Backpack to Cosley Lake

Rate this Adventure Montana Chief Mountain Customs

Added by Angela Anderson

This hike makes for a nice stop on a backpacking circuit through Glacier's backcountry, or for just one overnight jaunt when all the popular permits are taken. With minimal elevation gain, the trail takes you through valleys and across bridges, with mountain walls towering above, in the distance.

The hike goes through different wooded areas, open fields, and passes by the ranger's ranch. In no time, you will be able to see the aqua blue colors of Cosley Lake, as you approach the campground for the night.

The campground has pit toilets and a bear bag hanging station, along with a cooking area and 4 flat camp spots with lake access. Dare to take a plunge in the lake’s cool waters, and cleanse your sweaty skin as the sun sets behind the mountains, and the moon and stars shine vibrantly.

Be aware that deer like to graze around the campground, so try to avoid spooking them on your nightly bathroom break. And don’t forget, Leave no Trace.

For more pictures and information, check out my full blog wrap-up of hiking to Cosley Lake.

Pack List

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Backpack
  • Water purifier
  • Water
  • Food
  • Headlamp
  • Water
  • Bear bags (rope) or canister
  • Bear spray
  • Ten Essentials
  • Map and compass
  • Permit
  • Hiking boots
  • Bathing suit (option for cold swim)
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More



Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:



27.2 Miles

Elev. Gain:

475 Feet


Picnic Area

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Added by Angela Anderson

My love of the outdoors started at a young age. I grew up camping with my family and now continue my adventures through hiking, backpacking, climbing, skiing, and traveling to enjoy the outdoors. You can find more about my adventures by heading to

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