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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Lincoln Lake, MT

9 1 0
Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List MT > Western
5 of 5 by 1
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 16.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,231 feet
Elevation Gain 1,627 feet
Accumulated Gain 3,517 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 8 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 34.09
Interest Perennial Waterfall & Perennial Creek
Backpack Yes
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
9  2017-06-29 friendofThunderg
Author friendofThundergod
author avatar Guides 18
Routes 278
Photos 7,651
Trips 711 map ( 8,339 miles )
Age 37 Male Gender
Location AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Sep, Jun, May, Jul
Sun  6:13am - 6:46pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
A Superb Subalpine Destination
by friendofThundergod

Likely In-Season!
Lincoln Lake is a lesser traveled, but superb destination in Glacier National Park. There is a backcountry campground at the lake and the subalpine gem sits at the base of the park's tallest waterfall, Beaver Chief Falls (1,344 feet). There are two ways one can reach lake, however, the Lincoln Lake Trail is the most popular/preferred route in comparison to the longer and less maintained route from the South Boundary Trail.

The Lincoln Lake Trail starts with a brisk climb up a well maintained trail to its high point along Snyder Ridge. One will gain about 1700 feet of elevation during this initial leg burning ascent. There are not very many views to be had along this section, however, some brief views of the snow covered ranges to the south occur on occasion through some small breaks in the forest. After the initial climb, the trail begins its short descent to Lincoln Creek. The trail from Lincoln Creek to the lake can be a little marshy and overgrown and is characterized by a continuous, but gentle uphill grade to the lake. As one nears the cirque that houses Lincoln Lake, the views open up a little more and one begins to start seeing the sheer walls that contain the lake and the Lincoln Creek drainage. The backcountry site at the lake is one of the nicer campground settings in the park and is highlighted by a well planned, cooking and hanging area that offers a jaw dropping setting to cook and eat your meals from. A backcountry permit is required for an overnight stay. Return the same way you came, or make a more ambitious loop utilizing the South Boundary Trail.

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2017-08-06 friendofThundergod
  • goat haunt map st mary map mcdonald map
    area related
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Most recent Triplog Review
Lincoln Lake
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
It only took two day hikes to realize that I wanted to get into Glacier's backcountry, so after my second hike on the first day, I headed to the backcountry office to secure an overnight permit for Lincoln Lake.

Lincoln Lake possesses the park's largest water fall at 1,344 feet, however, the lake does not get the same fanfare as some of the other backpacking destinations in the park do, but its certainly a worthy destination. The park lists Lincoln Lake as a strenuous hike due to the steep climb in the beginning to clear Snyder Ridge and the less maintained/overgrown stretch to the lake along Lincoln Creek. The aforementioned coupled with the fact that the hike is best done as an out and back, may also contribute to its anonymity.

I got to the trailhead pretty early, but waited out a little system to pass through before starting my short backpack. The climb up Snyder Ridge will certainly wake one up, however, its really not too bad and the trail is in excellent shape for that portion. After clearing Snyder Ridge, there were a series of buggy drainages that the trail traversed and dropped down and out of before the final descent to Lincoln Creek. As the trail made its steady climb up to Lincoln Lake, it became a little over grown with bear grass and cow parsnip, but it was not too bad. Lincoln Lake was a tremendous destination, with perhaps one of the more scenic "kitchens" in Glacier National Park. One can sit there watching the tumbling falls and listening to the low thunder that resonates throughout the entire cirque while enjoying an afternoon snack, dinner, or morning coffee. I had the lake to myself until early evening when a nice couple and fellow history teacher from Massachusetts arrived. A solo backpacker would arrive a little later. They were all good like minded individuals and I had no problem sharing the lake with them. In fact, I will admit it was kind of comforting to share the lake with others on my first night in Glacier's backcountry.

The hike out was pretty standard, but a little wet due to the tall grasses and morning dew. I hiked out with the solo backpacker for the benefit of being a little louder through the tall grasses that defined most of the trail.

Final Notes

Lincoln Lake proved to be a perfect introductory backpack into Glacier and a great confidence builder/warm-up for my five day solo trip into the Belly River area in the coming days. There is a looping option for this hike, however, most beta seems to suggest the hike up from the Flathead River is pretty rugged/overgrown and probably only for the more determined hikers. The backcountry campground at Lincoln Lake is superb and regularly gets four stars by its visitors. There are no fires at Lincoln Lake, but there is a pit toilet and great kitchen area. There are only three sites available at anytime on the lake, so one should not expect too much of a crowd at this lake. The nice views on this hike will not really start until you near the lake, as the majority of the trail runs through thick forest.

Permit $$

Glacier National Park
$30 per car(week), $12 bike/foot(week), $50 annual View Current Entrance Fees

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
The trailhead for Lincoln Lake is located along the Going to the Sun Road and will appear a little less than two miles before the Lake McDonald Lodge, if entering the park from the west Glacier entrance.
page created by HAZ_Hikebot on Aug 06 2017 8:25 am
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