Best time to travel to Glacier National Park, MT

Trout Lake in Glacier National Park, MT

Waters of this lake are serene and full of fish

Trout Lake
Cutthroat Trout

Trout Lake is a small but very picturesque water basin in Glacier National Park with a length of 1.50 miles (2.41 km). Hidden in the woods near Camas Creek, it is an ideal place to stay alone and enjoy nature in peace. The best time to visit the lake is from June to mid-September since during the winter, the park offers limited services and many trails are closed.


Hiking is one of the most popular activities in Trout Lake area. The Trout Lake Trail starts from the Lake McDonald area, bypassing Howe Ridge and then to Camas Creek. The road to Trout Lake is not paved and has a steep incline at the beginning. The total length of the hike is 3.7 miles (5.9 km). To get to the lake, you also need to go through a dense forest, but what awaits you after is worth the effort.


The lake is known for its abundant cutthroat trout. The fish is unpretentious, so it can be caught with any bait. Due to the low water temperature, the fish in the lake doesn't grow much and can reach only medium size. Since the lake is not very popular with tourists, catching something will be quite easy.

Glacier National Park is home to grizzly bears, which sometimes cause scary incidents. The 1967 movie "Night of the Grizzlies" tells the story based on a real accident at Trout Lake involving a bear. That's why you can't stay in tents here anymore. It is also essential to follow the safety rules of the Park.

Practical info

When is the best time to visit Trout Lake in Glacier National Park?

The peak season to visit Trout Lake is from June to mid-September, while the low season is from October to May. It is recommended to visit during the peak season to ensure full access to the site and avoid harsh weather conditions. The main gate remains open all year, but many of the activities, trails, and roads are closed during the low season. Show more

What is the Trout Lake Trail? Where does it start?

The Trout Lake Trail is a 3.7-mile (5.9 km) long popular hiking route in Glacier National Park. The hike starts from the Lake McDonald area and bypasses Howe Ridge, continuing towards Camas Creek. Although the trail passes through a dense forest, the magnificent view of the lake is worth the moderate effort required. Hikers must obtain a permit for overnight camping along the trail. Show more

What kind of fish can be caught in Trout Lake?

The Trout Lake in Glacier National Park is home to an abundance of cutthroat trout. While the fish can be caught using a variety of lures and baits, due to the low water temperature of the lake, only medium-sized trout are usually caught. The cold water stream flowing into the lake keeps the water temperature low and ideal for cutthroat trout. Show more

Is it safe to camp in tents at Trout Lake?

To assure visitors' safety while visiting Trout Lake in Glacier National Park, camping in tents is not allowed due to a 1967 bear attack in the area. Visitors can enjoy day trips and picnics at the lake, and facilities such as toilets and potable water are available. It is best to exercise caution and follow park rules, especially around Grizzly bears which are common in the area. Show more

What safety rules should be followed while visiting Glacier National Park?

Visitors are advised to follow safety regulations such as keeping a safe distance from wild animals and heeding park warnings to avoid any hazards. Those going for hikes should travel in groups, make enough noise, and carry bear spray. Extra precautions should be taken regarding fire safety and helping keep the park clean by avoiding littering. Show more

Ask a question

Find hotels and airbnbs near Trout Lake (Map)

Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin