Lava Lake Trail
Lava Lake Trail
4.5
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Duration: More than 3 hours
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles51 reviews
Excellent
33
Very good
16
Average
2
Poor
0
Terrible
0

jold85
Houston, TX12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022 • Couples
This hike was worth every minute. It is steadily up hill and runs along the creek for most of the hike. Had to cross the creek a few times but was manageable. The hike up and back is a nice walk through the trees but the real gem of this hike is the lake. We spent quite a bit of time exploring the lake and enjoying our picnic lunches. We went in early june and there was snow and a little ice near the top. There was also some ice in the lake itself. This has to be a must do if you are in the area.
Written 3 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

OhioAmber
Johnstown, OH20 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022 • Family
Gorgeous view at the top making the challenging hike well worth it. Kids are 11 and 9 - very active and no problems on the way up. We had lunch at the top and took a dip in the lake - very cold but seemed to put the 9 year-old in the best mood ever 😁 No wildlife sightings other than a snake on the way down. Would love to do this hike regularly if I lived here.
Written 3 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SkolVikings
Medina, MN328 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021
Beautiful hike through the forest leading to a pristine alpine lake. My GPS put us at 7.1 miles round trip and around 1600 feet elevation gain. Definitely moderate to hard depending on fitness level. The trail is rocky at parts so watch your footing. Definitely worth the reward of the lake at the end. Many others were swimming and fishing. We didn't dive in but it was certainly nice to get our feet wet in the cool mountain water after hiking. Go early to get a parking spot and bring bear spray even though the trail is well traveled as we saw signs of bear activity.
Written 28 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

vlrain
Palo Alto, CA76 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
Arrive by 9am to get a parking spot by the trailhead (or park further down the highway and walk up) and for the cooler weather/fewer bugs. This is a beautiful hike - 3 miles up and into the mountains to a beautiful lake; 3 miles back down. It took us 2 hours to go up - I had to stop for photo opps, aka breaks, along the way; 1 hour to come down. It's pretty rocky, so wear good shoes. That said, there were locals going up wearing flip flops carrying picnic baskets - I guess it's all what you're used to. Young children were climbing, dogs, parents carrying babies, trail runners - it's a hike for everyone.
Written 4 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chrisannandroger
Bismarck, ND170 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020 • Couples
This hike was strenuous, but ohhhhhhhh sooooo beautiful. It took us 5 hours, which included our rest and relaxation time at Lava Lake.

The sights and sounds of the river, accompanied us on the hike, and they added so much to the enjoyment of the trek. It was all so peaceful, as we hiked among the pines, up, up, up to Lava Lake.

We were delighted by all the autumn colors on the floor of the pine forest. And we found ourselves looking down often, because the path is very rocky and covered with tree roots. The path up is challenging, because of the rocks and roots, and the climb, and the elevation.

But once we reached the top and the forest opened up and the alpine lake appeared before us, it was all so very worth it.

And so we rested and reveled in the stunning sight. And then we carefully descended back down the mountain, feeling exhilarated and grateful for what we had accomplished on that day.
Written 3 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

pfefmeister
San Francisco, CA4,174 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020 • Couples
This 3 mile one way hike is a challenge, as it relentlessly climbs uphill over rocks and tree roots. It took us 3 1/2 hours up and back, with an elevation gain of 1,500’. The lake is way bigger than you would expect, with nice boulders to sit on and admire the view. Back at the trailhead, I was pooped.
Written 28 July 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Spirit Horse
13 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2019
When I read the reviews about the rocky trail I said we've done "rocky" in Idaho. This is truly rocky. It is a steady uphill climb. The trail is through forest. You can hear the creek but usually can't see it. There are no scenic views. That is why I gave this hike only a 4. I never did recognize the 'meadow' in the description of the hike. The creek and its riffles at the log bridge crossing are very pretty. The switch backs are steep, but we are used to Idaho mountains. It took us 2 hours to get to the lake. The lake is very pretty. We went mid week September and there were about 15 other folks there but we all dispersed and they were not a problem. My walking app calculated 8 miles, but we walked 3/4 of the way down the left side of the lake until we were stopped by lots of scree. We spent over an hour at the lake wandering around. The rockiness and steepness of the switchbacks on the way down required concentration. But the rocks were less of a problem past the log bridge as the trail flattened out more. We made it down in 1 hour 45 minutes. SUPER easy access to the trail head. Paved highway all the way. Good parking for big trucks. Even some parking for horse trailers. Pulling back onto the busy highway at the curve can be a bit of a wait and a dash. Definitely would recommend this.
Written 16 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

crismargo
Chicago, IL41 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019
This is a steep, rocky hike to a most beautiful lake up high in the mountains. All along we were in earshot of a dashing stream and surrounded by lodge pole pine forest. A great introduction to Gallatin National Forest. We had no trouble finding the trail head; all the trails in the National Forest seem to be very well marked. My family, ages 9 to 75, found it a demanding hike, but we all made it in good shape!
Written 4 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AlexanderDelarge
Omaha, NE861 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019
5.5 mile RT hike to Lava Lake. This was my favorite hike in Big Sky. I did Lone Peak, Beehive Basin and Storm Castle and thought the views at Lava Lake were by far the best we saw all week. The lake is nice a large which allows for many people to view it in relative peace. The best views are from the rock wall you come across as you first see Lava Lake from the trail. We did the hike in 2 hrs exactly not counting the 30 minutes we spent at the top. We went hard and I hike in the RMNP at much higher elevation (14,000 ft) but most people will take 2 hrs going up.
Written 19 August 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Julie
23 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019
Lava lake is beautiful but the hike to get there was through forest and not much to see except for the nice river running along the trail. I rated this trail low because it was fairly crowded and so many people brought dogs. With all of the dogs off leash, it got annoying to have to pass so many wet, slobbering dogs that run up to you. Our children are all comfortable with big dogs but this trail would be unpleasant for anyone afraid of dogs. We also passed 2 people carrying guns. No idea why anyone would need a gun on this crowded hike and they were clearly not overnight backpackers. Overall, did not enjoy the people here and found other hikes to be more pleasant.
Written 28 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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LAVA LAKE TRAIL: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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