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.

Really a beautiful hike. If you go out and back, you can probably do it in about 7 hours. But it’s tough the mile or so before the lake. Going downhill sucked after leaving the lake. Which is clean AF btw. Overall beautiful but may start hating life the last hour. I don’t hike that long very much!

Worth the steep part between miles 3.5 and 4.5. Glad I wore good over the ankle hiking boots.

backpacking
22 days ago

The trail in is fairly well maintained. Overall, it is a pretty easy hike. My 8 year old was able to pack all of his gear without any problems. The only reason I'm not giving it a 5 star rating is the bugs. They were so bad. One of my daughters ended up with 70 mosquito bites on her back. Bring gallons of bug spray.

hiking
27 days ago

Although the beginning of the hike is just another "up the canyon" hike, the real fun (and work!) starts about 3.5 miles in where you suddenly start a quite steep, exhilerating ascent (about 1,500 ft within about a mile), followed by a slight descent down to the drop-dead-gorgeous Canyon Lake. Although you hear Canyon Creek for most of the way, you don't actually get to see it, except at 0.5, 1, 2,, 3.5, and (at the lake) 5 miles in. Most of way is actually in shade. The trail seems to have been rerouted since the recording of the website track, since there are periodic deviations from this track, which may account for the fact that the round trip is closer to 10 miles than the 8.4 miles mentioned in the description.

Great trail lots of beautiful sights. Wish it was closer to the creek

Well-maintained trail. Only a bit of water on the trail in some spots. The lake is beautiful! We took the spur to Kidney Lake, which requires a semi-difficult river crossing and a steeper incline. But worth it.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail with a huge payoff. A little route-finding and overgrown in places, but not bad. Canyon Lake is gorgeous! And perfect for a brisk dip. Recommend.

hiking
1 month ago

The destination has awesome views! The trail is a bit overgrown and could use some cleaning up and marking. Definitely need to pay close attention to stay on the trail.
•Bring sturdy hiking boots (LOTS of rocks)
•Bring lots of mosquito repellent (they were the worst I’d ever experienced)
•Bring GPS capable device
We had a very tough hike starting out around 2:30 in the afternoon in high 80’s. If hiking in the summer, early in the day would be a better idea.
Over all a great, physically challenging hike. I’d do it again under more favorable conditions.

Safe trekking!!

Beautiful! Nice views at the beginning with delicious huckleberrys. Varied surroundings and changes in elevation with lots of streams flowing across the trail and even down the trail itself. We walked across several logs to get across the shallow streams. The trail can be hard to find at times especially in the wet areas. The lake is stunning, but the real jem in my opinion is the waterfall that spills from the lake.

backpacking
1 month ago

Great Trail. Took my 5 year old son with one of his big brothers. My 5 year old had no problems making it to the lake.

hiking
2 months 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
2 months 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

hiking
2 months ago

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
4 months ago

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

backpacking
9 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
10 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!

hiking
Wednesday, July 12, 2017

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!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

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

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

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

backpacking
Monday, July 10, 2017

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
Thursday, July 06, 2017

Fairly steep incline but I'm not in shape.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

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.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Worth it with the waterfalls and beautiful lake!

backpacking
Thursday, June 22, 2017

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

backpacking
Thursday, June 22, 2017

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.

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