Trout Lake – 8.3mi / 13.4km
Trout Lake is a long forested lake nestled between two ridges. You begin by hiking up and over Howe Ridge, which is a steep and unforgiving trek. On the south side of the ridge, facing Lake McDonald, you spend most of your time in burned forest, giving filtered views of Lake McDonald with a few small creek crossings mixed in.
As you approach the ridgeline, you will enter a lush, unburned forest, which you will follow all the way down to the lake. Avalanches often push felled trees into the water, and they all converge into one large log jam at the foot of the lake. The view towards the head of the lake is nothing short of beautiful, with the impressive rocky south face of Heavens Peak dominating your views.
If time allows, the trail continues along the lake, providing more spots for fishing.
Trailhead: At the head of Lake McDonald, turn onto North McDonald Road and follow it across the bridge and around until you reach the marked Trout Lake trailhead before the end of the road.
Elevation Gain/Loss: 3,100ft / 930m