and dusk. Still a lot of snow to cross up high. It's a fantastic hike with spectacular scenery.

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Jonathan Graham
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It is almost ready for the year!! There were only a few trees down and they were all ones you can step over!! There is still a lot of snow above the lower lake and up to the divide trail.

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Barry Obobo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 20, 2016
Backpacking

The Forest Service has a decent map of all of the trails connected in the area that you can pick up in the Libby office. The "knowledgeable" employees were all "in training" when we got there, so a kindly temp and office worder gave us a printout of trail info and I helped myself to map. The FS printout lists this trail as 500 feet vertical, so we chose it. Of course, it is actually 3000 feet if you study the map. Your tax dollars at work. Camping at upper lake is ok but close to water. You will want to try to keep your footprint minimal and not tear branches off live trees for your fire. Use the dead branches or just go up the ridge trail a few hundred yards and collect blow-down wood for your fire. Day hiking from upper lake is great--you can go 2 directions with great views. The trail to the lake is a steady climb with lots of blow-down in a 1-mile stretch just inside wilderness boundary. Keeps out the horsy crowd. Mosquitos increase when you leave the hemlock-cedar forest in lower part. Would rate a 5 but the trail itself is a bit tiresome.

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T T Cam
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 18, 2016
Backpacking

Moderate blowdown in the wilderness area. Snow still blocking the trails above the lakes. Beautiful scenery.

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