Rock Island Lake

Cooke City, Montana

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This is an easy day hike or overnighter to an unusually large, forest-lined lake. Rock Island Lake differs from many high-elevation lakes. Instead of forming a small, concise oval in a cirque, it sprawls through fl at and forested terrain, seemingly branching off in every direction. Visitors can spend an entire day just walking around it, which is about the only way to realize how big it really is. To get to Rock Island Lake, take Trail 3 from the Clarks Fork Trailhead to the junction with Trail 566 to Rock Island Lake. Turn right (east) here for about another half mile to the lake. The trail is well used and well maintained the entire way, with only one noteworthy hill (near Kersey Lake). The 1988 fi res scorched the area around Kersey Lake but missed Rock Island Lake.
Hiking the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness

by Bill Schneider (Falcon Guides)

This is an easy day hike or overnighter to an unusually large, forest-lined lake.

Rock Island Lake differs from many high-elevation lakes. Instead of forming a small, concise oval in a cirque, it sprawls through fl at and forested terrain, seemingly branching off in every direction. Visitors can spend an entire day just walking around it, which is about the only way to realize how big it really is.

To get to Rock Island Lake, take Trail 3 from the Clarks Fork Trailhead to the junction with Trail 566 to Rock Island Lake. Turn right (east) here for about another half mile to the lake. The trail is well used and well maintained the entire way, with only one noteworthy hill (near Kersey Lake). The 1988 fi res scorched the area around Kersey Lake but missed Rock Island Lake.

© 2015 Bill Schneider/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Cooke City
Distance: 6
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 2 to 3 hours
Local Maps: USGS Fossil Lake; RMS Cooke City– Cutoff Mountain; and at least 1 wilderness- wide map
Driving Directions: Directions to Rock Island Lake

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Apr 2018