Sawtooth Lake

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

Sawtooth Lake and Mount Regan

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.

Along the trail below Alpine Lake and above the Alpine Way Trail intersection

The trail continues to climb past Alpine Lake but soon reaches a small lake, and just after that is Sawtooth Lake. When I was there on June 28, 2008 there was sill snow beginning just above Alpine Lake, and Sawtooth Lake was mostly frozen over despite the warm weather. In the photo above all the dark spots on the lake are puddles on the top of the ice, and one these form the lake melts much more rapidly. Mount Regan rises above the southern end of Sawtooth Lake and is a class 3-4 climb.

Alpine Peak rises above Alpine Lake

© Copyright 2017 Matthew Pintar. All rights reserved.


Popular Posts