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

Did Wanless for the first time in mid-October 2017. Beautiful........ but shoulda had snowshoes! Can’t wait to do this one again!

hiking
20 days ago

Hiked this trail over Labor Day 2018. Perfect day, 74 degrees and partly cloudy. About 2.5 miles to the waterfall/old mine which is a good place to break for lunch. Mild to moderate trail incline to this location. We continued to the lake and this is where the trail gets steeper, but the views on the way up and the lake are well worth the additional 2.5 miles.

hiking
21 days ago

We hiked this in light rain. The leaves are started to turn their autumn colors. I'd say in another week or two, it should be full autumn at Rock Lake. By the way, the hike is just under 10 miles in and out.

The hike itself is very beautiful and serene.

Potential to see Bears as we saw some scat on the trail as we hiked.

I would definitely recommend mud or hiking boots, as there are small streams that run through the trail at different spots. Bring a change of socks and proper footwear etc.

Very secluded when we went but there was one other car parked at the base.

Also its a rough ride to get to the trail, so be prepared for about 25 min of unpaved road.

Would definitely agree it's an experienced to moderate path.

backpacking
1 month ago

This trip starts high up on a mountain. If you enjoy a lung buster uphill grade in a full pack this trip is for you. My two Labs and I did an overnight there a couple of nights ago. The weather was beautiful sunny and in the low 70's. As I said the trail starts for the first mile going pretty much straight up. Once you reach the ridge things ease up. you follow a ridge for the next section. The trail weaves back and forth over the ridge giving you views of the Kootenai valley way below and next you are looking into the Cabinets and down at Engle Lake if that is your destination. I had intended to go and spend the night and get up the next morning to explore the Peak which has a trail to the top. But when I got to the lake I found huge patches of unpicked Huckleberries so I had to pick abou13 cups. But getting back to the trail. you follow the ridge and all of a sudden it drops off the side of the mountain going down towards the Kootenay valley. Don't dispear as I did. This will get you to the lake you just have to drop off that side of the mountain to cut through a boulder field. Once you go back up the other side the trail to the lake awaits. It is a steep drop of 3/4 mile down to the lake. It is a pretty lake. Lots of fish were jumping. There are two nice campgrounds on either side of the outlet we camped o the far side it is more level. take plenty of water as there is none along the way. I'm going back again this week to get more huckleberries.

1 month ago

The trail description is incorrect! It's about 3 1/2 (easy) miles to the waterfall and Heildleberg mine, not sure how many miles (2?) from there to the lake but that is where you will encounter the elevation gain. I've sent Altrails a suggestion to edit the info.

backpacking
1 month ago

This is a stunning hike. Our Garmin recorded 5mi each way. Trail is as described by others. We were able to get there in our Prius, road is rocky and potholed but with care it's doable. There is a camp just before the trailhead on the left that has space and horse hitches. Plenty of room for cars and trailers, no drop toilet at trailhead. There's a few wooded group camps along the way and a spot right by the falls. Camping at the lake is tricky if there are others there. Like others said, cross the creek and there's a rugged trail you can follow, it's pretty overgrown but there are a few other spots. Bring a hammock too for more options, there isn't much flat ground. Lake is great to swim in. The group next to us caught 4 fish. Hang your food. Great hike, only downside is lack of flat ground at the lake.

Not for the weak of heart.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked to Rock Lake on August 6, 2018. First, the trail is not 2.7 miles - even one way. My GPS clocked it as 9.6 out and back, with a total elevation gain of 3,100 feet. This is from the gate on F-150A. The first three miles is an old mining road with a steady, gradual incline. The swampy area along the way is perfect for Moose. We believe we heard one but never saw it. And although we never saw a bear, there was enough fresh scat on the trail to keep us aware they were around.

The falls at the three-mile mark is beautiful. There is plenty of old mining equipment around. At this point, the trail makes a dramatic change. Just before you reach the falls, the trail makes a sneaky right, up the mountain. You'll probably pass it along the way. After you admire the falls for a bit, turn around, walk about 15 yards and the trail will be on your left.

For the next mile, you will switch back your way up 1,000 feet in elevation to the lake. I hike, often, so this wasn't hard for me, but those of us who weren't used to the climb had to take a few breaks.

The lake is beautiful. As you arrive, there are two camping spots. I crossed the creek and discovered a nice trail along the left side of the lake. I have read that there is a campsite on the other side of the lake, as well. The trail is not what I would call difficult. We had kids with us as young as ten and they did very well.

This is August, so the afternoons can be hot. I suggest that you start early. We were on the trail for 6.5 hours. That includes lunch and tooling around - five hours actually hiking. Bring bear spray and a little bug spray as well. Some of us got bit a couple of times. By the way, there was little if any smoke.

We did this as a day hike, but I could easily pack it in and stay two or three nights. There are several great peaks to explore and I have heard the fishing ain't bad, either. Me, I could take my Bible and my journal, have a seat on one of those rocks and be content for the day.

This hike was number 85 for me this year. It will certainly end up as one of my top 10 in 2018!

camping
2 months ago

So beautiful!
You get to hike by the stream and then you can swim just below a waterfall, and all on your way up!
Me and my friend camped for 1 night by the lake and it was so perfect! Plus tons of huckleberries to eat on your way up! We also got to see s mamma goat and her two babies!
would definitely recommend this trail!

hiking
2 months ago

About half way up there is a gorgeous waterfall. I thought kids could do the hike to the falls, after that the trail gets more difficult with uneven rockiness, switchbacks and cliffs. The views from the falls to the lake are stunning and there were lots of huckleberries to pick along the way and plenty of shade for rest. The lake is cold and a welcome reward at the top. We didn’t hike up and around the lake, but next time I want to. We had a big group and didn’t see any bears, but we were told it’s grizzly country by the lady at the nearby gas station.

backpacking
2 months ago

I went with my two Labs on an overnight. The weather was dry with temps in the upper 80's. The trail is an old road for the first 3 miles or so. The last section is a trail with switchbacks to the lake. There was plenty of water on this trip between springs, wet meadows and creeks. Perfect for dogs on a hot day. Just before the trail to the lake is an old mine site and a gorgeous waterfall. We reached the lake in late afternoon. The lake is a long one with steep walls of rock surrounding it. There is a campground at the foot of the lake that is capable of supporting 4 - 5 tents. It is the only campsite on the lake. We set up our tent and had a nice leisurely evening. The next morning we took a trip around to the head of the lake on the west side. This entails crossing the creek. I did not find it until our return but if you follow the creek down a little way there is a log jam so you can cross with dry feet. The social trail goes to the head of the lake and through St. Paul pass to St. Paul lake to the North. We did not go all the way to the pass but the trail is navigable. The day was hot enough that I wanted to get down the hot switchbacks before temps really ramped up for the day. I saw a mountain goat, and some dippers at the lake. There were quite a few fish jumping in the water. This would make a very good day hike. It was a fun trip. I'd do it again.

hiking
3 months ago

Pretty steep to the ridge, but worth it for the views. The intersection where the trail splits for the peak and lake was a little hard to find due to the sign showing the same arrow to both and a bit of snow on the ground covering the trail, but we found it easily enough. We had great weather and the views were amazing at the peak. No terrible bugs and surprisingly not much sign of big game except deer tracks on the way out.

hiking
4 months ago

Very beautiful trail and great scenic views! walking to the lake is worth it because of the views, not so much the lake. I recommend bringing extra shoes!

hiking
4 months ago

Favorite hike ever.

backpacking
Monday, October 02, 2017

We visited Engle Lake after making the summit of Engle Peak. The summit is 1 mile from the intersection with the trail to the lake. My GPS showed 700+ feet of descent to the lake and 1,000 up to the peak. I was hauling a 35lb pack so this trail made me perspire a bit.

backpacking
Monday, October 02, 2017

Welp, with a 35lb pack this trail up to the peak should be rated no less than difficult; without the pack, yeah, probably moderate but it's still fairly steep.

The trail is well maintained and simple to follow to the summit. After climbing to the ridge the trail mellows substantially until you reach the Engle Lake spur. From that intersection with the spur trail the peak lies another mile away with another 1,000 of elevation to gain.

We made the summit but the weather blew in as we drew within 500' of the peak and closed down the views. The wind was wickedly bitter so we only stayed atop for less than 10 minutes before JoRayne and I completed our day with a descent to the lake where we pitched camp for the night.

The campsite was nice. The weather not so much: rain, snain, fog, and wind. We stayed dry though and hiked out in the morning over the 1"+ of new snow.

We have to return to get our pics from the top but next trip we'll tackle in one day!

hiking
Monday, October 02, 2017

The lake was beautiful! We made it to the top of Engle Peak but missed out on the views due to fog. Good tough hike :)

backpacking
Thursday, September 28, 2017

My GPS recorded our journey on this trail (#924) at 10.06 miles from the Mckay Creek Rd. TH to the lake campsite. A demanding 20 miles round trip. The NFS sign at the TH claims it's 9 miles to Wanless Lake.

The first 2.35 miles will have your heart pumping and then the slope moderates from that point to about the 4 mile mark. From there to Goat Peak and the Ntl Forest boundary for Kanisku and Kootenai (6.6 miles) the trail slope and features are varied. With a 35lb pack and snow coming into play at 5200 ft, reaching a depth of ~6" at 6400 ft, JoRayne and I were on the trail for 7.5 hrs. About an hour of that time was for breaks.

Once we arrived at Goat Peak we considered climbing the rocky monster but the snow covered slope, mostly boulders and loose rock, would have made the attempt for the summit treacherous so we pushed on toward Wanless Lake.

We wandered down the snow covered trail to the upper lake and beyond; along the way seeing various animal paw (cat and Bear) and hoof (Moose and deer) prints in the snow. A bear also left its partially digested meal on the trail for us to see...croiky! One enormous windfall tree blocked the trail just short of the camp sites.

The lake was calm and the surrounding mountains make you feel really small. We had the place to ourselves and the night was peaceful and dry.

**We did not have access to water until we dropped into the canyon from Goat Peak ridge.

backpacking
Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Great first back packing trip! Beautiful views at the top, hard climb but great trail!

hiking
Monday, September 18, 2017

Engle Peak Trail (#932) is my preferred route to both Engle Peak and Engle Lake. About a mile away from the lake or the peak, the trail forks, and one can choose to go up the peak or down into the lake. The trailhead is about 12 miles off of the highway, along winding gravel roads. You probably don’t need a 4X4 during the summer season, but I would be cautious at other times of the year.

Be prepared for steep start in the trail. You will suffer for about 1.5 miles, then it starts to level out more or less, until you reach the foot of Engle Peak. I’m not going to pretend like you won’t face some ascent, but keep in mind that you are hiking up Engle Peak.

The views for the first 2 miles or so, are marginal, but the rest of the hike has spectacular views on all sides, for most of the hike. On a clear day, you can much of western Montana.

Bear in mind, this is bear country. This is in the Cabinet Mountain Wilderness, and it is pretty much wilderness. There are no facilities of any kind in the area, so come prepared with everything you need.

By the way, the snow is very slow in melting up there. Don’t expect to get up there very early in the year. I would suggest waiting until June at the very least.

hiking
Monday, September 18, 2017

Engle Lake Trail (#926) and Engle Peak Trail (#932) are two different routes to essentially the same choice of destinations. About a mile away from the lake or the peak, the trail forks, and one can choose to go up the peak or down into the lake. This said, both routes involve lots of elevation gain, so be prepared for a lot of steep trail.

To get to either Engle Peak or Engle Lake, you will have to do a bit of clambering over rocky patches. (Keep this in mind, if you are considering bringing your horse up. You can make it most the way up, but one would be ill-advised to try to take their horse across the rocks, and to the end.)

Much of this trail involves switch backs through pine forest. The initial views are marginal, but the views at the last few miles of the hike are well worth the effort. The alpine valley, in which Engle Lake is situated, is stunningly beautiful.

I'm not sure I would rate this trail, "Moderate". It whipped me soundly, and had me hobbling home for a hot bath.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Awesome trip! We backpacked in on 9/1/17 and did an overnight. Only wildlife was a bull moose across the creek at lower trail. The lake is well worth the incline of the last 2.5 miles. Great campsite by the lake. We had it to ourselves. Beautiful - beautiful make sure you get this ecoerienxe

Sunday, August 06, 2017

8 miles round trip. Pretty steep.

backpacking
Monday, June 26, 2017

Super beautiful trail. The climb was really hard at the beginning. Once you got to the saddle it was down hill. A friend and I went on June 24th. We crested the saddle excited to start going down to the lake. Little did we know there was a ton of snow! The trail disappeared and after trying to make our way for an hour without the trail we turned around and climbed out. We camped just below Goat peak. We had a great time and look forward to going when there is no snow.

Monday, June 19, 2017

This out and back proved to be just under 10 miles round trip. One of my favorites so far. I want to come back and stay a night in a tent beside the lake. Waterfalls, River Crossings, Stream Wading, an old abandoned mine, and of course the alpine lake. This hike has it all!! Definitely a challenge on the vertical climb.

hiking
Thursday, June 15, 2017

Attempted to get to the peak on 6/14/17 only to be met with LOTS of snow. Got around 1 mile from the summit but the trail was hard to follow and some 10 to 15 ft snow drifts were difficult to make it around. Before we even reached the ridge line, we were finding ourselves in snow and had to guess where the trail was. Ended up going down the wrong trail for 3/4 of a mile due to The deep snow and not being able to see the trail. My advice is hug the ridge line and you will be fine. The first 1.5 miles of the trail is very steep but eventually evens out on the ridge line. That being said the views are incredible and made even better with the remaining snow. Will definitely return again but will wait a couple months.

hiking
Sunday, March 26, 2017

Great hike! The trail has streams running along it in the early parts of the year and we always fill our canteens up in these so no need to bring a ton of water with you. The trail itself is pretty steep and you will think you're almost to the top when you really aren't.. It will play tricks on you like that. You can break the hike up into multiple days to make it less difficult and spend the night at the upper lake. The rainbow trout here are so delicious!!! There is snow here until late summer which may make it difficult if you hike early in the year, so always be prepared. We loved the hike and will do it again soon!

hiking
Tuesday, September 27, 2016

I completed this hike in late September. The color of the autumn leaves, and the scent in the air, was magical!

Think of this as two different hikes. The hike from the beginning of the trail head to the waterfall is a relatively easy hike with smooth paths, easy inclines, and nothing daunting for the casual hiker. The hike from the waterfall to the lake is a bit more challenging. About 20 meters from the waterfall, there is a trail heading eastward up the mountain. You might miss it at first, because you are looking at the AWESOME waterfall ahead. The trail is a switchback with some considerable elevation gain from the waterfall to the lake. The views from this point on are just amazing! The lake and surrounding mountains are stunningly beautiful.

I was hiking alone, and met a black bear coming down the trail. I moved aside, and it moved aside, and we got past each other without incident. (This is a grizzly habitat, so you might bring some bear spray and leave your picnic basket at home.)

The hike from the waterfall to the lake is well worth the effort to get to the top. This hike is going on to my list of favorites.

backpacking
Friday, July 01, 2016

Great hike. Lots of viewpoints. A couple of mining buildings 5-6 bridges and a couple of water crossings without bridges. Extra pair of shoes was helpful. Day hikers saw a baby grizzly earlier in the day we only saw traces. Oh and only smart dog owners please. Not a fun way to end a hike. Enough said. 4 miles into the hike there is an amazing waterfall and old mining shaft. Kyle thanks so much for the tip on retracing and finding the trail on the side of the mountain. This is where the trail moves from mild to moderate. You gain a fair amount of altitude in the last 1.5 miles . I had a separate app running and it had a total of 11 miles out and back instead of the listed 10. It is worth every step. We had the lake to ourselves and this was on a weekend.

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