Hike to Lava Lake

Montana Lava Lake Trail

Added by

Lava Lake is a popular hike off of US 191 in the Gallatin Canyon. Only a short drive from Bozeman, MT the lake is a popular place to fish, swim, or just relax.

The 6 mile round trip to Lava Lake is a steady climb that runs beside Cascade Creek through the Lee Metcalf Wilderness. The trail starts at the Gallatin River and continues upward through dense evergreen forest. There are no confusing intersections but is quite rocky and considered to be moderate in difficulty.

Due to the dense forest, views are limited until you get to Lava Lake. In the first mile you will walk by a summer cabin, as you get closer to the lake the trail begins to have switchbacks and then opens up to some small meadows. Snow may still be present on into May, and the water is cold and refreshing throughout the summer.

Pack List

  • Bear Spray
  • Hiking Shoes
  • Day Pack, Snacks, Water
Read More

How to Get There

5 months ago

Sweet hike in winter

I hiked back here in January with my friend. The trail was nice and bootpacked. We brought snowshoes and strapped them on once we got to the frozen snow-covered lake and shoed across the lake in the fresh powder. Amazing view. A bit windy at the lake. The hike is not bad.

5 months ago

12 months ago

Great hike Better Pay Off

Pretty steep incline most the way up. About 3 miles to the lake. The bridge you cross is about a mile from the top. Great swimming in august

12 months ago

Added by Dwayne Parton

Travel. Outdoors. Lifestyle. I completed a thru hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2014. I loved the lifestyle it afforded. Now I live in a van with my dog Bobby traveling across the country. Life's a journey, so let's participate.

Activities:

Chillin, Camping, Fishing, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

6 Miles

Elev. Gain:

1600 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildlife

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

More Adventures Nearby

Hike to Two Medicine Pass

Montana / Two Medicine Lake

Starting at the South Shore trailhead on Two Medicine Lake (parking available), you'll follow the lake through alternating forest and meadows and eventually cross a small suspension bridge.

Stephen Dagley
35 Saves

Kayak to Wild Horse Island

Montana / Dayton Boat Launch

There are many boat ramps to access Flathead Lake, but the closest location to Wild Horse Island is Dayton, MT.

Derek Vander Ark
14 Saves

Backpack to Black Lake

Montana / Camp Misery

Begin at Camp Misery (elev. 5,717 ft). This is a total misname by the way! It should be titled Camp On The Way To Awesomeness! Anyway, head .6 miles on Trail 8 to the intersection of trail.

Bryan Young
30 Saves