Hiking Lava Lake Montana

One of several hikes that I did while in Montana was the hike to Lava Lake in the Gallatin National Forest. I’ve been on a lot of trails and I must say that this is one of my favorites. It is a six mile round trip hike that is pretty mellow with regard to climbing but definitely rocky. I made an attempt early in the trip that was cut short due to hail and severe thunderstorms, and I really wanted to go back because I could tell that this hike was something special. Thankfully, the second attempt was a success.

Top was the rainy first attempt. Even the dogs were unhappy.
Bottom was the successful second attempt. I think Tyke’s face says it all.

I took the dogs with me because they LOVE hiking. I also wanted them to get some exercise and with bear bells they’re pretty noisy (i.e. good bear deterrents).  They had a blast running through the forest and couldn’t get enough of the streams, waterfalls, and swimming in the beautiful lake. Tyke is getting to be a bit of an old man and he started the hike a little hobbly after he swam for a few hours the day before with my to-be nephew. I was overjoyed that the hike put the puppy right back in him and he was as happy as could be to be in nature. He’s a Montana dog to the core.

They are as good at hiking, swimming, and playing as they are photobombing. On the right you can see Tyke was happy to take the plunge.

The hike ran along a stream and then finally topped out at the lake. There is an extension to Table Mountain that I heard was well-maintained and worth the incredible view, but I was expected back, didn’t want my host to worry, and was concerned about my sweet old man holding up, so we opted out. However, with so much beauty in the hike already I left feeling as though I had spent the morning well in spite of not extending our adventure.

Stream and Lava Lake

Lots to be thankful for.

I have never been so certain that I have messed up a picture. Happy to be at Lava Lake.