Rock Island Lake

Cooke City, Montana 59020

Rock Island Lake

Rock Island Lake Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"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."

More Rock Island Lake Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Day Hikes in The Beartooth Mountains (Day Hike Books)
Robert Stone
View more trails from this guide book
"Rock Island Lake is a sprawling 1 56-acre lake in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness that is stocked with cutthroat and brook trout. The lake sits in a flat, forested terrain at an elevation of 8,1 77 feet. There are numerous wooded islands and primitive campsites. The well-maintained trail gains little elevation for a relaxing day outing. The hike begins by the Clarks Fork Canyon Falls and a large grassy picnic area on the banks of the Clarks Fork." Read more

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Trail Information

Cooke City
Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
2 to 3 hours
USGS Fossil Lake; RMS Cooke City– Cutoff Mountain; and at least 1 wilderness- wide map
Local Maps