Engle Lake Trail

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Hard
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
6-8.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
16.4 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
1,200 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead

Spellbinding alpine scenery awaits you on the Engle Lake Trail. This scenic and steep high-country hike explores lush subalpine woodlands, vibrant montane meadows, and scree fields before reaching the idyllic lake flanked by Engle Peak’s slopes.

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Route Description for Engle Lake Trail

The Engle Lake Trail is a must-add to your adventure bucket list—assuming you don’t mind a relentless climb, technical terrain, or heights. Those are all part of the fun in our opinion! This epic expedition tours the preserved wilderness of the Kootenai Forest, offering a wicked workout and wonderful views. Make sure to dress in layers as insurance against changing conditions. Additionally, a good, sturdy pair of hiking boots are required, and trekking poles are highly suggested. Furthermore, as this route gains a lot of elevation and the trail is quite long, it is important to head out in the early morning to return to the trailhead before nightfall. Finally, note this is bear country, so consider bringing along some bear spray!

Setting out from the trailhead, the Engle Lake Trail climbs eastward, up a switchback, gaining a ridge. Traveling through the alpine firs, the route will redirect you northeastward up a gradual grade before commencing the arduous ascent up to Engle Lake. Take your time and take breaks as needed as you navigate the precipitous terrain via countless switchbacks. After a relentless ascent, you will summit the saddle to the southeast of Engle Peak. Admire the panoramic vistas of the Cabinet Mountains from here, then descend the ridge into the mountain basin.

Explore the gorgeous lake that sits in the shadow of the craggy peak and rejuvenate your tired feet in the refreshing water. When you are through reveling in the beautiful alpine setting, head back the way you came all the way down to the trailhead.

Getting to the Engle Lake Trail Trailhead

Find the Engle Lake Trailhead off Forest Service Road 2285.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    Dispersed Camping

  • When to do

    May-September

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    No

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    Low

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Engle Lake Trail Elevation Graph

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Engle Lake Trail Reviews

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