Explore the most popular views trails in Payette 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.

Trail is in full sun. Early May the wild flowers are amazing, but the hotsprings are chilly due to high water. Check for thunderstorm possibilities. Being out in a burn with high winds and lightening may not be everyone's idea of adventure.

Great hike will say it starts off steep decline meaning the return is the opposite for those beginners. But my 6,9,11 year old did just fine. Gorgeous mountain ranges open up occasionally drawing your attention many times. When you live in city life and go to places like such you realize how much of nature's beauty must be found to truly enjoy its presence.

snowshoeing
2 months ago

Backpacked/snowshoed on 3/14/18. Trail was easy to follow even with a few feet of snow on it. Easy hike in, bridge was covered up to the railing with snow. The snow-capped boulders in free creek were beautiful. Falls are a 1/4 mile to the left after the bridge. Once there, pretty much slid down to the bottom. The climb back up was sapping, resulting in a pretty exhausting hike back to the trailhead. The hike is basically downhill on the way in and uphill on the way out. Really nice hike though.

One of my favorite places to hike and backpack!!!!!

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful hike with a surprise waterfall.

hiking
6 months ago

The last mile was really steep but the lake was well worth it.

hiking
7 months ago

Great trail! The falls are beautiful & the trail well maintained. There is some construction on the road up Brundage Mountain. (Pilot car.) Probably won't last long. Just a perfect trail showcasing the beauty of Idaho.

Beautiful. Made it to the waterfall and it was worth it!!

hiking
7 months ago

Its takes anywhere from 4 to 5 hours with breaks to complete. its absolutely beautiful went early October there was light snow but nothing unbearable.

hiking
7 months ago

Beautiful!! A bit steep for me as I am a beginner, but so lovely. We didn't make it to the falls but we will definitely be back. Lovely this time of year but pretty cold.

lots of good fishing at Louie lake!

hiking
8 months ago

Serene Lake is a sweet gem of a hike. It’s a great option if you’re looking for a trail you could easily day hike or backpack and camp.

Moderately difficult. We went clockwise around the loop, and the elevation gain is more gradual that way. The only issue with the trail we ran across was that the turn off to complete the loop is not marked well, so we had to turn around and double back to find the right turn. Take lots of water and have fun!

backpacking
8 months ago

The views are amazing and the beach camping is all you would want. It needs to be emphasized how difficult the first stretch can be if you are backpacking. There is a lot of steep elevation gain before the trail briefly levels out into a meadow. Then there is some more uphill before dropping down to the lake. Enjoy!

hiking
8 months ago

Great hike.. beautiful scenery. Only bad thing it's a very popular trail. There will be lot's of people

hiking
8 months ago

Did the Boulder / lake Louie trail today with my husband. Bring plenty of water as once you're past Boulder Lake, very few water spots/shade. Beautiful hike but dry. Loved Lake Louie!

Easy trail, but very sunny, so go early.

Great trail! Did it going clockwise. Only draw back is the dusty exit along an old jeep trail from Louis Lake. Lots of great views and wildflowers still out!

hiking
9 months ago

Lots of variation in this hike. Approaching the edge of the lake from below (the North East leg) was a unique experience. Lots of beautiful meadows with wildflowers in mid-Aug. The last 1/3 of the hike (SW portion of the loop) is an uneventful walk on fire roads. Keep an eye out for direction arrows or you can miss your turn.

backpacking
9 months ago

A beautifully strenuous hike up but well worth the effort. While ascending you will plateau two times and crest mountain ridges three times. If you're hiking with dogs access to water Will be after your first crest just a little over a mile up. Once you reach the lake,
The immediate campsites are very nice but used heavily, if you hike around the west side of the lake to the northside you will find more campsites and solitude. Enjoy.

hiking
9 months ago

Great hike. First 45-60 minutes is a bit tough but lots of flat areas after that. The lake is beautiful. Hardly saw anyone and pretty much had the place to ourselves.

One of the most beautiful trails I've hiked in Idaho. Meadows of wildflowers -- lupine, fireweed, Indian paintbrush, sulfur buckwheat, penstemon, strawflowers, wild orchids and other things I don't know the name of. Lakes on the loop are crystal clear and the trail borders them for wonderful views. The loop took us 3.5 hours with a foot soak at Boulder Lake and a lunch break. Be sure to use the record feature on this app; it saved us from potentially going way off course. The trails are more or less unmarked and it would be very easy to get lost without the tracker and a fully-charged phone.

backpacking
9 months ago

It was a great trip, we started at duck lake trail and Hum lake. We passed duck lake went on ahead to hum lake. It was about 3.5 miles in and back. It was tough going down to hum lake with lots of blow down with trees. Great fishing if you make it down to hum lake. Lots of bugs, bring spray. Some deer tracks no big animals. Pack lots of water, you should fill up down at the bottom. My girls did this hike and they are 7 & 9, family friendly. The pictures are of Hum lake.

Just returned from Idaho and wanted to share that this trail was beautiful and challenging. But only challenging because once you get to the lake, there is no sign to indicate where the trail continues, simply cairns showing the way. Well, we totally missed it. And as a result, hiked 17 miles instead of 7. Heads up to everyone--- we are experienced hikers and this happened to us. So, look for the rocks, not the sign. Even with the suffering, great trail!

trail into lake either direction is in perfect shape. lots of hard work has obviously gone in to clearing deadfall. trails to the bomber crash site were in horrible condition. watch for Mamma Moose and baby at crash site. very very marshy conditions. in mid -late July. at upper end of lake.

hiking
10 months ago

Go early in the year to experience the runoff pools around the dam at the end of the trail. Felt tropical! Good for dogs and kids.

hiking
10 months ago

Good for kids and dogs as long as neither are prone to jump in rapids. Beautiful hike. Partial shade. Moderately trafficked.

10 months ago

Hiked 7-14 thru 7-16 and camped at the head of the lake. Snow is all clear, some flat areas are still wet/muddy. Lake is high this year, likely that the sandy beach will be water covered until next year.

Great hike, moderately strenuous just due to the short nature. It is uphill both ways, just like like my grandpa's walk to school. Totally worth either a day hike or an overnight.

Please note-- at the fork in the road, left goes through the meadows, but right goes through the steeper area. The map for this follows the right turn.

The trail was green, filled with wildflowers, bunchgrass, large conifers, and some small shrubs. Various bird calls, some deer, no large wildlife. Trail was exceedingly well maintained-- at least 5 bridges built to allow crossing, and some land-bridges built, too, over aluminum piping. Temperature was 70-80. We counted about 10-15 bug bites apiece when we got back to the car.


4 vacant camping spots up here-- only a 1 mile walk in. lots of available firewood for anyone with a little muscle.

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