Elbow Lake is a 15.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near McLeod, Montana that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length15.7 miElevation gain4,206 ftRoute typeOut & back
BackpackingCampingHikingNature tripsBird watchingRunningDog friendlyForestLakeViewsWildflowersWildlife
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Reviews (16)
Photos (21)
Activities (10)
Completed (34)
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Howlin Hound
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HikingBlowdown

After the large creek crossing, lots of trees down, but not too much of a problem. Caught some cutthroats! Great place to camp.

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Michael Berger
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FishingBugsMuddyRocky

A fishy spot, long ass trail, lots of steep climbing, not well marked.

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Herman Watson IV
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Hiking

The standard route, but left my phone at the notch. So, I’m missing about 500 feet and a mile.

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Jason Wussow
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A little longer than the 8 miles according to the pedometer. we made it close to the lake but we figured we had missed it so after mile nine turn back, later to find out we were about a mile and a half away from making our goal. Either way one of the best hikes I've ever been on. we did 18 miles and had some of the best views you could get. We recommend soaking at Chico after this hike.

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Amber Lloyd
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Hiking

Incredible views! We planned on backpacking and staying the night at the lake, but we unknowingly went too early in the season (early June). The first part of the hike was great and beautiful. Once we got over the southern face and started heading down toward Elbow Creek the snow pack was too dense and we didn't bring snowshoes or gaters. After about a mile of trudging through the snow on the north face we turned around (probably around mile 6) and made camp at the very top of the southern face in a beautiful meadow with great views (see photos). You can't see it from the trail but there was a tiny brook in the meadow so we had water. Despite not making it to the lake it was a great hike. Can't wait to go again later in the season.

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casey grote
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 15, 2014

Wow what a place, probably best for climbers and fisherman. I thought that the hike in was pleasant, feasting on berries along the way, and hills never seemed too steep. It was kinda lame having to hike for a couple miles around someone's ranch but that's my only complaint.

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Sandy Archer
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Hiking
First to Review

Elbow Lake is up Mill Creek outside of iIvingston. It was one of the steepest trails we have ever ridden on, at least up by the lake. We walked the horses the last couple miles to the lake and walked them back down due to large slick rocks. It is a beautiful trail but it is not signed very well. The trail will split but there are no signs to guide you so we definitely needed a map. It would be a nice place to backpack to but it is strenuous.

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adam mills
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Hiking
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adam mills
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Hiking
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Thomas Cofer
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Jake Groshek
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Hiking
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Alan Miller
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Hiking
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Adam Danielson
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Hiking
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Cleo Gewirz
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Hiking
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McCrae Wester
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Tyler Gates
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Hiking
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