Showing posts from June, 2008

Sawtooth Lake

Location: Sawtooth Wilderness, Idaho
Distance: 4 miles one way
Elevation gain: ~1700 feet
Date: June 28, 2008

Sawtooth Lake is perhaps the most popular hiking destination in the Sawtooth Wilderness. Most people begin their hike at the Iron Creek trailhead just west of Stanley, but you can also reach it via a number of other longer trails.

The hike from the Iron Creek trailhead begins in the forested valley and gains elevation at a moderate pace. The trail eventually crosses the Alpine Way Trail where the forest opens up a bit and you have views of the valley and Iron Creek. A short distance after the intersection the trail begins to gain elevation and climbs a few switchbacks before climbing up to Alpine Lake. A short spur trail goes down to Alpine Lake, but the trail to Sawtooth Lake continues up the ridge next to the lake. This trail has great views of Alpine Lake, Alpine Peak, and Iron Creek valley.

The trail continues to climb past Alpine Lake but soon reaches a small lake, and ju…

Titus Lake

Location: Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Idaho
Distance: ~1.5 miles one way
Elevation gain: 300 feet
Date: June 26, 2008

Titus Lake is a small alpine lake that receives a lot of visitors because it is a short hike from Idaho highway 75 at Galena Summit north of Ketchum. The trail begins on the Big Wood River side of Galena Summit and and gains about 300 feet in elevation while passing through forest. The trail then descend about 50 feet down to Titus Lake.

The lake is technically in the Smoky Mountains, but it is very close to their intersection with the Boulder and even Sawtooth mountains. It can also be reached from Galena Lodge, but this trail is longer and has much more elevation gain than the route from Galena Summit. While the lake is nice and at an elevation of about 8,900 feet, it is less than spectacular by central Idaho standards. During my visit in late June 2008 small portions of the trail were still covered by snow.

© Copyright 2017 Matthew Pintar. All rights reserved…

Hell Roaring Lake

Location: Sawtooth Wilderness
Distance: ~2 miles (from 4 wheel drive high clearance trailhead), 6 mi (horse & other vehicle trailhead) one way
Elevation gain: 100 ft, 600 ft
Dates: June 19 and July 31, 2008

Hell Roaring Lake is one of the largest lakes in the Sawtooth Wilderness in Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Idaho. There are two trailheads depending on what type of vehicle you have. The first trailhead is just west of Idaho state highway 75 in Sawtooth Valley. This trailhead can be accessed by any vehicle, and the hike to the lake from here is about six miles one way. I have never hiked to the lake from this trailhead.

The second trailhead is only two miles and 100 feet of elevation gain from the lake, but it is a very rough, steep, and poorly maintained road only accessible by high clearance and probably four wheel drive vehicles. portions of this road simply look like boulder fields. I have hiked to the lake from this trailhead twice.

The hike to the lake from the second…

Stanley Lake

Location: Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Idaho
Dates: summer 2008, 2011

Stanley Lake is one of the largest lakes and easily accessible lakes at the base of the Sawtooth Mountains. It is located about 6.5 miles northwest of the town of Stanley and can be accessed easily from Idaho state highway 21. There are several campgrounds and dispersed camping areas around the lake.

From the lake an unpaved road goes to the summit of Elk Mountain (7,925 ft) north of the lake. There are decent views that partially obstructed by trees from the top. At the western and upstream end of the lake a trail goes up the valley along Stanley Lake Creek. This trail intersects with other trails that go to Sawtooth Lake and Grandjean, as well as the Alpine Way Trail. The trail also passes Lady Face Falls and Bridal Veil Falls.

© Copyright 2017 Matthew Pintar. All rights reserved.

Alpine Way Trail

Location: Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Idaho
Dates: summer 2008, 2011

The Alpine Way Trail is a trail that travels about 17 miles from Stanley Lake to the Stanley Ranger Station. At the southern/eastern end the trail ascends a moraine above Fishhook Creek and follows the ridge to the base of Williams Peak. I think that this part of the trail has the best views of the entire trail, and I have hiked it many times. The views here range across the Sawtooth Valley, with the best views being of Horstmann Peak, Mount Heyburn, Thompson Peak, and the Grand Mogul. This end of the trail is commonly accessed from the Redfish Lake Trailhead.

Below Williams Peak there is an unofficial trail leading from the Alpine Way to Thompson Peak. The Alpine Way passes Marshall Lake and nearly follows the boundary of the Sawtooth Wilderness for the remainder of the distance. I once planned on spending a night at Marshall Lake, but because of the overabundance of mosquitoes, mud, and fresh wolf tracks I d…