Jimmy Smith Lake

Location: Custer County, Idaho
Distance: ~0.5 mile to lake
Elevation gain: ~250 feet
Date: July 1, 2008

Jimmy Smith Lake

Jimmy Smith Lake is a natural lake formed by a landslide on Big Lake Creek in Custer County, Idaho. The lake is located above the East Fork of the Salmon River just outside the eastern boundary of Sawtooth National Recreation Area. The land immediately around the lake is owned by the state of Idaho, but much of the area around there is BLM land.

The trail to the lake is short but steep and well maintained. A 1.5 mile long trail goes around the north side of the lake and continues for many miles into the White Cloud Mountains. There are some campsites on the BLM land along the road to the trailhead. I first made the hike to the lake after setting up camp in the evening on July 1, 2008. There was no one else at the lake, but there was a cow moose and her calf in one of the lake's coves. The lake is in the high desert, so there are no trees surrounding it, but the riparian area at the western end of the lake is thick with willows.

Sheep Mountain

After returning to the campsite from the lake, I decided to walk straight up the side of the canyon above the campsite. I only went up maybe 200 feet, but I was glad I did because it gave me a great view of Sheep Mountain, which rises to 10,910 ft to the southeast.

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