Lightning Creek

MODERATE 1 reviews
#17 of 26 trails in

Lightning Creek is a 16 mile out and back trail located near Stanley, ID and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from July until September.

16.0 miles 2190 feet Out & Back


3 years ago

Found this trail in the book Hiking Idaho (2001) by Ralph and Jackie Maughan, looked interesting, so we thought we'd give it a go. The trail spurs off of the West Fork Yankee Fork Trail at about 3 1/2 to 4 miles. However, even though the WFYF trail is well marked and well worn, and the other trails that spur off this trail are well marked, the Lightning Creek trail is NOT. We hiked about two miles past the point of the split before we realized we were still on the main WFYF trail. We hiked back, and still couldn't find any markings. The only thing we could find was what looked like a game trail, which we supposed was the Lightning Creek trail.
Several factors, including the smoke hanging in the valley from the Grimes Creek fire caused us to abort our hike, so we never made it to lake at the end of the hike.
We were going to check with the Bonanza Guard station, but they were closed, so we're not sure if they're letting the Lightning Creek Trail go back to nature.
I'm giving this hike three stars just for the parts leading up to the split. Terrain is very varied, and the hike is very strenuous at times especially when carrying a pack. Would have love to see what was in store for us, since the description in the guide book mentioned going through a canyon with several creek crossings.
If you do decide to try the trail, I would defiantly take a GPS just to find where the trail starts (We were only carrying a Topo map {Mt. Jordan} at the time).
We may decide to try this in the future... we are suckers for punishment. :)