Wanless Lake

Noxon, Montana

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Hikers who simply want to get quickly to a mountain lake won’t appreciate this hike. Many other lakes in the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness are easier to reach. But this trip is worth the effort, with lofty views, cutthroat trout, and a little less competition for a campsite than the more accessible areas. The area does, however, attract quite a few horse packers. Signs warn that stock is not allowed to come right into Wanless Lake, but sometimes the signs mysteriously disappear. The trail gradually gains 3,500 feet to Goat Peak Ridge before snaking down to a series of lakes leading to Wanless, the largest lake in the wilderness.
100 Hikes in the Inland Northwest

DESCRIPTION FROM:

100 Hikes in the Inland Northwest

by Rich Landers & Spokane Mountaineers (The Mountaineers Books)

Hikers who simply want to get quickly to a mountain lake won’t appreciate this hike. Many other lakes in the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness are easier to reach. But this trip is worth the effort, with lofty views, cutthroat trout, and a little less competition for a campsite than the more accessible areas.

The area does, however, attract quite a few horse packers. Signs warn that stock is not allowed to come right into Wanless Lake, but sometimes the signs mysteriously disappear. The trail gradually gains 3,500 feet to Goat Peak Ridge before snaking down to a series of lakes leading to Wanless, the largest lake in the wilderness.

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

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Noxon
Distance: 18
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate to Difficult
Duration: 2 days minimum
Season: July through September
Trailhead Elevation: 2,900 feet
Top Elevation: 6,380 feet
Local Contacts: Cabinet Mountains Wilderness; Kootenai National Forest, Cabinet District
Local Maps: USGS Howard Lake, Goat Peak, Noxon Rapids Dam
Driving Directions: Directions to Wanless Lake

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Apr 2018