A hike to Crystal Lake, near Cataldo, Idaho
August, 2005

We didn't have a map, so distances are more in driving and walking time. To get there take the Latour Creek road from the Cataldo exit on I-90. Follow it up for about 45 minutes to the top of Rochat (pronounced Row Shay) Saddle.  From there you can see Latour Baldy with a lookout and radio tours on the right.  Park at the BLM site Sheep Springs, which didn't have any springs we could see, but probably would if we'd explored more. Across the road from the parking area the trail (unmarked) to Crystal Lake starts.

In this picture you can see the parking area as the beige gash at lower right, and the trail starting off to the left.

The hike is 2-3 miles, but took about two hours, as a lot of it is up and down and crossing talus slopes, with unstable rocks.

The trail is great, though, for it's very open with views across a deep natural looking valley to the ridge across the way.
It's probably best in the afternoon if the day is hot, as there is some shade from the mountain (shown in the first picture) that  you traverse.

Crystal lake is very clear as the name suggests, about a 1/4 mile in diameter, and typically beautiful as all alpine lakes are.

While there I saw this cool butterfly that when the wings are closed blends in with treebark.
Click on the photo to see how it looks with wings open.  Isn't nature fun?