Diamond Lake and Cliff Lake Trail

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Lolo National Forest

Diamond Lake and Cliff Lake Trail is a 4.5 kilometer lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Superior, Montana that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and fishing and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length4.5 kmElevation gain190 mRoute typeOut & back
dog friendlyFishingHikingNature tripsForestLakeViewsWildflowersWildlife
Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (80)
Photos (116)
Recordings (34)
Completed (135)
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Caitlin Johnson
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Hiking

Nice trail, more people than I expected on a Sunday in October but it’s so easy I shouldn’t be surprised. Drive is pretty long but the road is in great shape until the turnoff for Diamond Lake then it gets more narrow and rocky. Nothing serious though, a car can make it if it’s not too muddy.

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Skye M
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HikingGreat!

A perfect little day hike. The trail isn't very long and levels out after the initial push past Diamond Lake, getting a bit steeper as you get closer to Cliff Lake. No bugs but it was also a bit chilly, but there were also no bears so win-win! Cliff Lake is stunning and you have a beautiful view of Diamond Lake on the hike back. The small trail to the left of Cliff Lake is worth it to get a different view of the basin, but it's difficult to get down to the lake from that trail. We only ran into two other parties on our hike even though the views were beautiful!

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Dylan Schwarz
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HikingGreat!

Not a very long trail, but cliff lake is definitely worth it! Very pretty and very isolated. We went on a late Sunday morning and only saw one other person. The trial is overgrown a little at the end but is easy to follow. It’s uphill on the way to Cliff Lake, which makes the way back easy. There are a couple of small waterfalls on the way up. There is also a bridge you have to cross that is in good shape. The Forest Service road up there is narrow, but has turnouts for oncoming traffic. It was in good shape and I believe a low clearance vehicle would’ve been fine (might have to drive around a couple fallen rocks). Not really a lot of room for parking at the top, but wasn’t a problem since only one other car was there. There is a vault bathroom at the trailhead and it was in good condition. There’s a couple benches and fire pits as well.

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JoRayne Schiller
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BackpackingGreat!Over grown
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Jolene Patricia
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HikingGreat!Over grown

What a great little hike to Cliff Lake! We backpacked in and stayed for 3 nights over the Labor Day weekend and it was BUSY!! The drive was decent as the first 9.5 miles (Dry Creek Rd.) are dirt road. Once you turn on to Diamond Lake Rd. it can get pretty rocky, but just take it slow. There were plenty of turnouts to make room for traffic coming down, and just a couple small washed out areas to maneuver around. Once we got to the trail head their were some campsites as well as a restroom. The backside of Diamond Lake was a gorgeous meadow-like hillside with views of the lake while you climb. Many creek crossings with bridges and lush foliage all around. Once we arrived at Cliff Lake we found all campsites were available (we counted 3 for sure, but a small family of four hiked a bit further around the lake Saturday night and found a spot or two) and we had the lake to ourselves for our first night. Saturday yielded a lot of hikers and friendly dogs, although most were not on leash, so keep this in mind if you have a dog that may not "play well with others." Overnight it was warm and breezy and the morning was cool, but not cold. There were two dads and 6 kids in the campsite next to us for the night, so...ya know. It was loud, but the kids were clearly enjoying themselves, although their destruction of the natural vegetation was disheartening and the litter left behind was offensive, but we took care of it for them. Twice the amount of traffic came through on Sunday, but for the night we only had two other campers at the lake. No bear, cougar, or moose sightings, but we did spot a couple white-tail deer coming down to get a drink from the lake on the second night. Overall, this was a great Holiday Weekend backpacking adventure, with gorgeous views and a warm lake to swim in every day that we were there!

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Anna Bruning
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Short & easy. Some hedgehog mushrooms on the second half of the trail! Very smoky & dry today, most of the wildflowers have shriveled up but there are still some out there. Lots of cars in the parking lot for labor day weekend

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Tucker Curtiss
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HikingGreat!

Nice hike....the road out was kinda rough. We saw a black bear while driving to the location

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Hugh Campbell
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HikingGreat!

did this hike with our three young kids. very rewarding for a short distance, with two lakes. did not have any mosquitoes today for whatever reason.

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Jessica Yearout
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Hiking
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Jennifer Michaels
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HikingGreat!

Stunning hike with not one but two scenic lakes to admire. You ascend through near-vertical fields of wildflowers, picking yummy berries along the way, passing waterfalls, and then slipping into the forest until you reach the second lake. It’s worth continuing at this point to the big field where the trail peters out into an open field with fantastic views of Cliff Lake and the remains of winter snows behind you. Of note: the 15 mile drive from I-90 took us 45+ minutes with our truck camper on despite dry conditions, and had a few harrying moments. Tons of honeybees and birds but only one single mosquito. At the trailhead there is a restroom and a trail down to another waterfall.

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Gretchen Wonderland
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HikingBugs

Gorgeous. Short and relatively easy, though the elevation gain is probably what makes this trail "moderate." Bring bug spray. We saw a mountain lion on the road about 4 miles from the trail head, about 7:30 in the morning, fyi.

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Josh Fauque
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HikingBugs

stunning views.

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Thomas Harvey
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HikingGreat!

Beautiful hike! Easy going, exposed roots in the trail, and some rocks. Dog and family friendly.

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Michelle Jorgensen
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Hiking

Bring your bug spray. Good road the first 10 miles, just drive slow the last 4 miles and most all vehicles should be able to make it. Nice hike, a couple of waterfall s to stop and admire. Cliff lake is amazing, so clear, people said it was ice cold but it didn’t feel to bad. Lots of fish jumping but didn’t run into anyone that had actually caught any. A nice Sunday drive and hike only 15 miles from I-90. Take Exit 43 Dry Creek and follow the signs.

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George Davis
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Hiking

Beautiful trail! I would recommend this trail to anyone. We had 4 over 60 people and did just fine. Wonderful waterfalls to look at too.

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Michaela Nitschke
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Hiking

Absolutely gorgeous. Hiked with a 10 year old and no problem. 1.4miles to Cliff Lake from Diamond Lake. Drove a Kia minivan and while the last 4 miles were slow to avoid holes and issues there was no problem. Beautiful wild flowers on the walk too. And remember bug spray.

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catie henderson
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HikingMuddy

Both lakes are beautiful! But I would say that the hike up was closer to 1000’ of elevation and only 2 miles to the upper lake. Maybe 2.4 to the end of it. Nice campsite right at the start of the lake but we stayed at a more private site at the end of the lake. It was a quick fun backpack!

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Gail Castaneda
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Beautiful!

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Becky Palmer
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HikingGreat!IcyMuddyRockySnow

One of our favorite hikes. We have made it several times. It's easy and fun! Awesome views! My kids love playing in the snow in June!

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Jon Smitamorn
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HikingBlowdown

*6/15/20 - Tree blowdown on Cliff Lake Trail. It’s fairly easy to traverse around but I brought my dog so it’s pretty negligible if you’re on your own. Went for a day hike and got there pretty early. I was the only one there the whole time. This is a hidden gem. For being only 15 or so miles off the Interstate and into the backwoods, Diamond Lake and Cliff Lake are amazingly beautiful little mountain lakes resembling places like Glacier NP. Stunning scenery, and extremely peaceful. Theres about 4-5 campsites on Diamond Lake, and another 1-2 on Cliff Lake. Cliff Lake Trail is tremendously easy and short. It’s still pretty cold up there (40s) and the wind shoots down the mountain right at you. Bring warm gear. The narrow mountain roads are moderately rough, but I made it up in my VW, just be slow and careful pretty much.

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theresa Peterson
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MuddySnow

Made it to Diamond Lk. Trail to Cliff was mostly clear of snow until bridge (about 3/4 mile from lake), but manageable. Very pretty!!!

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Diane Hutchens
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Unable to rate. 2 miles before the trailhead a tree had fallen and blocked the road. Sad about it. It was a beautiful day for a hike.

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Brooke Gaither
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HikingIcySnow

Halfway to the second lake it’s complete snow can’t see the trail. But definitely doable, make sure right shoes & clothing. Worth it, so beautiful!

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