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Devil Creek to Elk Lake is a 12.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Essex, Montana that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

Length 12.4 mi Elevation gain 2,821 ft Route type Out & Back

Dog friendly

Backpacking

Camping

Hiking

Horseback riding

Nature trips

Bird watching

Running

Lake

Views

Wild flowers

Waypoints (1)
Tips
  • 1

    Elk Lake

    48.19653, -113.47626

NOTE: Users have reported that the road which access the trail to lower moose lake is currently CLOSED. Bring Bear spray.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (7)
Photos (16)
Recordings (3)
Completed (9)
Cullen Kelly
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jun 25 2020
HikingBlowdownBugsMuddyOver grownScrambleSnow

Needs some more time to marinate in the heat. Would not encourage anyone not expecting a risky hike to make it up to the lake yet, but still incredibly beautiful. The major crossing of Devils Creek is very treacherous, I was swept away on my return and the route I took to get around on the way up is not much better. The snow is still very present up at the higher alts and made one section of the trail not traversable and required some very sketchy climbing. That said, it’s an incredible hike, one of the most exciting I’ve done due to the conditions, and extremely rewarding once you reach the lake. Lots of bear activity around the lake and on my return I spotted fresh lion tracks somewhat off the trail.

View Cullen's Recording
Dustin Moore
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon May 25 2020
Snow

Ended up trying to go to elk lake when we found out road was closed that accessed the trail to lower moose lake. the trail was pretty good with some downfall up until the creek crossing, by this time there was a decent amount t of snow. The creek was raging and not crossable and since it crossed twice anyway we hiked up the snowy mountains to the pass, quite the undertaking. ended up not going to elk as everything was frozen. had a nice fire on the bare windblown side of the pass and camped on snow, saw some huge grizzly tracks at the top but no bear siting. going down was amazing glacading the 1000 fit of snow back down to the creek crossing. good weekend overall, would be better in late June.

Del Kauf
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Aug 12 2019
HikingOver grown

Knocked down a star because of how overgrown it is in sections. Still easy to follow trail, just don't do it in the rain like I did. Might be people here on a nicer day but seems quiet overall. Saw a group of three bears. There's a nice small campground at the trailhead. The lake is beautiful.

View Del's Recording
Travis Urbanick
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 24 2019
Hiking

Would recommend this to anyone looking to get after it. Takes awhile to get back there but it is really worth the views!

Michelle W
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Aug 28 2017

Steep in places, but so worth the work. Beautiful scenery.

Kody Krigbaum
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMon Jul 24 2017

Great view at the lake and good campsites. Lake is crystal clear. Very little dry wood available for a campfire. Only rated three because the trail was extremely overgrown for approximately 1/3rd of the hike. Very nice views from the saddle down to the lake.

Heather T.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Sep 25 2019
Hiking