Engle Lake Trail is a 10.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Trout Creek, Montana that features a lake. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking, trail running, and backpacking. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

10.2 miles
3,937 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly



trail running





2 months ago

This trip starts high up on a mountain. If you enjoy a lung buster uphill grade in a full pack this trip is for you. My two Labs and I did an overnight there a couple of nights ago. The weather was beautiful sunny and in the low 70's. As I said the trail starts for the first mile going pretty much straight up. Once you reach the ridge things ease up. you follow a ridge for the next section. The trail weaves back and forth over the ridge giving you views of the Kootenai valley way below and next you are looking into the Cabinets and down at Engle Lake if that is your destination. I had intended to go and spend the night and get up the next morning to explore the Peak which has a trail to the top. But when I got to the lake I found huge patches of unpicked Huckleberries so I had to pick abou13 cups. But getting back to the trail. you follow the ridge and all of a sudden it drops off the side of the mountain going down towards the Kootenay valley. Don't dispear as I did. This will get you to the lake you just have to drop off that side of the mountain to cut through a boulder field. Once you go back up the other side the trail to the lake awaits. It is a steep drop of 3/4 mile down to the lake. It is a pretty lake. Lots of fish were jumping. There are two nice campgrounds on either side of the outlet we camped o the far side it is more level. take plenty of water as there is none along the way. I'm going back again this week to get more huckleberries.

3 months ago

Not for the weak of heart.

4 months ago

Pretty steep to the ridge, but worth it for the views. The intersection where the trail splits for the peak and lake was a little hard to find due to the sign showing the same arrow to both and a bit of snow on the ground covering the trail, but we found it easily enough. We had great weather and the views were amazing at the peak. No terrible bugs and surprisingly not much sign of big game except deer tracks on the way out.

Monday, October 02, 2017

We visited Engle Lake after making the summit of Engle Peak. The summit is 1 mile from the intersection with the trail to the lake. My GPS showed 700+ feet of descent to the lake and 1,000 up to the peak. I was hauling a 35lb pack so this trail made me perspire a bit.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Engle Lake Trail (#926) and Engle Peak Trail (#932) are two different routes to essentially the same choice of destinations. About a mile away from the lake or the peak, the trail forks, and one can choose to go up the peak or down into the lake. This said, both routes involve lots of elevation gain, so be prepared for a lot of steep trail.

To get to either Engle Peak or Engle Lake, you will have to do a bit of clambering over rocky patches. (Keep this in mind, if you are considering bringing your horse up. You can make it most the way up, but one would be ill-advised to try to take their horse across the rocks, and to the end.)

Much of this trail involves switch backs through pine forest. The initial views are marginal, but the views at the last few miles of the hike are well worth the effort. The alpine valley, in which Engle Lake is situated, is stunningly beautiful.

I'm not sure I would rate this trail, "Moderate". It whipped me soundly, and had me hobbling home for a hot bath.

Friday, July 27, 2012

A tough hike to an amazing destination with beauty and views nearly the entire length. The road to the trailhead is OK, no high clearance needed. The trail begins steep and most of the rest of the trail is steep up or down with an easy patch after the first assent. Gorgeous views and changing terrains makes this hike definitely not boring. The lake is very pretty. This is a great hike to enjoy the Cabinet Wilderness.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017