Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
1,799.00 ft (548.34 m)
Trail type
5.60 mi (9.01 km)
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Strawberry Lake is one of the most popular hikes in the greater Jewel Basin area. While not officially part of the Jewel (technically considered within the Krause Basin), it does lie right on the edge and acts as a western access point to the Jewel itself. 

Aside from being a short and relatively easy day hike, Strawberry is exceedingly popular due to the fact that it offers consistent huckleberry picking. Unlike other prime huckleberry spots that require deep emergence into the mountains, families can go to the Strawberry Lake Trail and pick the plentiful patches without much effort.

The trail begins at the Krause Basin Trailhead, a dirt road heading northeast off the paved Foothill Rd. Cross the footbridge to start and stay on the wide, and well-maintained track from there. Considering there are no forks in the trail whatsoever until you get to the lake itself, it’s a very easy hike to navigate, even for the directionally challenged.

As you hike through the middle part of the trail (which also happens to be the steepest part before things level out about a mile before the lake), keep your eyes peeled for huckleberries. They can be tricky to spot, with the berries positioned perfectly under the leaves. Strawberry Lake is at considerably lower altitude than other nearby huckleberry patches, so these will ripen first (usually by mid-July).

Upon reaching Strawberry Lake, the trail intersects Alpine Trail No. 7, which bisects the whole Jewel Basin and can thus be followed to the right (east) to Wildcat Lake and the greater Jewel Basin Loop area beyond. Going left (northwest) will lead you to the Peter’s Ridge trail system. You can thus access Strawberry Lake from the Peter’s Ridge Trailhead or from the northern Wounded Buck Trailhead on the Hungry Horse Reservoir Side of the mountains.

For a long, multi-day circuit, one could follow these westbound trails all the way to the town of Columbia Falls.

If your goals are less ambitious, then just kick back and enjoy the close sandy shore of Strawberry Lake. You can also hike up to the forest service station that overlooks Strawberry Lake on the southeast slope of Strawberry Mountain for an extra vantage point.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Easy to access. Half-day hike potential. Huckleberry picking. Gateway to many other longer hikes. Plentiful water.


Can be crowded with slower hikers. After bad wind storms the trail can be littered with fallen trees. Bear danger.

Trailhead Elevation

4,062.00 ft (1,238.10 m)

Highest point

5,661.00 ft (1,725.47 m)


Near lake or river
Backcountry camping
Big vistas
Bird watching
Family friendly
Horseback riding

Typically multi-day


Suitable for

Motorized vehicles

Permit required



Nearby Adventures


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