Kootenai Creek Trail

Bitterroot National Forest, Montana
Elevation Gain743ft
Trailhead Elevation3,575ft
Elevation Min/Max3574/3959ft
Elevation Start/End3575/3575ft

Kootenai Creek Trail

Kootenai Creek Trail is a hiking trail in Ravalli County, Montana. It is within Bitterroot National Forest. It is 1.5 miles long and begins at 3,575 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is three miles with a total elevation gain of 743 feet. Near the trailhead there are a parking and a restrooms.

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Kootenai Creek Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Scott Steinberg
"A longtime favorite of local equestrians, day hikers, and rock climbing enthusiasts, the lower miles of the Kootenai Creek Trail see as much use in one summer weekend as some trails see all year. The trail was extensively impacted by the 6,700-acre Kootenai Creek Fire of 2009—the first large wildfire to affect the drainage in recent memory— during which nearly 5 miles of formerly heavy bottomland forest along the route were opened up to varying degrees. The unburned headwaters remain popular backcountry destinations; indeed, the Kootenai Creek lakes are blazing-blue jewels set in some of the nicest country the Bitterroot Mountains have to offer. Starting west from the parking lot, you follow a gentle grade into a deep, shaded defile whose moss-covered cliffs carry and deflect the sound of rushing water. The trail--which tends to gain elevation in short but steep increments--remains close to Kootenai Creek as it passes a concrete headgate and continues upstream. Old cottonwood trees crowd the watercourse, leaning over the frigid waters in a perilous bid for sunlight."
Robert Stone
"Kootenai Creek features a dynamic display of raging whitewater, cascades, and small waterfalls. The Kootenai Creek Trail along the creek is a popular, heavily used hiking trail. The path stays close to the picturesque creek, winding through a narrow, steep-walled canyon. The trail continues along the north side of the creek for nine miles to the four Kootenai Lakes, gaining 2,600 feet in elevation. This hike follows the easier first three miles of the trail into the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness."

Trail Information

Bitterroot National Forest
Nearby City
Bitterroot National Forest
Lolo National Forest
Local Contacts
U.S.G.S. Saint Mary Peak and Saint Joseph Peak
Local Maps

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