Big Sand Lake

Lolo, Montana 59847

Big Sand Lake

Big Sand Lake Professional Review and Guide

"Big Sand Lake is hands-down the most popular day hike in the Elk Summit area. The lake—as popular a stopover for moose as for hikers—is seemingly one of the few places outside of a national park where you can regularly fish within four or five casting distances of the ungainly creatures.

The continuation of the trail over Blodgett Pass leaves open the possibility of a longer point-to-point hike with end points in two different states."

Nearby Trails

More Big Sand Lake Professional Reviews and Guides

"Tucked away in the northeast corner of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, this rugged and fun loop trip provides hikers with a fine sampling of the varied attractions of this huge
preserve. The hike offers excellent wildlife-watching opportunities, especially for moose and a variety of birds.

There are superb views from high ridges along the main trail and two lookouts that can be reached by relatively short side trips. You will go through many miles of old burn areas, which aren’t particularly scenic, but which are common in this wilderness and offer a good study in how nature recovers from fire. One of the trip’s main focal points, Big Sand Lake, offers both excellent scenery and fine camping. A long day hike can be made from here to the alpine glories around Blodgett Pass on the crest of the
rugged Bitterroot Divide."

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
7.0–8.0 hours
Best from late June through September
Clearwater National Forest
Local Contacts
USGS 7.5-minute series: Cedar Ridge, ID; Jeanette Mountain, ID
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Nov 2018