A stiff hike leads to a beautiful alpine lake popular with fly fishermen.

Statistics

2 - 3

hrs

503

m

503

m

8

max┬░

Difficulty

FATMAP difficulty grade

Severe

Description

Lava Lake is a gorgeous lake in a narrow alpine valley below Jumbo Mountain.

The rocky Cascade Creek trail provides access to the lake, climbing "through a thick evergreen forest, continuing past a few waterfalls to a forest-lined lake surrounded by rock walls and treeless mountaintops," according to [OutsideBozeman.com](https://outsidebozeman.com/trails-tours/hiking-trails/lava-lake-trail).

OutsideBozeman also notes that the rocks can make the climb technical and strenuous. The trail climbs 1,650 vertical feet in about 2.7 miles one-way.

"The trail climbs steadily and consistently for almost the entire distance.

Although it is rarely steep, it is unrelenting," writes [MontanaHikes.com](https://www.montanahikes.com/lava-lake/). Similar to Golden Trout Lake, Lava Lake is a popular destination for anglers.

The lake is renowned for "foot-long wild rainbow trout," according to MontanaHikes.com.

And like other alpine lakes in the area, this hike could be turned into a short backpacking trip.

This could also be used as the first stop on a much longer excursion deep into the wilderness. **Note:** The Big Sky area is renowned as prime grizzly bear country.

Signs at every trailhead warn that bears are highly active in the area.

To mitigate the risk of bear encounters, make plenty of noise while hiking, try to hike with a group of people, and consider attaching a bear bell to your backpack.

Also, make certain that you carry bear spray with you every time you hike, in case you do get into an encounter with a grizzly. Sources: https://www.visitbigsky.com/get-inspired/big-sky-stories/7-best-hikes-in-big-sky-montana https://www.discoverbigsky.com/best-hikes-big-sky-montana/ https://outsidebozeman.com/trails-tours/hiking-trails/lava-lake-trail https://www.montanahikes.com/lava-lake/