Stanton Lake

EASY 32 reviews
#7 of 36 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.

DISTANCE
4.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
748 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

fishing

hiking

lake

hiking
5 days ago

The hike started straight with a climb which is a little rough, but leveled off for a nice hike. Very dog friendly hike. Once we reached the lake the bugs were annoying, but with bug spray it wasn’t too bad. The lake was nice and not too cold.

17 days ago

I'd consider this more moderate than easy. The lake itself is beautiful with a great view of Great Northern Mountain but the flies and mosquitos were so bad at the lake we didn't spend more than an hour there which was a huge bummer as we were planning on spending the whole afternoon at the lake fishing and swimming.

24 days ago

Definetly moderate...not easy.

I was hesitant to take my three young kids ages 9, 6, and 5, on this hike due to other reviewers opinions of this trail. True to what most people have said about this hike, it starts out with pretty steep incline, but I wouldn't say it lasts for more than a quarter of a mile. I let the kids know right off the bat that it could be a little tough at first, but we'd take breaks whenever they needed to drink water and only keep moving when they were ready. It seemed to really help them along, as everybody got up past the hard inclines, and just as I read, it evened out, and from there on was a fairly mild hike. It's true you decline back down tword the lake, but the incline up from it isn't much at all when you're heading back. Truly the hike back to the trailhead is pretty easy, nobody complained. If you have kids and youre thinking about doing this hike, I say go for it! Just be patient with kiddos at the base of the Steep inclines, give their little legs a break, let them drink water whenever they need, and I'm certain you can get through it! It's not long before it flattens out! I posted pictures to prove it! Go for it, I promise it's worth it! good luck! Also, keep your eyes open for huckleberries along the way!!

1 month ago

We did this hike with our three dogs and I would call it moderate, not easy. The first part of the trail is pretty steep. It levels out a bit but then goes downhill (so creates a decent incline on the return trip). There really aren't any views along the way. Near the end there is a clearing with some felled trees and a fire pit that is good to sit and eat. We tried to go further on the trail but it kept getting really overgrown. Not sure if there would have been a beach type area if we had been able to go further. We finally gave up and made the mostly uphill trek back. Our dogs were zonked.

2 months ago

the trail is pretty enough but no amazing views, the lake is very pretty with a nice beach area. water wasn't too cold. saw some fresh bear scat on the trail by the lake and talked to some hikers who had seen a bear earlier in the day. the dog really liked it. bring some insect repellant, the mosquitos are insane.

hiking
3 months ago

Good day hike to do with the dog. First mile was rough but it was easy after that initial incline. Lots of fallen trees to crawl under, and the water was really high so there were limited spaces to sit by the water.

hiking
3 months ago

The snow is about 3- 4' deep at this time. A friend and I snowshoed up with my two Labs. The lake is still frozen. The first part of the trail is a steep uphill grind but it levels off, sidehills for a distance and then drops into the lake. Nice hike. Its about two and a half mile round trip according to the Hiking guide of Montana which I would agree with. Great Northern and Grant Ridge which you can see from the foot of the lake are gorgeous.

camping
Monday, July 17, 2017

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.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

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.

hiking
Wednesday, August 24, 2016

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.

hiking
Wednesday, July 27, 2016

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.

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.

hiking
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.

hiking
Monday, August 31, 2015

Easy well traveled hike

fishing
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)

snowshoeing
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.

recorded Stanton lake

hiking
1 day ago

hiking
6 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

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10 months ago

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11 months ago

hiking
Thursday, July 20, 2017

Thursday, July 20, 2017

hiking
Friday, July 07, 2017

hiking
Saturday, June 10, 2017

hiking
Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Sunday, November 06, 2016

hiking
Tuesday, October 04, 2016

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