Showing posts from August, 2008

Redfish Lake

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

Redfish Lake is the largest lake in Sawtooth National Recreation Area: it is 4.5 miles long, 0.8 mi wide, and up to 387 feet deep. The western/southern end of the lake is framed by the Grand Mogul and Mount Heyburn, two peaks in the Sawtooth Mountains. There is a lodge, restaurant, several campgrounds, and other recreational facilities at the northern/eastern end, which can be easily accessed from Idaho state highway 75.

There is a 17.5-mile long trail around the lake. This trail travels along the top of the two moraines on each side of the lake. On the north side this trail connects to trails that go to the Bench Lakes and Fishhook Creek (connecting to the Alpine Way Trail). While on the south side the trail connects to one that goes south towards Hell Roaring Lake. There is a boat (fee) during the summer that you can take between the two ends of the lake. The far end of the lake has a small campground and is…

Edna Lake

Location: Sawtooth Wilderness, Idaho
Distance: ~12 miles one way
Elevation gain: ~2,300 feet to Sand Mountain Pass
Date: August 6-10, 2008

Edna Lake sits at an elevation of 8,400 feet and is one of the approximately 1,000 lakes in Idaho's Sawtooth Wilderness. You can get to Edna Lake from a number of trailheads and via several routes, but the lake is in the heart of the wilderness, so the shortest hike is about 12 miles one way.

I spent four nights camped on the north shore of the lake in August 2008 as we surveyed tributaries of the South Fork of the Payette River for bull trout. My hike to the lake began at the Yellow Belly Trailhead in Sawtooth Valley. This trailhead is accessible only by high clearance vehicles. The next closest trailhead for those without high clearance is at Pettit Lake. The trail begins by gently gaining elevation through the forested glacial valley. After a few miles the trail gains elevation a little faster before it arrives at Farley Lake.

Halfway betwee…