Little Spar Lake Trail

This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
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.
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
12.9 km
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.
598 m
User Ratings
These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
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Directions to Trailhead

Hiking the Little Spar Lake Trail is an unforgettable experience. This high-country hike travels through a variety of terrains, most of which are washed out or overgrown—so navigation is no easy feat. Dynamic and demanding, the spell-binding scenery showcased along this route is worth the sweat.

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Route Description for Little Spar Lake Trail

Immerse yourself amongst the Cabinet Mountains and discover an idyllic alpine lake on the Little Spar Lake Trail. This stunning adventure in the Kootenai National Forest progresses through a rugged and overgrown area, so the use of the trail GPS and a sense of determination is a must. Additionally, it is wise to dress in layers as insurance against changing conditions and wear a sturdy pair of footwear to safely maneuver the uneven terrain and creek crossings. Note wildlife is abundant, so make plenty of noise as you hike a make sure one person in your party carries a can of bear spray.

Setting out from the trailhead, your adventure to Little Spar Lake follows the Upper Lake Trail into the wilderness. Climbing westward through the mountain-bound canyon, the trail will follow alongside Spar Creek, intersecting with it on several occasions. Mostly hiking beneath the closed tree canopy, the path will escape into swathes of brush, exposing you to the elements and warming you with the sunshine. As you wander through the canyon, the route will gradually curve more south as you near the lake. Once you hit the saddle, it's a steep climb up to the shoreline.

Admire the beauty of the alpine lake and the flanking granite ridges adorned with towering pines. Take in this spectacular alpine scenery, then head back down through the canyon and back to the trailhead.

Getting to the Little Spar Lake Trail Trailhead

The Little Spar Lake Trail departs from the Upper Lake Trailhead at the end of the National Forest Development Road 384.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    Dispersed Camping

  • When to do


  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    Older Children only

  • Route Signage


  • Crowd Levels


  • Route Type

    Out and back

Little Spar Lake Trail Elevation Graph

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Little Spar Lake Trail Reviews

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