Queen Lake: A nice hike with a serene reward

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Photo by DON BARTLING Queen Lake is a beautiful, short hike.

“A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth’s eye looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.”

— Henry David Thoreau

Take a break at a lake. When you choose to live in Boundary County you give yourself the chance to explore Boundary County’s spectacular lakes and hiking country. Take a break from the grind and visit one of the many alpine lakes for quiet solitude by hiking to your favorite lake.

Boundary County is filled with lakes, creeks trails and ponds to enjoy and the time to enjoy them is now.

Recently I hiked to Queen Lake. Hiking is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the outdoors. Transported by your own two feet and carrying only what you need for the hike on your back, you can discover the beauty of nature at whatever pace you’re comfortable with. And, with a little planning and preparation, it’s activity that almost anyone can do.

Queen Lake is a pristine two acre, high-altitude lake accessible by a 0.9 mile hike, climbing 150 feet. Queen Mountain, an additional 1 mile hike, offers unobstructed views of the Purcell, Selkirk, and Cabinet Mountains. Queen Lake is a small alpine lake and great trail for the beginner to advanced hiker. It has beautiful scenery and at the end of the hike is a gem of a lake.

After I arrived at the lake’s edge I enjoyed the serenity and quietness of this lovely little mountain lake, and I ate a sandwich as I soaked in the sights and sounds of this pristine water. There are a few camping areas along the shore of the lake. A person could kayak here if you wanted to take the time and carry a kayak to the lake. There are many hiking trails in the area of Queen Lake, but there are no restrooms, dock or running water.

To access Queen Lake from Highway 2 take the Moyie River Road. When traveling along Moyie River Road you will come upon a sign that says “Queen Lake 11 miles.” The first major intersection has two roads indicated by signs 2488 and 2452. There is a designated parking area at the end of road 2542. Roads to the parking area are satisfactory for passenger vehicles. The trail is well maintained, but can be wet during the spring snowmelt.

Moose, mule deer, and elk are the area browsers. Moose are the most evident, as they are not as timid as elk or deer. Although I did not see them around the trail or at the lake, I knew they were there because of their tracks. Time has taught me that with all wildlife you must have patience — if one trip is not rewarding, the next one may be. I was rewarded with spotting a bald eagle twice as he circled the lake surveying for a trout, but after he carefully looked over the water surface in vain he quickly disappeared over the treetops.

In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks. Hikers battle bug bites, blisters and bruises for the sake of overcoming a challenge and enjoying some quality time with nature. But along with the mountain-top and lake views come an abundance of mental and physical perks and just the enjoyment that you are there.

Alpine lake hiking has a limited season. July and August are the go-to months, and they provide the bonus of huckleberry picking if you can find a patch.

Enjoy Boundary County and its beautiful lake, streams and rivers!

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