Explore the best trails near Libby with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Time of year: September
This is quite the hike. It can be strenuous at times on the way up. I've hiked this one a few times in the past and the cedar groves were beautiful; however, due to wildfires the beginning part of the trail can be grim because of the damage. The damage was significant enough to affect the trail as well, forcing us to backtrack occasionally for getting lost. Thankfully, closer to the lake the forest is mostly untouched. There are also a few river crossings, so prepare to get your feet wet.
We backpacked this trail, and campsites can be found along both sides of lake, some are fairly bigger than others.
The hike itself is not what makes this trail a good one, but the lake. The views from the lake are beautiful. The surrounding rock face is spectacular to look at. For those that enjoy ridge hiking, they might find this lake bit frustrating however. Simply trying to hike around the lake was difficult due to the thick foliage that was often over my head.
All and all its a good hike with some spectacular views, but the difficultly of trying to ridge hike and the damage done by the wildfire is somewhat unpleasant.
Todd H. on Leigh Lake
This trail was fairly strenuous despite the short distance. There appear to have been a few significant rock slides which made portions of the trail a bit treacherous and very difficult to follow, particularly on the return trip. The lake and waterfall were both spectacular and there are many berries in the area ripe for picking.
Rachel D. on Leigh Lake
Decent hike, not many campsites at the lake, pretty steep accent and trail finding made it more difficult.
The Forest Service has a decent map of all of the trails connected in the area that you can pick up in the Libby office. The "knowledgeable" employees were all "in training" when we got there, so a kindly temp and office worder gave us a printout of trail info and I helped myself to map. The FS printout lists this trail as 500 feet vertical, so we chose it. Of course, it is actually 3000 feet if you study the map. Your tax dollars at work. Camping at upper lake is ok but close to water. You will want to try to keep your footprint minimal and not tear branches off live trees for your fire. Use the dead branches or just go up the ridge trail a few hundred yards and collect blow-down wood for your fire. Day hiking from upper lake is great--you can go 2 directions with great views. The trail to the lake is a steady climb with lots of blow-down in a 1-mile stretch just inside wilderness boundary. Keeps out the horsy crowd. Mosquitos increase when you leave the hemlock-cedar forest in lower part. Would rate a 5 but the trail itself is a bit tiresome.