Crater Lake is a 10.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Bigfork, Montana that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
10.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,725 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

fishing

hiking

trail running

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

muddy

over grown

Limited parking is available at the Camp Misery Trailhead. Check in at the Rangers station. Bathrooms are available at the parking lot but NO water

hiking
2 months ago

The road up to the parking lot has a lot of washboard areas which made the drive less enjoyable, even in a 4WD truck. Parking was adequate.

The hike was very enjoyable. Lots of variety including lakes, rocks, streams and alpine meadows. We didn’t run into any bears but we had bear spray just in case.

backpacking
3 months ago

Beautiful if you can find your way down to it! Desperately wanted to spend the night. Was at the top looking down on Crater Lake but trail was hard to follow. It appears to lead you through a Bush-whacking stretch but if you find yourself doing that then you missed the narrow little, hard-left turn that seemingly only takes you to an overlook. As I was later told, you need to follow over (along the top of that rock) and trail continues on other side. It is thick bear country — evidence in my pic of large scat at ‘end of trail’.

hiking
11 months ago

quiet and be ready for a swim

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Oh my goodness, this trail has it all. I was worried about bears so I made a lot of noise and saw no wildlife. A lady I met on the trail said she saw mountain goats though. All of the lakes are spectacular. Crater lake it by far the best. So secluded and peaceful. The trail is a bit hard to follow and overgrown in just a few places. Coming out was much easier to follow and very strenuous. Well worth every step though. The views are some of the best I have seen. Do not sell yourself short and stop at Birtch Lake, Crater is well worth the extra hike!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Beautiful hike. We took our dog and loved it. Only one side note: we decided to do this on our drive from Swan Lake to Glacier National Park while towing our travel trailer. The road is narrow, dirt, and eventually reaches a pretty steep drop off the side towards the end. It's a great hike, just do it before you head to your next destination and leave the trailer. Also, there was plenty of snow left in the first mile of the hike.

hiking
Thursday, July 28, 2016

The first 5 miles in was beautiful. The last mile to the lake is not well marked and the trail is overgrown. We didn't make it all the way to the shores of the lake, but we could see it.
We did stop at Birch Lake on our way in, lots of people fishing and we watched a few people catch some.

hiking
Sunday, June 26, 2016

Great hike with awesome views. Please be considerate though and do not feed the mountain goats up there though as cute as they may be.

hiking
Tuesday, July 08, 2014

We did this hike at the beginning of July. This year (2014) it hasn't been a very warm summer so far. The trail was covered by snow almost the whole way once you hit Birch Lake. We did miles of side-hilling in the snow, which any hiker knows can be pretty rough! We may not have made it without ice cleats and trekking poles, there was about 5 feet of snow at most spots. I can't really speak to the trail because it was difficult to follow with the snow so we tried to just find the easiest way to go through the snow... The trail was pretty washed out in some of the spots where it could actually be seen due to the snow melt. We did run in to black flies on the way there (at Birch) so if you take your dog make sure to use pet safe bug repellent on them! The lake is incredibly beautiful and there's an awesome little island to sit and fish off of. We only got a few casts in then had to head back... It's a great trip!!!

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

recorded Crater Lake - Jul 29

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
Tuesday, September 12, 2017

hiking
Tuesday, July 11, 2017