Columbia Mountain Trail is a 11.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Kalispell, Montana that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
11.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4,993 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

camping

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

trail running

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

muddy

over grown

rocky

washed out

The alpine pack trail gives stunning over looks of the Flathead Valley. The trail crosses the ridge multiple times as it runs South; it passes west of Doris Mtn (7437ft), east of Blaine Mtn (7207ft), over Hash Mtn (7063ft), over Strawberry Mtn (6264ft), east of or over Mt Aeneas (7530ft), east of Crater Mtn (6787ft) far west of Big Hawk Mtn (7542ft) west of Tom Tom Mtn (7070) ending south of Tom Tom at the intersection of the Peterson Trail 293 and Trail #72. Prominent lakes along the trail include Lamoose, Strawberry, Wildcat, Birch, Squaw, and Crater. with many other a short hike off the trail. A large stretching of the trail runs trough the west of the Jewel Basin hiking area offering multiple options of camping, fishing and alternative routes. There are sparse camping options south of Big Hawk Mtn after the trail exits the Jewel.

trail running
2 months ago

Excellent trail. It’s really just a moderate trail, with a little more distance. Overall the elevation gain is nothing compared to a hard trail. This is a definite people pleaser!

P.S. there is immense trail damage from dirt bikers so I’m wondering if there’s any local dirt biker coalition that would be happy to do some trail maintenance. I’m willing to help out if they come to terms with the trace they leave.

2 months ago

This was challenging for sure, but we hadn’t really prepared for it and do not normally hike in mountainous terrain. Views were OK and the trail was in good condition all the way up.

hiking
4 months ago

Holy moly, this trail is a workout! We hiked to the top, aka when you see the sign for Alpine Trail #7. You can keep going on that trail if you wish, all the way to Jewel Basin. If you want a shorter hike, you can hike to the waterfalls that are approximately 2.2 miles from the trail head. Once you cross the logs, you have to hike up the hill to the left to get all the way to the waterfalls. The top has some of the most amazing views of the valley and of GNP. Bring bear spray for sure and know that this trail is not very populated. Lots of bugs too. Great, challenging hike!

5 months ago

Is there parking at the trailhead?

5 months ago

you gain a lot of elevation... then drop low again. For a backcountry skiier its always a loss when u lose elevation and have to climb and gain it back. but the veiws of the valley are hard to beat!

hiking
5 months ago

Great trail if you are looking for a challenge!

mountain biking
Monday, November 13, 2017

Awsome mountain biking trail!!!!!!

hiking
Thursday, September 28, 2017

Not what I expected. I was looking for a 10 mile hike and thought this was it. When this says it is 5.3 miles I thought the trail would end. There is a small waterfall at about 2.5 miles but the trail continues on after that. If you want to go to the lookout at the top of the mountain it is about 7.3 miles one way that are pretty steep. Since I didn’t know what to expect on this trail I kept going past the waterfall. If you want to see a better waterfall than the one that is directly on the trail, cross the small river and go up the riverbank on the right. There is about a 20 foot waterfall about 2/8 of a mile up the river. The trail does go up at first and then down and then up. The last 4 miles are really steep so be prepared. The view from the top is breathtaking.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

steep but worth it

hiking
Friday, July 07, 2017

Pretty but challenging. Loved the water falls! And the view was amazing!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Very steep. Lots of elevation gain. Pretty view at all the top

hiking
Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Great hike with a few waterfalls along the way. Amazing views of the valley at various points. Hidden waterfalls just off trail that the dog loved to play in. Lots of elevation changes but also had lots of switch backs.

mountain biking
Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Amazing trail, great view, small waterfall. I highly recommend doing it.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Encountered Black Bear on hike about 3 miles up.

hiking
Sunday, July 17, 2016

Great hike for 8 yrs and up. once you get to the water, head left and follow the trail up to the top. Great falls. Enjoy.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

I love this trail. I hike it all the time. The water fall is beautiful and it's a fun adventure on the way up and down!! Great views as well and my dog has the best time!

mountain biking
Friday, September 11, 2015

We did Hike-a-Bike for the first 5ish miles uphill. The ride down was worth it. Some loose bigger rocks today. The human traffic wasn't too bad. The weather was perfect and the views were great.

hiking
Thursday, August 13, 2015

Did this trail Aug 8th-9th with a couple of friends. Started at Columbia Mt trailhead, hiked to Jenny lake to camp the night. Great place to stop lots of fish great place to swim and cool off. Left next morning to head for Jewel Basin. The trail at some spots is closed in by brush around Strawberry lake area. Long climb out of Strawberry, beautiful scenery. Total trip from Columbia parking lot to Camp Misery 28.23 miles.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Great hike, beautiful views at the top!! We hike this every summer.

hiking
Saturday, April 11, 2015

Never made it to the top due to the snow covering the trail. Went alone and was afraid I'd get lost if I continued on. Went in spring. Would like to complete this hike in the summer. There were plenty of great lookouts with gorgeous views of the Flathead Valley.

hiking
Thursday, February 13, 2014

A great trail and we'll maintained by the Swan River Ranger District. The southern half from Six Mile south is also a great hike, don't pass this one up.

hiking
Saturday, October 19, 2013

On October 11th, 2013, I climbed the Columbia Mountain and descended on the trail to Hungry Horse. There were several fallen trees on the trail to Hungry Horse, and was not marked at the top of the mountain. I believe that semi-loop was 12.5 miles long on the trail, and at least another 2 miles to where I met my wife after following some power lines back to HWY 2.

hiking
Sunday, May 19, 2013

A surprising difficult trail that is a great work out a spring starter. It is 6 miles to the top and when you complete the route you will have achieved 4, 700 vertical.

hiking
Friday, April 05, 2013

Great view of the valley. Never have made it the entire way to the lake on top,

hiking
Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I have the majority of this trail in bits and pieces over the last few years, have yet to follow it further north than Strawberry Lake. Great trail for seeing variety, some good look outs, lakes and plenty of branching trails. Having traveled it in rain, snow, sun, and dark (moon and no moon) I would recommend not doing it in the rain; the trail gets very muddy and water collects in and over it in low areas. Snow can linger on it well though July and the beginning of August. I selected august for this review because that is generally when i am on it after the snow melts down enough (late July) it is usable though October.

hiking
23 days ago

trail running
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

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