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Hiking Trails


The Superior, Montana area has over 21 trails covering over 4,000 miles, winding through the stunning Northern Rockies. Our hiking trails are suitable for all skill and ability levels.*

You can spend a few hours on short, easy trails, such as Cliff Lake. Or, take longer, more difficult trails, like Lolo Peak Trail. And, if mountain biking is your preference, you'll find that the Superior area has numerous biking trails to choose from, as well.

*Regardless of the trails you select, remember, you're in bear country. Be alert, make noise, and carry bear spray.
Difficult Hiking

Lolo Peak Trail

The Lolo Peak Trail (#1311) is an 11.1 mile out-and-back trail. Elevation gain is 4,169 feet. It's rated as difficult, but the hike is definitely worth the effort: It offers spectacular views of the Selway-Bitteroot Wilderness, the Missoula Valley, and, in the distance, the Mission Mountains.

The first four miles of the hike take you to the top of Carlton Ridge, above Carlton Lake. This is an excellent location to relax or camp for the night.

From Carlton Ridge, you can choose to continue to Lolo Peak (2.5 miles) or North Summit Peak (1.5 miles). Note that getting to either of these peaks requires quite a bit of scrambling.

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Moderate Hiking

Cliff Lake Trail

The Cliff Lake Trail (#100) is a 2.8 mile out-and-back trail. Elevation gain is a little over 600 feet. It's rated as moderate.

The hike, which starts at Diamond Lake, offers stunning views of Diamond Lake, Torino Peak, Eagle Cliff, and Cliff Lake. Numerous wildflowers along the trail add to the beauty of this hike.

You do have the option of camping at an undeveloped campsite near Cliff Lake. In addition, the 42-acre lake provides excellent trout fishing opportunites in a beautiful Northern Rockies setting.

Moderate Hiking

Heart and Pearl Lakes Trail

The Heart and Pearl Lakes Trail is a 7.2 mile out-and-back trail. Elevation gain is 1,627 feet. It is rated as moderate.

The hike takes about five hours to complete. The Heart Lake portion of the trail runs parallel to the south fork of Trout Creek. Camping opportunities are available along the way. Expect to see beautiful views of scenic alpine lakes... and mountain goats.

Note that it is a relatively popular set of hiking trails--Heart Lake Trail (#171) and Pearl Lake Trail (#175)--so it can get busy, at times. Dogs are allowed.

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Reviews

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Perfect mid-week overnight trip. There were no other campers Wednesday through Friday and the hike was easy enough to backpack with zero training or conditioning. The entire trail provides scenic views and we had one mountain goat visitor, but the goats were not pesky at all. A perfect beginner backpack trip.
Heart and Pearl Lakes Trail. Donita Falk-Torres, All Trails
Stunning hike with not one but two scenic lakes to admire. You ascend through near-vertical fields of wildflowers, picking yummy berries along the way, passing waterfalls, and then slipping into the forest until you reach the second lake. It’s worth continuing at this point to the big field where the trail peters out into an open field with fantastic views of Cliff Lake and the remains of winter snows behind you. Of note: the 15 mile drive from I-90 took us 45+ minutes with our truck camper on despite dry conditions, and had a few harrying moments. Tons of honeybees and birds but only one single mosquito. At the trailhead there is a restroom and a trail down to another waterfall.
Diamond Lake and Cliff Lake Trail. Jennifer Michaels, All Trails
Definitely Hard. At Carlton lake I just turned right and headed straight up. Saw no sign of a trail to peak. First peak is a false peak. It’s an easy down and up to Lolo peak. Last week of August, no bugs. Bring tons of water as the last bit is brutal. Did up and back in 7 hours. Would not recommend dogs personally with the rocks to the peak. Stunning views at top.
Lolo Peak Trail. Clint Ford, All Trails