Leigh Lake

Libby, Montana

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1 Review
4 out of 5
It’s almost sinful that such a stunning area is so easy to reach. Leigh Lake is a spectacular alpine area accessible to virtually anyone who can negotiate a 20 percent uphill grade for nearly 1.5 miles. Problem is, this quick access has made this granite basin the most popular area in the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness. In July and August, this is not always a place of solitude. To help protect the fragile shores of the lake from admirers, the Forest Service has banned stock use and prohibits camping within 300 feet of the water. This leaves only a few bivouac sites suitable for sleeping, and they’re on the rock benches above the lake to the north. Check with the Kootenai National Forest for updates on restrictions.
100 Hikes in the Inland Northwest

DESCRIPTION FROM:

100 Hikes in the Inland Northwest

by Rich Landers & Spokane Mountaineers (The Mountaineers Books)

It’s almost sinful that such a stunning area is so easy to reach. Leigh Lake is a spectacular alpine area accessible to virtually anyone who can negotiate a 20 percent uphill grade for nearly 1.5 miles. Problem is, this quick access has made this granite basin the most popular area in the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness.

In July and August, this is not always a place of solitude. To help protect the fragile shores of the lake from admirers, the Forest Service has banned stock use and prohibits camping within 300 feet of the water. This leaves only a few bivouac sites suitable for sleeping, and they’re on the rock benches above the lake to the north. Check with the Kootenai National Forest for updates on restrictions.

©  Rich Landers & Spokane Mountaineers/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Libby
Distance: 3
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 3 hours or overnight
Season: Mid-June through early October
Trailhead Elevation: 4,180 feet
Top Elevation: 5,265 feet
Local Contacts: Cabinet Mountains Wilderness; Kootenai National Forest, Libby District
Local Maps: USGS Snowshoe Peak
Driving Directions: Directions to Leigh Lake

Recent Trail Reviews

9/1/2009
1

No disrespect intended for the author of the trail guide here, but let me add a perspective. This trail is quite difficult, and it is considerably longer than 3 miles. There has been some land and rock slides that have made the trail nearly impassible in more than one place without exposing yourself to significant risk. There is not a lot to see on the trail until you reach the lake - which is magnificent. But unless you're a mountain goat, you have to take his first sentence "it's a shame this trail is so easy..." with a grain of salt. It is anything but. There is also a big mining reclamation project in the area and you should expect road delays of up to an hour as you make your way to the trailhead.



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Apr 2018