Lake Como Rock Jumping

Lake Como Rock Jumping

The advent of YouTube, TikTok, and other social media sites has led to the prevalence of crazy stunts by young people being caught on video.  Often this involves cliff jumping into lakes or rivers from scary heights and usually involves a back-flip or two.

Although not endorsed by this website and as an emergency medical provider myself I don’t encourage this type of risky behavior, however a beginner safe alternative is available in Western Montana.

Lake Como in the Bitterroot Valley lies about one hour south of Missoula and about 15-20 minutes from Hamilton. It offers stunning lake and mountain views, a beach area, plenty of camping sites, numerous water sport opportunities, and a 7.9-mile loop trail. Starting at the farthest parking lot west of the beach area you can access the loop trail. A beautiful and accessible hike, it offers stream crossings and plenty of lake access.

We started late morning on a warm summer day and hiked about 3.1 miles to the far west end of the lake. When you come across a diverting trail to the right that leads to Elk Lake, take an immediate left and bushwhack straight down in an approximate southern direction.  (If you hit the bridge and waterfall views, you’ve gone too far). Within a minute you’ll hit some rocky sections at the edge of the lake. From there, jumping and swimming options are numerous. As mentioned, these are not dangerous and some are only 4-6 foot jumps depending on the time of year. Swimming across to the other side offers a 10-12 foot jump most of the time. Not exactly award-winning YouTube material by any means, but fun for all ages. And the inlet that is below the waterfall provides a narrow and freezing cold jet stream of water that is exhilarating for kids and adults alike.

As always, take precautions when swimming and diving and check for water levels and deepness, particularly towards the end of the summer.  It may be advisable to first enter the water slowly and check for water depth manually by swimming to the bottom, or at least far enough down to find a level that allows for safe jumping.

The fishing can also be spectacular in that area as well. Try wet flys or lures in the channel below the waterfalls. And stay deep.

If you want an added adventure, try mountain biking the entire loop!  Although not a climbing challenge, the rocky composition of the trail make it not for the faint of heart and advanced mountain biking skills are recommended.

For more information on Lake Como go here or here.


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