Explore the most popular nature trips trails in Challis National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

backpacking
23 days ago

25 miles of gravel road from Highway 93 turnoff. Last 4 miles are extremely rugged. Would recommend a high clearance four wheel drive vehicle with 10 ply tires or you probably won't make it. Trail is easy to moderate over first 3.2 miles. Last half mile is very steep with many tight switch backs and rock cliff pitches. Lake and peaks are beautiful. Watched a mother and lamb Bighorn Sheep grazing while fishing. Fishing was great with small Brook and Tiger Trout. Two hours from trail head to lake and one hour on return trip by two backpackers, age 65 and 74.

The walk to the base of the falls is a pretty easy trek, but a couple of things to note to make the most of it: There's not much of a view from the bottom, and it's worth the scramble up the left side to get to the actual falls.. The beginning of the climb is through the forest and there's some handholds on various trees and branches, but the end is a scramble up some slippery scree. Not a very long climb but I feel this is worth mentioning because it really isn't appropriate for "all skill levels" at that point and IMO worth it to actually see the falls (pictured). Also there's 2 creek crossings, the 1st has a couple single logs to balance on to get across but the 2nd crossing doesn't have any logs. I did it late season so i was able to find some shallow spots to cross, but if it were earlier season, plan to take your shoes off or get wet. Lovely hike!

8/25/18 I’ll start from the beginning!
The drive in was very long and slightly depressing with all the burned trees from a previous year’s fire. We got to the trail head with relatively little trouble but it was quite the bumpy ride even in the Jeep. The first part of the hike is quite downhill but in a pretty Forrest. It kind of leveled out with just a slight downhill but came into a very large burned area. There’s new growth coming but all the trees are burned and dead. The new growth is beautiful purple flowers though! They were very uniquely pretty amongst the black burnt logs. Much of the trail is very overgrown. Wear long pants! There’s also a lot of small water crossings in this area. After a long walk through the Forrest, you come to the turn toward the river. You have to walk through the river and through the narrows to get to the shower. This included rushing water up to our knees. The shower is about a quarter mile past the end of the narrows. There’s a about 2 camping spots right by the shower and more on rock barges. We expected to have the place to ourselves but were very wrong! About 3 other families had the same idea this weekend! The pools were good but requires some cleaning and maintenance. There’s a shovel there to help.

Tips: Wear good pants for walking through all the brush. Bring 3 pairs of socks. Your feet will be very wet after walking through the narrows. Trekking poles are a must! Not just for the elevation changes but for the trek for the narrows! It would be hard crossing the rushing water without them. Bring a swim suit! You might not be alone!

fishing
1 month ago

Yup the road will kick your vehicle’s butt! Trail was great... moderate just because it’s a bit steep. Fishing was good, brookies and tiger trout. Nothing over 10. We would plan to do two days of hiking if we did it again (pass creek and merriam) just because the drive is such a commitment. Two other groups were there to do Letherman peak. Apparently the better hike up that.

on Merriam Lake

backpacking
2 months ago

This lake is beautiful. The trail is easy but the last 3/4 mile is technical. My scout group did it and the 13 and 14 yr olds did fine, the 11 and 12 yr olds struggled. They all said they want to go back next year. The views and fishing where great.

The road in is very rough, I had one flat on the trail and got home and woke up to the other rear tire being flat in the morning. Need two new tires now they where a year old or so. My coworker did the trail a week before me and had to get new tires as well. You have be warned.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike! Fairly steep but great views at the top and through out the hike.

Starts with a beautiful walk in a valley and ends with a fun but tough scramble up to the falls (the route on here doesn’t include the scramble). The stretch in the woods inbetween is unspectacular.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful trail! Steep hike but the lake at the end and views throughout make it totally worth it.

Well, this is a beautiful trail. The first part of the trail doesn't have a whole lot of shade, but there are places where there is a creek bed where dogs can cool off. There is a fairly short section that has an incline, but not too bad at all. There is a river crossing that does have some logs across it that make it possible to cross without wading through the water. After the first river crossing; the trail is super easy and well shaded. There is a wooden sign attached to a tree (not sure on distance from the river, but a mile-ish...) that directs you to the right to get to Bridal Veil Falls. You will go down that trail a short distance and come to another river crossing. This one doesn't have logs across it that I found, so I just took my shoes off and waded through, definitely was a nice cool down! At this point however, is where that 5th star left my rating. To get closer to the falls, it is a very steep and not really well marked or clear trail unfortunately, so I didn't feel comfortable enough to go all the way to the falls (was by myself).
I still love this trail, and will do go again. The views are amazing!!

We decided to do Lady Face falls which I cannot seem to find on all trails as it’s own thing. Lady Face falls is in a nice cool canyon just right off the path about 2.4 into it. The flat first miles with views of McGown peak are nice as well.

Beautiful hike. Some open fields in the beginning with gorgeous views of McGowan Peak. The hike itself is very easy with little gain. We never really got a good view of Brideveil Falls, but there is a little trail off to the side before you reach the rover crossing to see the other set of falls that were good. You can climb down on the rocks to get a really good view here. The river crossing was easy, but it did go up about 1.5ft and was about 20ft across (and is quite cold). We could have turned around at the crossing and it still would have been a great hike.

Beautiful. River crossing was a little difficult. Got wet. Never really found the falls but...

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike with great incline and awarding views!

hiking
3 months ago

Great Hike and beautiful lake. My 6, 8, and 10 yr. olds did awesome. 1 Hour and 55 min to hike up And 1 Hour and 10 min to walk down. Official trailhead starts at the end of an old Jeep Road. Very hard to drive to the trailhead. Walking the Jeep trail adds another 2 mile to the overall distance. Side by sides or 4-wheelers will take you right to the trailhead.

Hiked on 6/12/18. Had to take boots off and wade across two crossings, but other than that good trail.

The trail to the falls themselves was rather steep so I'm not sure it's recommended as the view from the bottom is just fine.

I attempted this hike on Thursday, May 24, 2018. No issue with snow but from what I understand you have to cross the creek in order to get to the falls, that wasn't going to happen, so I had to turn around. I tried to find another way across but to no avail. Had the trail all to myself, not a soul in sight. I'll post a few pix...

hiking
4 months ago

I feel bad scoring this trail so low but I did not get a chance to finish this trail and I felt I had to warn other hikers about the mosquitoes. Attempted this hike the first week of June and the mosquitoes were OUT OF CONTROL. I was bit over 100 times in the space of an hour. The first part of the hike is in a low, almost swamp-like meadow where there is a lot of sitting water. Knowing that eventually I would hike out of the swamp meadow, I continued but the rivers/streams passing across the trail were very high and I had to hike around looking for a place to cross, losing the trail 3 times. At this point my entire body was itching from bites and I was too frustrated to continue.
This trail is probably great at other times of the year but be warned in the early summer after a lot of rainfall!

Attempted this one a few days ago - for all intents and purposes, this should be a pretty easy hike. The snow has mostly melted around Stanley Lake, making the beginning of this hike very deceptive. After a mile or two in, the snow is still pretty deep with plenty of post-holing up to about mid-thigh on me. I made it approximately 3 miles in until I met the "creek" which is now ~30 ft across with no way to cross unless you want to wade through the water and then continue walking in the snow. The cool water will likely be refreshing once it warms up a bit more, will have to try this one again after the snow melts.

hiking
Sunday, September 03, 2017

Very difficult, good thing it wasn't too long. Beautiful lake at the top.

impossible to reach due to river crossing.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

great hike. so much elevation but it is so worth it in the end.

hiking
Monday, August 28, 2017

Great and a steep hike. View at destination is just amazing. If you have a Fitbit smart tracker, it would take approx. 11000 steps and 200 floors to reach at the top.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The road to get to the trailhead is rough and a 4wheel drive vehicle with high clearance is necessary.

Great hike to enjoy solitude. Trail can be easy to lose in the snow - be sure to bring your map. GPS was also extremely helpful!

hiking
Wednesday, July 12, 2017

On 7/8/17, with 4 kids as young as 6, we made it just shy of the falls. The 40' wide "creek" was more than we bargained for. To help the kids stay focused on the 3 mile trek back down to the lake, I suggested they count the trees impeding the path. No joke, there were exactly 150 of them we had to either hike around, climb over, or limbo under. We also saw a few mountain bikers on the trail who were struggling much more than we were.

As of July 3, 2017 the trail has not been cleared. There are probably over 50 fallen trees across the trail all the way up that need to be cleared. If you ride, plan on hiking your bike over the tops of of these trees, some pile up to three feet high. We were on foot and still found it difficult in some areas. Also, plan on a 30 ft across (swift but shallow) river crossing just before you get to the falls. Take lots of mosquito spray as there's lots of standing water right now. Other than that, the views are spectacular!!!

hiking
Friday, February 17, 2017

I'm surprised people were dissapointed. The falls were beautiful (see pics). You can also get right next to the falls on either side. There is a nice trail to the bottom of the falls on the left. We even saw a guy and his dog in the falls. For a real adventure climb the super steep right side of the falls all the way to the top, and see Hansen Lakes. Heck of a climb but the lakes are very cool.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Great hike into a few different lakes. Had a great time hiking in this beautiful area.

hiking
Thursday, August 25, 2016

Hiked from 4th of July trailhead to Washington lake and made camp there. Then off to upper Chamberlain Lakes for a night. That was approximately 6 miles with the last 2 up hill and require decent conditioning on the hikers part. We then traveled back to 4th of July Lake for the last night. That was 7.2 miles or so and made for a tiring hike. After sleeping there it was a brisk 1.2 or so downhill back to the trailhead. We saw seven mountain goats at the upper chamberlain. Once during the first evening there and the they revisited the morning we left. Also saw a health doe while trekking back to 4th of July.

hiking
Friday, July 08, 2016

It is a strenuous hike but worth the effort. Beautiful views and a lot of shaded areas. Hiked it on a hot morning but was a pleasant experience

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