Crystal Lake Trail is a 5.0 kilometer out and back trail located near Saint Regis, Montana that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and nature trips and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length5.0 kmElevation gain398 mRoute typeOut & back
dog friendlyKid friendlyHikingNature tripsWalkingrunningForestLakeWildlifeSnow
Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (34)
Photos (68)
Recordings (19)
Completed (60)
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Brian and Christa
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 17, 2020
Hiking
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Amanda Jane
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 9, 2020
Hiking

(Download the map before you go, as there's little to no cell service.) Long, bumpy dirt road once you leave 90. Steep hike with several tricky steam and mud pit crossings (I find them fun). 5 stars for the AWESOME lake at the top - big, clear, beautiful, great for swimming!!

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Susan Chandler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 4, 2020
Hiking

So worth the “moderate” hike straight up a 1200 feet. Took us a little over an hour to get to the pristine lake About 1.50 miles. Beautiful and peaceful. The hike is not for everyone as there are some rocks and small obstacles to go around but worth every effort. Loved it!

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Michaela Nitschke
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 24, 2020
Hiking

The lake is worth the effort to get there and effort it is. The 6mile dirt road is mostly ok, with a few areas that are pretty bumpy. The trail is great, with some doable obstacles and the huckleberry bushes provided a nice snacking distraction from the 1300 ft up. It is steep in places and it is steady uphill. I hiked with my 17 year old, not sure my 10 year old would have done that well. We were the only hikers there. The lake is amazing and we did go for a swim. Water is cold but after the climb it was welcome.

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Michelle Parkin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 21, 2020
Hiking

Great trail. Some downed trees and water obstacles but very doable. Ran into other hikers in and out but not overly crowded anywhere.

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Kirsten Mueller
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 12, 2020
HikingBlowdown

Hiked this trail 7/11/20, leaving the trail head around 1130. Nice shaded trail even though it was a hot sunny day. I only encountered one other family and the lake was stunningly colorful and beautiful. Even a sweet outhouse near the lake. Some highway noise from nearby I 90. No bugs to bother me, surprisingly. Overall, great afternoon out and back in a stunning part of the state.

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Anita Reeb
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 5, 2020
Hiking

Very nice trail! Hiked July 5th, we were only hikers. Lots of small water crossings, good water for doggie. Lake is very pretty and there's an open spot on shore for lunch. Several down trees as mentioned by other reviews, but easy to navigate around. Recommend this hike!

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Kathy York
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 2, 2020
HikingBlowdown

We hiked this trail on 6/28/20. Several trees are across the trail, but easy to go over or around. Lots of flowers blooming beside the trail. It’s a steady up, and right about 3.8 miles round trip.

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Tasha Erickson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 23, 2020
HikingRocky

This is definitely NOT a "Moderate" hike going up from the bottom.

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Richard Maguire
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 19, 2020
HikingBlowdown

Completed this on June 19, 2020. The area is still a bit wet, but no snow. Several spots have water on the trail, so be prepared to get your feet wet. Tail is broad like a highway, so no issues finding the thing. There were about ten trees over the trail, but all are easily navigated. Saw a tiny bear cub on the way up at the last switchback. Cocoa colored, and didn't see the mother bear given this forest is pretty thick. Easy slope up right from the start, gets a little more sporty for the second half. Lots of area around the lake to relax, and might be some good fishing as I saw one gentlemen working the lake. No bugs for me

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Diane Hutchens
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 14, 2020
HikingBlowdown

This hike has some real obstacles but it feels great to reach the prize. There was no snow but quite a few blow downs and water crossings. Doable but takes some strategizing in some spots. This hike is a bit of a grunt with few switchbacks, and at some stretches, quite steep. Lined with huckleberry bushes and wildflowers, it's worth the effort.

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kate baxter
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 12, 2020
HikingBlowdownSnow

hiked this today, June 12. some blowdown on trail but easy to go over/under/around it! trail continues on up up up to the top of the ridge. we lost the trail in the snow once we reached the ridge so finally had to turn around. very few bugs at the lake, but some biting flies on the trail to the ridge. definitely would do this one again!

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Chance Stack
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 31, 2020
HikingFloodedMuddyOver grownSnow

Great trail, needs to have some trees removed from trail, last .5 miles is tough but worth it! Couldn’t seem to find the cabin off the trail!

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Blake Clerke
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 30, 2020
Hiking

The dirt road in is accessible by car, nothing requiring a high clearance vehicle. No snow on the road up, the top by the lake is beautiful with barely any snow on the trail, everything left is melting. The day was gorgeous and there are quite a few downed trees and even more stream crossings but they are very shallow and waterproof boots had no problems crossing. The trees are easy enough to get around. This hike is beautiful and a general steep-ish incline the entire trail through and it didn’t take very long and the views are worth it. We had bug spray on but no problems with bugs. There are small / short areas on the trail where it is a bit muddy from all the snow melt but it’s not bad or anything you will get stuck in, just normal conditions being outdoors with some snowmelt. Would love to come back and camp here. There were some people fishing but not a busy trail. There are campgrounds nearby too on the way up to the trailhead.

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Megan Albers
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 29, 2020
Hiking

About 6 mile drive on gravel to get there, but saw a moose on the way. A few trees down on the trail, but makes for a good obstacle course, highly recommend.

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Isabella Davies
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HikingBugsMuddy
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Lindsay McMahon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 22, 2019
Hiking

We had a great time! The hike was much steeper than I thought it would be and had wished I brought my polls (for the decline especially). The alpine lake at the top is beautiful. Due to the area having soooo many wonderful hikes I probably would not hike again and would rather find a new adventure. Still a great hike!

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Hannah Ettema
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 30, 2019
Hiking

This was a short, steep but pretty hike. The road to the trailhead is accessible. I would recommend 4-wheel drive and high clearance. I appreciated the detailed directions of fellow reviewer Daniel - thank you! I would rate this trail to be on the front-end of challenging because of a few really steep sections. I was glad I brought my trekking poles. The trail itself was cleared and well-maintained. The bugs weren't present during the hike or at the lake.

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Tiffany Burton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 2, 2018

I haven’t hiked this yet. Just an FYI for other hikers- there’s a huge downed tree blocking the road about 5 miles into the Forest Service road. Will need to be moved for the road to be passable.

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ann harrington
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 16, 2017
Hiking

No One else on the trail which was really nice. The lake and the view of the time were worth the hike up. A few pretty waterfall spots & worth the hike up.

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Sandra Simpson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 3, 2017

This was an amazing yet difficult uphill trail. The Crystal lake is worth it! The trail had many wet spots in July 1 when we went. Take plenty of water as it was really hot and we worked hard! My husband and I are fit yet in our 50s. The trial was doable but challenging. Wear good hiking boots as the downhill would be hard on the ankles. Trial is well maintained and very beautiful. Use the directions laid out below. Without those, we never would have found it!

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Daniel Mitchell
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Hiking
First to Review

I set out from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho this morning, bound and determined to hike to this lake, regardless of the condition of the trail. I got a flat tire on my new truck, about a mile from the trailhead. What? I only have 2600 miles on the odometer! (This is a good time to remind you to make sure you have all of the emergency gear your need in your vehicle at all times, including the equipment needed to fix a flat.) The map to this trailhead on All Trails is not entirely accurate. That said, it is close enough. Just south of Deborgia, Montana, find Deer Creek Road. It will not be signed as such! There is a small sign that says 236. Follow road 236 about 5 miles. You will pass a few divergent roads along the way. Ignore these! When 236 makes a U turn bend from south to north, there will be a wooden bridge across a creek. Cross this, and continue. There will be an old access road right after the bridge. This is NOT your trailhead. Keep going until you see the trailhead clearly marked. This trail has a steady upward track, without any flat places to mention. It goes up, up, up! Keep this in mind. On this 21st day of May, the first mile or so of the trail was free of snow, but had frequent snow melt streams running across it. I abandoned the goal of keeping my feet dry, early in the hike. The last ¼ to ½ mile of the trail was still covered in snow. It was 3-4 feet in the deepest places. Fortunately, the snow was hard packed, so I only sank in about 6 inches with each step. The pace was slow and grueling, but the lake at the top was more than enough reward. The lake was completely covered in ice, as I first approached it. Within 15 minutes, a good part of the ice along the shore had already melted. I sat and watched the ice melt. It cracked and popped as it did so. If you wish to do this hike without battling snow, I would give it another 2 or 3 weeks before you attempt it.

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Stacey Giffin
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Hiking
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Heather Higdon
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Hiking
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Charles Hand
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Hiking
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