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Lincoln Lake
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mini location map2017-06-29
9 by photographer avatarfriendofThundergod
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Lincoln LakeWestern, MT
Western, MT
Backpack avatar Jun 29 2017
Backpack16.53 Miles 3,517 AEG
Backpack16.53 Miles2 Days         
3,517 ft AEG
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
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.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Lincoln Lake 76-100% full 76-100% full
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