Island and Night Lakes
ElevationAscent: 71' 22 m
Descent: -74' -22 m
High: 9,568' 2,916 m
Low: 9,525' 2,903 m
GradeAvg Grade: 1% (0°)
Max Grade: 4% (2°)
Popular hikes nearby
Island Lake to Beartooth Lake
5.7 mi 9.2 km • Point to Point • 221 ft Ascent 67.42 m Ascent
10.7 mi 17.2 km • Out and Back • 1,352 ft Ascent 412.01 m Ascent
6.7 mi 10.7 km • Out and Back • 569 ft Ascent 173.35 m Ascent
The Beaten Path
26.6 mi 42.8 km • Point to Point • 3,806 ft Ascent 1160.12 m Ascent
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“At just about 3.0 miles round-trip, seeing both Island and Night Lakes is an easy and accessible alpine experience.”— Amber Scott
Features Birding · Fishing · Geological Significance · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Family Friendly As an easy, flat, out-and-back route, you can take little ones as long or as far as they can go while still getting stunning, high-alpine views and lake access.
Begin the hike by leaving the trailhead and following the trail that angles across the meadow towards the boat ramp. Cross the boat ramp and continue along the Beartooth High Lakes Trail as it winds around the west side of Island Lake. It's a hair longer than one mile to the northern end of Island Lake. Then it's approximately 0.1 miles between the lakes, and then another 0.6 miles to the northern end of Night Lake. Turn back here, or continue onwards!
The Island Lake Campground is an excellent location from which to explore the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness area—Island and Night Lakes offer plenty of exploration opportunities, as do the numerous trails beyond them and both east and west along Highway #212. The trailhead is also the starting point for a plethora backpacking excursions, but just be sure to do your research on necessary wilderness and fishing permits given the proximity to the Montana-Wyoming State border and the differing regulations in each state.
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Land Manager: USFS - Shoshone National Forest Office