Lava Lake (Cascade Creek)

#1 of 277 trails in Gallatin National Forest

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The Lava Lake (Cascade Creek) trail is a 6 mile, moderately rated, out and back trail that climbs 1600 ft to a beautiful lake setting that is surrounded by the Spanish Peaks. Located 30 min south of Bozeman, MT, the trail is primarily used for hiking and is easily accessible from May until Oct.

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Tell Kuehn (209)

7 Completed3 Reviews

Is a fairly straight forward hike on a well traveled trail. It is fairly rocky the entire way. Awesome lake though.

Sherry H. (200)

Absolutely Beautiful!

Hugo Portu (46)

1 Completed2 Reviews

Some interesting data for you. Lake is N 45 22.793 W 111 14.699 Elevation 7,150 feet Accuracy + - 13 feet Trail starts at

Hugo Portu (46)

1 Completed2 Reviews

Some interesting data for you. Lake is N 45 22.793 W 111 14.699 Elevation 7,150 feet Accuracy + - 13 feet Trail starts at

Dalton Smith (210)

5 Completed5 Reviews

Great little day hike or overnighter. This trail is fairly populated from the bozeman crowd. Also as of summer 2014 the lake is lifeless when it comes to fish. Not a bad hike to do with family. Good views.

Holly Abel (71)

1 Completed1 Reviews

Worth the climb! This hike is challenging with the intense elevation gain that never lets up (gets your heart rate pumpin') and the trail is very rocky (watch your step!), but the lake at the top is simply stunning and such a marvelous reward. We were glad to have our walking poles to propel up the steep areas, and steady ourselves on the descent. I would highly recommend bringing a pair. The creeks are running high and fast this year. The trail follows along the creek most of the time, and often we had to shout to hear each other over the roar. It was sure nice to see so much moisture this year in Montana. The last time we visited this region it was in a severe drought. The trail had a lot of mud during the top half mile, but it may have dried out by now. Every time we visit Montana the Lava Lake hike is at the top of our "to-do" list. Tip: Pack in a lunch to eat at the top,. Be sure to pack out all trash and "leave no trace". Note: Campfires are not allowed anywhere near this lake. But, despite the ban clearly posted we were very disappointed to see several makeshift firepits around the Lake. I hope all of us can help preserve this beautiful place!

Whitney Hinshaw (115)

4 Completed2 Reviews

On the rocky side, but a nice steady climb and a beautiful destination.

Travis Walter (231)

9 Completed5 Reviews

This was a great hike. I thought it would be a little more difficult, but it was still technical all the same. I went in early may and the lake was still froze over, and the trail still had decent snow cover. I post-holed a little, but not too bad. I will definitely go back in the summer, and probably bring the tent and fishing pole. Beautiful area, probably would be five stars in summer.

Travis M. (78)

Loved this hike. It was my first hiking experience and I loved it.

Jacob Henan (537)

22 Completed12 Reviews

To be fair, the 1400 ft of elevation gain happens over 3.5 mi. This one just keeps climbing, but is DEFINITELY worth it. Never too steep, the ascent is constant so be ready with lots of water and be sure to take the time to enjoy your surroundings. The creek is never far off, constantly whispering encouragement as you keep pumping legs and arms to reach the lake. Once there, you'll really understand what a pristine alpine lake truly looks like. On a calm day, you can easily see to the bottom sometimes 10-20 ft deep! Be sure to take in the boulder fields and such around the South side of the lake. If you listen closely, you can hear the creek tumbling into the lake on the far western shore...