Leigh Lake

MODERATE 38 reviews
#1 of 18 trails in

Leigh Lake is a 2.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Libby, Montana that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, camping, and nature trips and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

2.7 miles
1,171 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



nature trips

trail running








17 days ago

Beautiful lake and there is a waterfall to stop at on the way up. Trail is fairly steep but well worth it!

1 month ago

Doable for experienced kids ages 7+, but there are some sketchy areas to cross, and the trail is very steep in sections. The view is totally worth it, and the water is refreshing! No fish were biting on our trip, but 3-4 groups climbing after us had their gear along also.

Out and back was about three hours, including 40 mins or so enjoying the view.

1 month ago

Pretty steep on the way up, but every foot of this trail is beautiful and majestic! When you get to the lake, you will not be disappointed. And yes, there are fish up there!

1 month ago

The road in is good, and the trail is short to one amazing alpine lake. Enjoy!

2 months ago

Hiked this on 6/6/18. What a gorgeous lake and surrounding mountains! The road to the trailhead is nice, I think it's maybe been recently fixed. There is no snow on the trail, and the lake is beautiful with some ice still floating around. The trail is definitely steep and there is quite a bit of rock scrambling up towards the top(more than I thought there would be) but it's soooo worth it. Mountain goats frequent the area all the time. We saw hair all along the trail. We only saw 3 up on the mountainside though. We had the whole place to ourselves. It's amazing.

10 months ago

So….you were thinking that you would take a leisurely stroll to a beautiful alpine lake, exerting minimal effort. You might consider choosing a different hike for that. Don’t let the short distance to Leigh Lake fool you. If you think you will skip to the lake, wearing your Sunday shoes, with grandmother and the kids in tow, toting a picnic basket, you are surely in for a measure of dismay. You will work for every step on this hike. It is up, up, up, all the way! There are some rock scrambles to do, and there you will be, viewing a stunning mountain lake, surrounded by lofty mountains – but you won’t do it without paying for it in sweat and burnt calories.

I was lucky to have the sun shining, this fine Sunday. It melted much of the ice on the rocky parts of the trail. Even with poles and cleats for my boots, I did a bit of slipping and sliding. Suffice it to say, this is not wheel chair accessible. You will earn your Trail-Finding and Rock Gully Scurrying merit badges on this hike.

There is ice and snow on much of the trail. Make sure to prepare for it.

11 months ago

Beautiful lake - definitely worth the short but steep trail up. On the way back down, we encountered a couple of Mountain Goats on the trail, which was awesome! I will be back!

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Ok three of us backpacked in after three days in Glacier. It definitely is a good uphill trail but so beautiful! One thing that I didn't notice in the comments is how the goat hang around at night. That could just be because the weekend crowd gave them a lot of reasons to come into camp (pee) or they are around most of the time.

Just be aware if you stay the night they will come into your camp after anything salty.

All and all I think this is my favorite alpine lake yet. Short but gorgeous hike, waterfalls, and magnificent rock shelves. Get out there!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Awesome hike especially in the fall. incredible colors.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

recommend doing this with someone who has been before.
The trails are terribly overgrown and there are bear beds everywhere on the mountain side.
would love to try it again to make it to the top... dang it

Monday, July 10, 2017

The roads leading to the trail are full of rocks, and very bumpy, would recommend a truck. I gave this hike 4 stars because it was so beautiful by the lake with beargrass and wildflowers, plus the lake is breath-taking. We encountered 4 adults and 2 kids on this trail, would NOT recommend this for kids though... The hike is only 2.7 miles, but it's pretty much uphill the whole way to the lake, and at some parts we were rock climbing. The way up is beautiful with waterfalls and flowers, and we saw hairs from the goats but didn't see any. We got lost coming down as the many trails confused us, but head down towards the waterfalls and you'll be on the right track.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

This trail is very overgrown and difficult to navigate because of it. Consistently steep climb throughout trail, and a lot of climbing over large boulders and rough terrain close to cliffs. Because of this, I would NOT recommend this hike for children. Beautiful hike though, and well worth the hard workout.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

what a great hike! lots of day hikers on the trail. My husband and I decided to backpack in and camp overnight. The trail as you get closer to the lake gets a bit confusing. we went off trail a few times and missed some switchbacks (we ended up scrambling quite a bit) bit still worth it. Lots of ice on the lake but gorgeous falls. a couple tricky spots with left over snow that we ended up going over or under and around. We had a blast!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

This was an amazing hike. It's pretty much straight up and you habe to do some navigating on rocky trails, but you follow a waterfall up to the lake. We hiked 5/27/17 and there was still snow crossings in a few places and the lake was still frozen, but no less beautiful. Great rewards to be had here.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Beautiful and crazy hike, but goes by before ya know it. Extremely beautiful slanted waterfall and peaceful lake! I will be back Leigh Lake!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Great hike and well maintained trail

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

This trail was fairly strenuous despite the short distance. There appear to have been a few significant rock slides which made portions of the trail a bit treacherous and very difficult to follow, particularly on the return trip. The lake and waterfall were both spectacular and there are many berries in the area ripe for picking.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Decent hike, not many campsites at the lake, pretty steep accent and trail finding made it more difficult.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Great trip! Friendly mountain goats galore. Scramble up to the ridge on the north side for spectacular views.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Worth the steep hike. most beautiful Lake and waterfall I've ever seen!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Amazing !!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

This hike is really quite beautiful. We parked our car on the road a few miles down from the the trailhead, where the last turn is, because thats where the road started to look washed out. From there, we hiked a little under 2 miles to the trailhead to begin our hike. In hindsight, I wish we'd just risked driving to the trailhead because despite being of such short length, this hike is actually pretty strenuous. Its an almost constant steep uphill climb, with some sections in the latter half of the hike being so steep as to require using your hands as well to continue moving forward. We went on May 7th, and the lake and area immediately surrounding it still had a pretty thick layer of snow atop it. Personally, I felt the waterfall on the way up, shortly before the lake, was more worthy of the effort than the lake was. The hike was beautiful, and definitely worth trying, so long as you know the steep grade requires quite a bit slower pace than most of us probably usually hike with, and that being a short distance does not mean "it can't be that bad". Also be bear aware, as we came across bear scat right on the trail, and saw several bear tracks.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Loved the trail!

Monday, October 05, 2015


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Beautiful scenery and views, particularly at the top. Trail is rocky and straight up for most of its length.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Nice hike. Saved us after we got snowed out elsewhere. Hiked up 19 May. Easy to find trailhead. Trailhead holds 6-7 cars before things get tight. Found trail dry all around and easy to follow as well - though goat trails can sometimes catch you not paying attention. Ice was still on the side of the lake in the shadow of Snowshoe Peak. Met a gentleman heading up that way to do some backcountry skiing as well (apparently there is access to Blackwell Glacier on other side of the ridge). Saw a few goats around the area. Some decent sized fish as well. Mosquitos weren't bad at all and even the horseflies were hardly noticeable yet. Lake is gorgeous and the area could provide nice day-hiking. Could see this being a popular hike come the heart of summer. Camping spots seem mostly reserved - though not totally limited to - area around where you first come into contact with the lake (past the thicket around the area where lake spills down into coulée you just hiked up). The distance is short and the climb is like the a lot around the Cabinet Range - quickly steep but with quick rewards. Stop by Cabinet Mountain Brewing in Libby on your way out.

Monday, March 02, 2015

This trail has a good incline making it moderate to difficult by my standards. There are a few places where the trail is a shale slide, if you don't cross at the falls. The pictures I added were taken in July of 2014 with ice still on the lake. The views and crystal clear cold water are amazing. It feels like more then 3 miles round trip.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Beautiful lake in the heart of the Cabinet Wilderness. Hike starts in the forest then breaks out onto rocky ledges. As the trail approaches a small waterfall just before the lake, the trail splits left or right. The left fork crosses through the creek and is a bit of a muddy climb up to the lake level, but there are some cables to help. If you take the right fork in the trail it is steep up around rocks and fairly slippery. If you have a heavy backpack you might want to go left. I have done it both ways and left seems easier. The lake has limited access because of a rocky steep shoreline around 3/4 of it but the rock strata around the lake is amazing. Seems to get a lot of storms in this lake depression so have rain gear if you go. Mountain goats were grazing around tents one morning.

1 month ago

2 months ago

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