Stanton Lake

EASY 17 reviews
#5 of 33 trails in

Stanton Lake is a 4.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Essex, Montana and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, fishing, and fly fishing and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

4.3 miles
941 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly


fly fishing



38 minutes ago

2 days ago

Really pretty Lake with views of the mountains. According to my GPS, it's significantly shorter than 4.3 miles, but maybe that depends on where you stop. We backpacked in and camped, there are a few nice camp sites with fire pits. The trail starts off pretty steep too, and goes uphill for awhile. Not really what I'd classify as easy, especially with an 8 year old carrying a backpack. Overall, beautiful and a good hike or camp spot. Super easy access off Hwy. Decent lake to fish in too.

12 days ago

23 days ago

This is not an easy trail. Harsh inclines from the get go and much of the trail is over grown. Stanton lake is pretty and the hike down is much easier. I would say to the lake and back is 4.5 miles and would rate this trail as difficult.

1 month ago

1 month ago

8 months ago

9 months ago

10 months ago

Busy trail. Starts out steep uphill then levels out for a while then you drop down to the lake. It's a short day hike. Lake is pretty with a nice shoreline to hang out for lunch or fishing or whatever.

11 months ago

Short trail leads up to a nice alpine lake. Very pretty scenery. Lake temperature cool but suitable for swimming. Nice pebble beach area at one end makes nice entry for a swim.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Decent hike but far from being a favorite. It's a good one for when the park trails aren't accessible.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

One of my favorites all year, great parking/staging area and a perfect round trip distance. Popular trail and I'm rarely the only vehicle in the lot especially in spring, summer and fall. I would put this lake at 1 mile from the parking area, maybe a little more, and you can walk another half mile or so along it's length....not sure where they get the 4 mile distance? I suppose you could make it a 4 mi. round trip if you wanted. This is also a great lake to hike/snowshoe in the winter and is perfect for winter camping as you're less than an hour from your vehicle if there's a problem or if you really want to pack in extra gear making more than one trip. My dogs love it and I let them run off leash depending on how busy it is. This is also a great way to access Great Northern Peak as Stanton Lk. sits closely behind to the ENE. Traditionally GN is accessed from the WSW via Hungry Horse Res. east side road, but I don't know if there is a trail from Stanton Lk or Grant Ridge Tr.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Easy well traveled hike

Friday, May 18, 2012

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It is the perfect hike! It is uphill for a little bit then downhill all the way to the lake. The trail goes to the far end of the lake so you can stop and fish or go off of the trail to the lake almost any time you want. It is bigger than I expected too with really great mountain views. It takes about a half hour to get to the lake (faster on the way back)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Fairly easy hike, with great views of the backside of the Great Northern. I have hiked and snowshoed the trail, and actually prefer the hike in the winter!
Lots of bear signs in the summer, but none sighted. There is a cool ridgeline hike (Grant Ridge?) that leaves from the same trailhead.