Granite Lake

MODERATE 13 reviews
#3 of 13 trails in

Granite Lake is a 11.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Libby, Montana that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, fly fishing, and backpacking and is best used from June until October.

11.2 miles
2267 feet
Out & Back


fly fishing






bridge out

This is a decent hike that is best done as a multi-day trip to fully enjoy it thoroughly. There are great views, lush forest, a river, waterfalls, and a beautifully pristine lake.

38 minutes ago

This is a beautiful hike and breathtaking destination, although the reviews about the poorly-marked trail are correct. Apparently, after a wildfire along the trail, a large portion of the trail was moved to the opposite side of the river. There are four river crossings during this hike, but they are not always obvious, and sometimes the trail seems to continue when in fact, you should have crossed the river. The best advice I can give: if the trail ends and you have to start bushwhacking, turn around and look for an opportunity to cross the river - a number of hikers, myself included, built cairns (rock stacks), laid out arrows made of sticks, and tied orange rope (not tape) around trees as markers for crossing. If you keep your eye out for these, you will find yourself on clearly marked trails throughout the entire hike. The last mile is very overgrown, but still easy to follow.

17 days ago

I'm sure the end destination is great, but this trail is VERY poorly marked and maintained. We got lost after a few miles, and wasted hours trying to find our way to the lake. We never reached the lake and had to turn back. P.S. The trailhead for this hike can be found at the end of Granite Lake Rd near Libby, MT. The U.S. Forest Service didn't even take the time to put any signs or markings at the trailhead to indicate that it's the correct TH for Granite Lake hike, and several other hikes apparently start from the same trailhead. Very annoying.

30 days ago

We try to make this trek once a year and it never disappoints! I was surprised at the amount of fire damage on the first half of the hike but Mother Nature is bouncing back nicely and the forest appears to be very healthy. Most notable were the viewing opportunities of Granite Creek on the first part of the hike prior to the water fall. Now that all of the under brush had burnt away the viewing opportunities were plentiful. The top third was a little over grown but nothing a machete couldn't handle. Lots of good fishing to be had in the lake, next year we will have some pack rafts so we can venture to the south end of the lake and look for camping sites near the base of the waterfall. Awesome hike highly recommended.

1 month ago

First of all, let me tell you how amazing and breathtaking the final destination is. Videos/photos won't do justice on how beautiful it is up there unless you see it for your self. There are 4 creek crossings that you'll have to do so be prepared to get your feet wet. The trail is really noticeable and easy for the first half of the hike. Once you have about 1.5 miles left is where it gets difficult. You're climbing most of the way up and the brush is over your head making it hard to keep track of where the trail is going. I had a trail dog with me so it was very easy for my group to pass on through. There was a wildfire that went through there but didn't damage the trail to bad. We camped at the lake for a night and had deer walk right through our camp and they didn't seem scared of us at all. I literally got about 3 feet from a doe grazing on some shrub which was awesome. Be sure to bring some bug spray because the mosquitoes and flies are bad towards the lake. Overall it was a wonderful experience and I will be doing this trip again next year.

1 month ago

The upper half of the trail could use some trail maintenance as it is over grown with shrubs. the first half of the hike is pretty easy while the last half is a consistent climb to the lake. Their are 4 Creek crossing's with the third being the only one I had to out on my flip flops to walk through the water. the other three have logs going across to walk on. The destination for this trail is breathtaking.

fly fishing
1 month ago

A really enjoyable hike. Went in and out in one day with my wife and daughters. Trail length is actually 12.9 miles not 11.2. Saw a few deer and caught a bunch of trout, cutthroat and golden cutt hybrids. Beautiful mid July day and it looks like there will be a lot of huckleberry s and thimble berries soon. some washed out stream crossings be careful not to lose the trail.Trail is overwhelmed with brush a lot of devil's club and stinging nettles. But many beautiful waterfalls.

2 months ago

2 months ago

Wow... That applies both to the end destination and the work required to get there. The trail was mostly snow free, but the streams are super high and you have to cross 4 times with no infrastructure support. There were downed logs on the first three that allow you to get across mostly dry (if you do it well).. the 4th requires just wading across ( was mid shin high where I crossed). Two of the three log crossings are pretty sketchy (read inadvisable) and the trail is poorly marked.

However, the end destination is stunning.. I had the trail and the lake at the end completely to myself until about 2 miles from the trailhead on my return. That was when I encountered two wolves jogging up the path, which was an awesome encounter although a bit unnerving when they weren't particularly eager to leave me alone. The first person was at a mile from the trailhead. The lake is beautiful and there a a couple of clear campsites there for those so inclined. I wish I had my gear with me to stay the night.

8 months ago

Time of year: September

This is quite the hike. It can be strenuous at times on the way up. I've hiked this one a few times in the past and the cedar groves were beautiful; however, due to wildfires the beginning part of the trail can be grim because of the damage. The damage was significant enough to affect the trail as well, forcing us to backtrack occasionally for getting lost. Thankfully, closer to the lake the forest is mostly untouched. There are also a few river crossings, so prepare to get your feet wet.

We backpacked this trail, and campsites can be found along both sides of lake, some are fairly bigger than others.

The hike itself is not what makes this trail a good one, but the lake. The views from the lake are beautiful. The surrounding rock face is spectacular to look at. For those that enjoy ridge hiking, they might find this lake bit frustrating however. Simply trying to hike around the lake was difficult due to the thick foliage that was often over my head.

All and all its a good hike with some spectacular views, but the difficultly of trying to ridge hike and the damage done by the wildfire is somewhat unpleasant.

11 months ago

Long hike but trail was pretty clear and brush wasnt the bad for the last 2 miles

fly fishing
Monday, June 23, 2014

Great hike! High water made for some very interesting log crossings. All was going well until about a mile from the lake. The trail had been completely destroyed by an avalanche. Be careful when crossing due to the ice crevices below the fallen trees and debris. Try to keep a straight line to find the trail on the opposite side of the chute.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Granite lake and granite falls were beautiful however because of high summer growth i had to cut my way through the trail and in some places i had to stop and look for a bit at the bushes to see where people and animals had been thro nice hike overall but i would recomend taking a bush wacker.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

This was a really good hike with alot of amazing views of the mountains. When we went however, there were quite a few trees down across the trail, and the first river crossing was out, so we were forced to bushwack through the forest in order to find another crossing point (which was necessary during early summer due to the high water flow of Granite Creek). However, it was all worth is, as the view of the mountains around Granite Lake were amazing.