Birding · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
This is a popular trail, but for good reason. It's is a good, solid workout with a wonderful, calm lake at the end to sit, relax, and appreciate the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem of the Gallatin Valley. Because the trail is mostly shaded and is always close to water, this is an excellent option for a summer hike.
The trail, also known as Cascade Creek, is wide at many points allowing hikers to move at their own pace without being held up, or holding others up. The trail is popular with all ages and types of people from trail runners, to meanderers, to hunters, and even the occasional skier in winter.
Starting from the trailhead along the Gallatin River, make your way into dense coniferous forest on wide tread, following alongside Cascade Creek—keep an eye out for many small waterfalls along the way. The elevation gain for the first three quarters of the length of the trail is mellow but a good workout. Savor the micro scenery along the way. The last quarter of the trail is along switchbacks, but they are worth the workout. Reach the top and find yourself treated to the expansive Lava Lake nestled in among its mountainous surroundings.
At the lake, explore the perimeter, but be sure to stay on maintained trails—this is a fairly popular hike, so be respectful of the area.
Shared By: Sam H