Hiking to Little Rock Creek Lake

The best hikes, like this one to Little Rock Creek Lake, are always those spur of the moment, look at the map, and go.

“Let’s go for a hike.”

“Never done Little Rock Creek Lake.”

“Let’s do it!”

And with that, we were off to the Little Rock Creek trailhead, located above Lake Como to the south. Starting at the trailhead, we spent the first mile traveling through a regenerating forest from the 1988 forest fire,  but soon we reach the boundary of the burn and the bottom of the canyon that holds Little Rock Creek. The trail from this point until the lake was quite rough and obviously not regularly maintained by the Forest Service. After climbing over several benches of smooth granite, we arrived at Little Rock Creek Lake, which is not a true lake, but one of many irrigation reservoirs created in the Bitterroot Mountains. Even through the heavy smoke from numerous wildfires in the region, El Capitan, the second highest peak in the Bitterroot Mountains, peeks into view over the western end of the lake. We relaxed (well Vida chilled out, I’m incapable of it) in smooth granite boulder as the smoke grow thicker from a new forest fire in the next drainage. Heading out, we enjoyed picking a good number Thimbleberries and a few huckleberries, maybe the last of the season.

Total distance: 10.29 mi
Max elevation: 6598 ft
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Little Rock Creek Trailhead above Lake Como

Little Rock Creek Trailhead above Lake Como

Vida starting out through the post-fire forest from the 1988 burn

Vida starting out through the post-fire forest from the 1988 burn

Little Rock Creek is little and rocky

Little Rock Creek is little and rocky

The trail in the bottom of the canyon is fairly lush

The trail in the bottom of the canyon is fairly lush

One of many waterfalls along Little Rock Creek

One of many waterfalls along Little Rock Creek

One of my favorite of this summer

One of my favorite of this summer

Trail, we don't need no stinking trail!

Trail, we don’t need no stinking trail!

The trail is getting steep now

The trail is getting steep now

The outlet of Little Rock Creek from the lake

The outlet of Little Rock Creek from the lake

Pileated Woodpecker has been hard at work

Pileated Woodpecker has been hard at work

Little Rock Creek Lake

Little Rock Creek Lake

Written by Radd Icenoggle

I am a native Montanan, who has spent a lifetime as an outdoors and wildlife enthusiast. I earned a degree in biology with an emphasis on habitat relations. During my studies, I had the great fortune to research and compose a thesis that explored the effects of slope aspect on...
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