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

hiking
6 days ago

There is a fair amount of water running on the trail, but it’s not impassible. Including my group, we saw 17 people hiking to the lake today.

backpacking
14 days ago

Gnar

It's actually 6.7 miles in and out, a couple of creek crossings but nothing hard, snow at the end but the lake is gorgeous.... so worth it

The hike up currently has a bunch of runoff on the trail for the first 3 miles or so. The last mile of the hike climbs completely through snow. The lake was definitely well worth the hike and looks absolutely terrific.

hiking
2 months ago

So, it was not too smooth in March, but it was a great view regardless and an intense workout.

backpacking
7 months ago

Beautiful views of the bitterroot mountains! Runoff makes the trail a bit rough and hard to follow. We went in late October and got snowed on in the night. Good tent spots right by the lake. I am definitely going to hike this again in the spring!

hiking
8 months ago

Snow ankle deep, but gorgeous!! I did not leave myself enough time to make it to the lake, look forward to doing it again!! Awesome hike..
beautiful :))

Loved this trail!
Lots of ups and down with dramatic views of como lake. The sheer mountains on either side constantly change and add new picture oppourtunitys.
Landscape changes quickly from forest to alpine. We did loose the trail twice but found it quickly. The lake was low but clear and cold, could see fish swimming a bit. Would have loved to spend the night and done exploring around as there was so much to do in one day.
Very steep incline. Be prepared this one will take a lot of huffing and puffing!

One of my favorite hikes. As someone else mentioned, it is not an easy day hike for inexperienced hikers. We went about a month ago and there was quite a bit of run off and we lost the trail, but eventually found it again, so be wary of that. Would definitely recommend this hike, especially if you want to camp for the night!

Family friendly, not in great shape, but it was pretty mild, easy for the kiddos aged 8-13

Family friendly, not in great shape, but it was pretty mild, easy for the kiddos aged 8-13

The trail is very rock throughout, makes for slow going. Moreover, there are several downed trees and lots of run off makes for large tributaries to cross. Between trail finding and water, took a long time to get to the lake. Having said that, the canyon was beautiful, and the creek itself was amazing. Such high water. There was a 5.8 earthquake at about 1230am to make it that much more fun. Just a little ground shaking, thought it was from the high water til I came out and read the paper.

hiking
11 months ago

Fairly steep incline but I'm not in shape.

Its a great hike, the trail gets a bit irritating at times but is easy to follow all the way to the lake. The last mile or so shoots straight up the canyon wall in a series of switch backs. i wouldnt recommend for amature hikers. The lake and views are well worth the hike. There were many waterfalls all around the lake. And like others have said, coming down is tricky, the trail is hard to follow and has many side trails.

Worth it with the waterfalls and beautiful lake!

backpacking
11 months ago

Nice easy hike. Great camps along the lake Still mostly frozen with 2-5 ft of snow around the lake last weekend

backpacking
11 months ago

Great hike! Busted out the climb after work and spent the last night of spring at the lake. Well worth the workout! Nice campsites

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Awesome hike. Trail is a bit difficult with rocks, roots and snags to navigate. Was well worth the sore body..

hiking
Sunday, June 11, 2017

Such a beautiful hike and lake!

on Canyon Lake Trail

hiking
Friday, June 09, 2017

This hike is much further than the sign says. Be ready to have your ass handed to you! Very steep, but so worth the work.

hiking
Sunday, June 04, 2017

First 3.5 miles or so the trail runs through thick forest snaking alongside the river. From here it shoots up the canyon face and drops back down to the lake. This portion was surprisingly challenging. I had to traverse several snow fields along the last mile to get to the lake. Easy to lose the trail, especially with the melting snow. The lake views were totally worth it. Still frozen in early June, it was like stepping back into winter. Three nice campsites as well.

hiking
Thursday, May 25, 2017

Took two attempts as I could not locate where the trail left off after reaching the waterfall the first time due to knee deep snow. The second time I was able to spot cairns marking the trail and blaze a trail through the snow to the lake. After a strenuous journey through the snow I finally reached the lake and it was well worth the effort. The scenery is mind blowing and well worth any effort required however might wait until late June or July to try this one out this year.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Snow pack from 6000 ft on. Easy enough to follow tracks in the snow to the lower lake. Inlet and outlet are thawed but the rest in still in deep snow

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Trail is very easy. Walked it in the evening 6 weeks after abdominal surgury and once you get past the first uphill part it is flat. If you veer off to the left there are some bouldering opportunitys, we made it to the top of those and to the lake in just under 2 hours then hiked the trail back in the dark.
The road to the trail however seems as if it will never end and we constantly thought we were lost.

Friday, September 09, 2016

this hike to the lake is longer than 8 miles. the sign at the start of the hike indicates that the lake is 5 miles one way. the trail is relatively flat as it follows the river into the valley. however, it reaches a point where the trail goes nearly straight up dramatically. it follows the face of the mountain over the ridge to the lake.
the trail up the mountain is nearly all rock face. it can be hard to follow; follow the stacked "zen" rocks.
HUGE side note: on the return from the lake we lost the trail on the rock face. we back tracked a few times but was unsuccessful following the trail we took up. we ended up Bushwacking our way down the mountain, sliding down the rocks and scrambling boulders. once down the mountain we climbed over fallen trees listening to the sound of the river and eventually found the trail near the river. I would say that if you are doing this trail to be confident in your hiking abilities, scrambling, navigation, and trail finding skills. there was a moose in the area but we did not come across it, be alert of your surroundings.
we started at 12noon and finished at 7:45pm.

hiking
Sunday, September 04, 2016

Great hike for all skill levels. A bit of an incline at then end, but definitely manageable. Once you get to the lake, go to the left side. There are some rock bed beaches as opposed to super muddy on the right side. Did some fly fishing as well, got a few bites.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Loved it! Beautiful hike, great for the dogs, although we wished it would have been a market trail because the first time we went, we didn't know which trail to go on and ended up 5 miles into the Nez Pierce Wilderness on the wrong trail with no lake to be found. We will be back!

backpacking
Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Not for rookies. While the first 3.5 miles are a reasonable slope, the final 1.5 miles will beat you up. As an experienced backpackers this one ranks as a hard trip. However, it is completely worth it when you get to the lake. There are 3 camp sites (close proximity to each other) right as you come to the lake.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Decent hike. A bit farther on my gps than indicated. Easy in and out day hike. Some fishing and huckleberries.

Monday, June 06, 2016

great hike! few misleading paths but vary distinct main trail. The last 30-40min / 2mil. is pretty steep. nice little camp spot on the cliff before the lake. The Lake itself was worth the hike. highly recommend it. also first hour there is quite a few water access trails.

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