Lava Lake Trail

User Rating 
4
Average: 4 (5 votes)
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This trail begins at the Gallatin River, across from the big pull-out at the 35 MPH Bridge. It follows Cascade Creek through a thick evergreen forest, continuing past a few waterfalls to a forest-lined lake surrounded by rock walls and treeless mountaintops. This is a great hike on a hot summer day, especially if you enjoy a cold but refreshing swim.

Directions: Take Hwy. 191 south into Gallatin Canyon. A few miles past the Storm Castle turnoff, look for a signed entrance on the right, just before the bridge.

For a map of this trail, click hereMap courtesy of Robert Stone's Day Hikes Around Bozeman, Montana

Information

Status:
Open
Lat:
45.40233928574
Lon:
-111.22168830816702

Trail Info

Length
6 miles round trip
Elevation Gain
1600 feet
Duration
3.5 hours

Reviews

Rating 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)
January 13, 2012 - 12:17pm by: richardgeef
This trail is a steep 3 miles to the lake with plenty of obstacles along the way. It runs parallel to Cascade Creek, taking you through thick forest and open fields. Just a heads up, the water temp. will turn you into an ice cube on the hottest days. Once the snow melts off, there's always lots of traffic on the weekends. No idea what it's like mid-winter.
Rating 
5
Average: 5 (1 vote)
June 21, 2012 - 8:18pm by: Jon W
Personally, one of my favorite trails. Close to home and a beautiful lake as a reward.
Rating 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)
September 16, 2012 - 5:31pm by: flyfish66
A good hike and well worth it. Even on a Friday after labor day there was still a crowd, but still a beatiful place.
Rating 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)
June 10, 2013 - 12:29pm by: Maggie Slepian
Maggie Slepian's picture
Scenic lake at the end is totally worth the dozens of people you'll pass by in peak season on the trail. As a bonus, this hike is great year-round—the snow gets packed down pretty quick during the winter, making it doable for people without snowshoes or skis.
Rating 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)
July 8, 2013 - 10:14am by: ach
this was a beautiful, steep hike. we jumped in the lake, which was dizzyingly cold, but then did it again. :) we were mostly alone at our rocky lookout point and stayed to eat, meditate, stare at the lake and valley, and talk. easy, quick hike down, especially with poles.
Rating 
0
No votes yet
August 4, 2014 - 12:56pm by: Morgan
Great glacial lake hike. Beautiful from the bottom up, but popular and a little crowded. Demanding for the East coast family members that aren't acclimated to the altitude.
Rating 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)
August 15, 2014 - 1:29pm by: Isaac Lorton
Isaac Lorton's picture
You won't even notice (maybe) the incline with the amazing scenery on the way up and you won't even think about it when you reach the lake.
Rating 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)
August 19, 2014 - 11:39am by: Johnny Certo
Johnny Certo's picture
Great hike with cold water and refreshing views. What more could you ask for?
Rating 
0
No votes yet
February 2, 2015 - 3:19pm by: Lea Brayton
Lea Brayton's picture
This is one of the most fun snow-shoeing trails, but be sure to bring lots of layers because it cools off substantially by the lake. It's definitely worth it to pack a lunch and hang out with a winter view like this:
Rating 
0
No votes yet
May 1, 2015 - 1:52pm by: Caroline Miller
Caroline Miller's picture
Surprisingly dry considering the inconsistent bouts of moisture! A bit muddy in patches but still as beautiful as always.
Rating 
0
No votes yet
May 13, 2015 - 11:48pm by: Matt
Had the ice melted off of the lake yet?
Rating 
0
No votes yet
November 13, 2015 - 12:41pm by: Colleen Winn
Colleen Winn's picture
One of the most popular hikes in the Gallatin, for good reason. Can get more crowded in the Summer than other trail in the area, but the view of the alpine lake nestled in the Spanish Peaks makes it worth the trek.

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