Upper Siamese Lake

One of many lakes that string along the Idaho/Montana stateline, Upper Siamese Lake is among only two that are trail-accessible between Goose Lake and Fish Lake. With water at a premium on the Stateline Trail, this presents a welcome opportunity to top off empty waterbottles and if you don’t mind mountain goats for company you could even stay the night.
  • Bitterroot Mountains
4.1 out of 5
Moderate (steep)
1.0 miles
0:40 hours moving time (Hiking)
Elevation Gain
307 feet
High Point
6,878 feet (Stateline)
Low Point
6,466 feet (Upper Siamese Lake)
  • Lake
  • Meadow
  • Outing Type
  • Daytrip
  • Trail Type
  • Out-and-back
  • Trailbed
    Mostly loose rocks; packed dirt
  • Upper Siamese Lake
  • Camping
    • There are a couple of campsites on the peninsula and likely others elsewhere
    • Fair. It is mostly sawed out, but steep and rocky in places
  • Lolo National Forest
  • Status
  • Proposed Wilderness
  • Maps
  • Bruin Hill
  • Fees & Permits
  • None required
  • ()
    Open To
  • Hikers
  • Dogs
  • Horses
  • ()
  • This trail is for a “water run” when hiking Stateline Trail #738. It’s a few miles north of Fish Lake, Idaho, but on the Montana side in what is the proposed Great Burn Wilderness. There is no water on #738 between Goose Lake and Fish Lake. The closest location with motorized access is Fish Lake (ATV only)
  • Season
    July – October
      September 1, 2020

      Coming from Goose Lake on the Stateline Trail, we chose this lake to replenish our water bottles, as it is one of only two lakes with trail access between Goose and Fish lakes. The second one is a mile south, but nowhere near as pretty as Upper Siamese, and substantially smaller. Upper Siamese Lake is as pretty up close as it is from a distance and begs to be swum in, an invitation Naughty followed repeatedly. A family of mountain goats browsed near the lake as we approached and fled to the tip of the peninsula. Realizing that this was a less than ideal hiding place, mother goat scrambled along the lakeshore, kids following helter-skelter, and the family disappeared in the woods. Naughty was safely leashed before any goring could take place.

      This trail is not an official trail (ie, no trail number is assigned), but it appears to be frequented by horsemen and is in decent condition. An extension of the trail drops to Lower Siamese Lake, but we left that to the goats (thus, conditions are unknown).

      Alternate Routes

        Things to Consider

          Not so great

            Upper Siamese Lake from the stateline trail
            The trail switchbacks through open meadows that are so common in the Great Burn area
            Taken from halfway down the trail
            Campsite on the peninsula
            Stateline ridge
            Naughty enjoying the lake
            It is inviting for a swim
            Naughty at the tip of the peninsula
            Upper Siamese from the trailhead