Explore the most popular lake trails near Gallatin Gateway with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

1.5 hours to a beautiful lake with minimal breaks. Pretty "buggy" at the lake and in spots on the trail. Mostly gradual elevation climb from beginning to end. Good workout!

Very nice, sparsely traversed trail. There are two lakes at the end, Moon Lake and Deer Lake. Both are beautiful. Many microclimate changes and overall just a pretty amazing hike. Bring bug spray for the horse flies and skeeters at the lake. And always, bear spray!

Did this hike Friday (7/13/18) later in the afternoon as a large two family group (8 yoa to 51 yoa). It was warmer and we wished we had brought more water on the trail as most of the trail is rolling and climbing through the forest with not much wind moving.

The lake was beautiful and provided some cool relief. My brother in law who does triathlons (competed in Kona) brought his wetsuit and swam the lake. Another check box filled in his bucket list.

Serene trail ending in a beautiful lake. The lake is wonderful to swim in during the summer.

We did see a grizzly bear within 10 feet when we turned a corner. It quickly ran away. We also heard from hikers heading down that they had seen a mountain lion around the same location as the bear (~.6 miles in).

Be aware, carry bear spray, don’t hike alone, and be careful if you bring your dog!

Was a nice hike in a wooded area to the lake. It had some steeper inclines but we were able to stop and rest by a beautiful stream. The meadow and wildflowers were awesome! The thing that didn’t make it worth doing again was the road to the trailhead. For the last 3 miles it was very rough with rocks and pot holes. Took a while to get there in our truck.

steady hike up with a couple water crossings. 2 bridges, 1 Rock hop, 1 log walk. gorgeous lake Worth taking a swim in with the jumping fish.

10 days ago

Super fun hike- I was completely alone with my dogs which is always amazing. I was able to easily make it to all the lakes, but I’m glad I had my phone gps and maps. The trail up to the upper two lakes is much narrower and not well marked. However the trail is worn and easy to follow once you are on it.

The trail has about 4 steep sections followed by flat sections to catch your breathe. I made it to the lake in an hour. Some people were fishing, not sure if they were having any luck. Good hike, rough road getting up there. Glad I borrowed a friends truck.

Great hike. Up, up, up all the way for a brilliant lake view!

Solid hike, lake at the end is beautiful.

Beautiful views at the end of the hike. Throughout the hike, you are mostly hiking through the forest at a consistent incline with a few breaks. There are a few breaks in the forest with some pretty views as well though, but not many. There are rocks throughout the trail, which I thought were useful in maintaining footing, rather than hiking on slippery gravel, etc.

Pretty heavily trafficked but really pretty lake at the end. We have done this in the summer and also did it April 22nd and the majority of the trail was snow packed. Always good to pack bear spray.

Great workout and a beautiful hike. Love all the creek crossings and the sound of the rushing water as you hike. Lots of families and dogs on the trail - everyone was very friendly.

It was a nice day on the trail today. It was pretty muddy is spots though.

What a beautiful ending to a tough hike. It felt good to accomplish it, but the elevation is no joke. Keep in mind I'm a 50 year old woman from Ohio and not used to the elevation here. The lake is totally worth it though.

Beautiful hike! Pretty steep but plenty of flats for breaks. Mostly wooded and beautiful views of the lake at the top! One of my favorites in the area! The trail was completely clear of snow and the trailhead is right off the highway! Would highly recommend for most any hikers!

The trail was a really easy gradual gain. Lots of rocks so a little more attention needed to watch your footing. Large amount of foot traffic on the main trail but a side trip up the ridge trail from the lake gave way to basically no traffic and amazing views.

Great hike. All up hill for 3 miles. We really enjoyed the exercise and nature. It really is beautiful and all the people that we encountered along the way were friendly...

Great workout. Pretty rocky though...be careful! Tons of dogs (and poop) on the trail

27 days ago

Fun and quick hike. Brought the fly rod and found some brook trout in the lake

Trail had snow on parts and a small lake from snow melting towards the last stretch of the hike that we had to go around but omg was it worth it!!! The hike and the lake are breathtaking. Even the drive up Portal Creek Road is breathtaking!!!! Was much colder at the lake so didn’t stay long. Definitely coming again to try to catch some golden trout. Lots of evidence of bears being in the area so be on alert!!! 06/23/2018

Great hike. Kids did it well. Beautiful when we got to the lake

Wonderful trail- all uphill for 3 miles. The rocks were somewhat challenging at times. The view of the lake was spectacular. Much easier on the return since it was all downhill. The river running by the trailer is beautiful and very serene. It took us three hours total

Absolutely stunning the whole way through. Very rocky trail, but worth every step once you get to the lake!

Love lava lake! Trail is very rocky. Lots to do at the lake like hiking around it, up to the ridge, or cliff jumping.

I hiked to the lake with intention of doing some fishing. My opinion is it’s hard to fish because there is no “shore”. Either trees or boulders right down to the lake. Beautiful hike and lake, it was worth the trip and would go again. Found out later that there are shrimp in the lake that the fish are feeding on, hence the reason why they wouldn’t take to a dry fly.

Beautiful trail along Cascade Creek to Lava Lake. We hiked this trail in early June and Cascade Creek was amazing flowing full of snow melt runoff. Lava Lake was tranquil and beautiful sitting below the snow-covered Spanish peaks.

The trail was very busy with people and dogs. Recommend getting an early start to beat the crowds.

1 month ago

Not that it was a bad little hike, but the lake wasn't too great. Myself and a couple friends camped overnight and we sunk our food in watertight bags into the lake and when we woke up leaches were attached....Not that we had planned on swimming but I would advise against it. There are plenty of hikes I'd go back to but I don't think this is one of them.

Good hike and not too long. parts of the hike have pretty obscured views but overall it is a good hike.

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