Explore the most popular forest trails in Sawtooth 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.

17 hours ago

This is one of our very favorite hikes in the area. If hiking on a hot summer day, definitely take a dip in the lake! So refreshing, but you won’t stay in long! We have hiked this many times, with kids and adults not used to hiking. It will challenge the latter but not bore the experienced hiker, who can always choose to go further :)

Great hike. A little of everything on the way.

Awesome hike, beautiful lakes, incredible mountains. First half is super easy, all the elevation gain is done in the last two miles. My watch clocked me at 10.75 miles, we had to park a little bit down the road from the main parking lot, so a little bit of the extra mileage came from this but not a lot. I’d plan this to be more around 10 and not 8.5.

Easy trail to Fourth of July and Washington. We stopped at the pond and our kids scrambled up the peak there but kept going to Washington which is spectacular. Beautiful stream with wildflowers on the trail in. Don’t get tricked by the pond- keep going! Washington Lake is bigger than 4th of July and lovely.

Loved this trail and Lake! Switchbacks made the elevation change easy. Beautiful lake, clear water.

Really nice hike with many creek crossings. I will do this again next time I take a trip to this area. Fourth of July Lake is a beautiful stop, but trail continues. It adds another 3/4 to 1 mile to go past a pond and descend to Washington Lake. Really stunning location to spend some time. Peaceful, clear water, and a nice ridge line across the lake. We didn’t take the trail any farther. Wildflowers were still blooming, especially in more lush areas by creeks. Pretty awesome microclimates. Trail is fairly wide. No insects (early-mid August).
There was a 10 mile trip in on gravel road to get to the trail head. The last 6 miles of which is an area burned by a wildfire perhaps 5 years prior.
3 horses and later, 3 dirt bikes also went up during our hike. They all passed respectfully. We saw a good number of other hikers, but it wasn’t crowded. Many were backpackers coming in from much longer treks in White Cloud. Loved the hike!

Lovely day hike. It was a great way for a flat lander to acclimate before a multi day backcountry trip.

5 days ago

We did this as part of the White Clouds loop backpacking. Lovely lake and hike.

Great loop with beautiful views no matter where you look. We completed this loop in 2 days, although 3 may have been more leisurely. Plenty of campsites at Alice lake, probably our favorite views on the trip. Make sure to take a dip in the lake. Very refreshing (and cold!) after a long hike in. We noticed minimal choices for camping spots at Farley so decided to bypass and just hike out on day #2. Would have loved to stay longer and explore lakes beyond this loop. Also of note: seems as though most people were hiking this route counter clockwise and heading straight for Toxaway. We opted for the opposite and did clockwise staying at Alice. Fair amount of people on the trail even for the week. Bugs were out at dusk near the water but nothing a little DEET wont take care of. LEft with only one bug bite!

This is a really difficult hike but well worth it. Camped at Alice Lake 2 nights.

8 days ago

Awesome trail. Got there at 3pm, passed everyone coming down and there was absolutely no one up top. Water was perfect for a swim. Have good shoes, water and sun block, you’re in direct sun for about half the hike. Check it out in the winter, it’s beautiful

it is a little than moderate for small children ;)

Very enjoyable hike! We backpacked to Sawtooth Lake and camped. Good amount of elevation gain and we hiked in early August and I was chilly. If you camp, be sure to pack warm clothes for sleeping!

Great loop! This was our first time and we went to Alice lake first. Most people were going the opposite direction. Spent 2 nights and 3 days, splitting it into 6 miles per day roughly. So many pretty lakes and waterfalls. Plenty of spots to camp along the way. Mosquitos only seem to come out at night near water. We used 100% deet and it is nasty stuff but keeps them away. Late July meant warm nights. Loved this challenging hike! Bring your walking sticks.

Loved the trail and views at top were gorgeous.

15 days ago

We decided late Friday night to head out for an overnight in the Sawtooths ... and selected this route. A good bit of elevation gain to make it to Sawtooth Lake is definitely worth it. There were a number of people camping, but we were still able to find a great spot. Bring bug spray, not insane but you’ll want it. Good access to water along the way. Always amazing to wake up at 9,000ft. A good number of day hikers, all good encounters up and down, including a lovely mix of languages and cultures. ♥️

great trail lots of climbing the first five miles 1,500 ft

16 days ago

My first solid backpack trip. Did 3 nights. July 20-23. Snowfield Pass was the the toughest part, but it was free of snow. I was plenty warm in my down bag at night since it was warmer than I expected. 100% Deet keeps the mosquitoes from biting. Plenty of water. Limited camping at Farley Lake. I broke it into four 5-mile days.

17 days ago

Overall a great trail with some pretty amazing views, this would be good for a two night trip but I had to do one night since the mosquitoes were so vicious, make sure to bring some good bug repellent. I would definitely do this loop again but in the later season.

18 days ago

This was a LOVELY hike. While it says “moderate” for difficulty, there were some steep areas that were a bit challenging, especially for people coming from sea level, which was us. We are fairly fit, and there were definitely some areas of the trail that we were breathing hard. Wear solid shoes and bring water, especially in the summer. We arrived at about 9:00 on 7/27/18 and there were a few cars in the parking lot. The initial part is steep! Then it evens out, gets steep again and follows this pattern for about 2 miles. You will walk through meadows with awesome views of the craggy peaks to right and left. There were wild flowers, but not a profuse amount. The lake is beautiful and dipping your feet (or body!) is a must! Unless it’s cold and then don’t, lol! You can walk around the lake, although we didn’t. We did take a short trail up to the smaller lake, and it was lovely as well. You definitely will not regret doing this hike! We passed many people coming down and the parking lot was FULL. So....go early. This is a nice short hike and would give you time to do another in the afternoon.

Made a mistake and ended up on this trail on accident. My daughter and I were supposed to be on #166 but I apparently missed that trailhead. To make a pretty long story short, I had to abandon a lot of gear on that last stretch of the trail. As much as I would like to get it back, it would be a fitting reward for anyone who would be willing or able to get out there and clean it up. Thank you and God bless

I made it back up and even got all my stuff back. This was a pretty great trail to find by mistake but beware that it is a steep one especially once you start hiking toward the peak.

on Murdock Creek

nature trips
21 days ago

Gorgeous scenery, beautiful leisurely walk, wheelchair accessible for part of the trail. Had my 10 year old daughter with me so we had to turn back at the severe incline, but I intend to go back to see if the second half of the trail matches the first half in beauty. Definitely would recommend.

21 days ago

The trail was much better than expected. Still some snow packs at 8300’ where we camped on Sawtooth lake. Super windy and that kept the mosquitoes down for the most part. As soon as the wind died down, out they came...
Plenty of water on trail. Not a great hammock location as suitable trees weren’t abundant anywhere Sawtooth lake itself, but we made due. The trail Was 9.9 miles according to this app’s tracker. Plenty of people and dogs “off leash” but no problems.

The views are incredible. The cabin is great! We loved this hike. A definite must

Awesome backpacking area. Lots of water in the form of lakes, ponds, streams, and waterfalls. The views are amazing! Definitely a 2-3 day (bring plenty of mosquito spray). Not as much people as I thought there would be but all were friendly. If you have time, and are able, try the Snowyside Peak Scramble.

trail running
22 days ago

I loved this hike/run. I agree with others that it’s longer than the 17 miles indicated in the description. I tracked it at over 20. Last week in July meant the trail wasn’t too wet, though I had to remove shoes for one crossing. I went counter clockwise and thought the views were beautiful. Managed to run much of the route, apart from the rocky / craggy /scrabbly sections. Mosquitoes not a problem at all. Not crowded- Came across only about 8 groups along the way. Everyone cheerful and chill. Highly recommend starting early as car park at trailhead fills up and the heat was coming in by about 11-12.

This trail as mapped here is to Roundhouse NOT the summit. The summit is an additional 2 miles (and about another 1800' elevation gain!) one way from the Roundhouse Connector, which is itself .7 miles. The signs at the bottom are misleading because it says 3.7 mi. to Roundhouse and 5 to the summit but the connector makes it so that it's a considerable detour to do so.

Pro Tip: the gondola at roundhouse is free on the way down.

If you want to continue to the summit, you can append that 4 mile round trip and take the connector to roundhouse for the free ride down making for a 7.7 mi total trail. Roundhouse is worth a stop too for some food and beer and to really absorb those views!

I hadn’t gone hiking in a while. This hike had been on my bucket list for a while and I had the opportunity to hike it and I definitely don’t regret it.

I read reviews as I hadn’t met anybody personally who had hiked it, and they made me out to believe it was a fairly easy trail. WRONG.

It would be easy for those with stamina and whom have hiked before but I hadn’t and I’m still feeling it three days after.

The app says it’s a little over 8 miles. But from the parking lot, up and back it was exactly 10.

It was fairly trafficked. Met a few people on the trail. The views were beyond anything I expected. Highly highly recommend this trail to any avid hiker/adventure seeker. I can’t wait for the day i do this trail again!

Hiked July 12th. First time hiking in Idaho. We only had one day/night in Sawtooth (before moving on to Glacier) so this was the hike not to miss. It was better than any of the photos show, so expectation were exceeded. Round trip from trailhead parking lot to Sawtooth Lake was right at 10 miles. Load up on bug spray! My only regret for this hike was not getting in the lake. After getting in two glacier lakes at Glacier National, I really wish I had taken a plunge in Sawtooth as well.

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