Explore the most popular horseback riding 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.

Very nice loop. We went by way of Alice Lake around to Toxaway. Lots of good scenery and alpine views. Still a good bit of snow going over the pass. We had to make our way without a trail for a good bit but found our way through. There was a cornice at the top of the pass so had to do some light scrambling over a rocky area to get past it. Think the milage is closer to 20 miles. Water is plentiful. Great trip.

Great hike. scenic and shady. We went the 21 of June and there were a few places we hiked through the snow. Spent the night at the lake and was a little cold.

Great hike with amazing views. We took our time and plenty of photos which averaged us out around 46 minutes/mile. (2 short days and 2 full days)

We enjoyed the trip best coming in from Pettit Lake to Toxaway first, going over the pass, then down by Alice Lake back to Pettit. Last year we started the other directions and we just preferred the other way personally.

Views are amazing. The pass was a challenge and a little sketchy if you aren’t used to snow/heights, but that was a first for me and it was accomplished, so doable. (June 22nd, 2018)

hiking
1 month ago

we hike this trail every year when on vacation at alturus lake. lots of switchbacks and a beautiful rest about 2.5 miles in. a nice little sandy area on the creek. have seen lots of wildlife and some amazing views!

did the full loop june 15th and 16th.amazing scenery! very alpine lots of snow over the pass hard to find trail but doable for 3 miles between twin lakes and toxaway...worth it! creeks running high overall adventure and plenty of views and water.....Bring fishing pole!

backpacking
2 months ago

Great hike! Still lots of snow on the trail, knee deep in places, but was able to pack in and camp overnight at the lake.

backpacking
2 months ago

Amazing, moderately trafficked trail! Will hike again! Super beautiful views!

Hiked 6/13/18. Most of the snow has melted, except at the lake itself. Great trail, plenty of shade and not too steep. Beautiful area

Hiked on 5/19, lots of snow. AllTrails and a compass were helpful for trail finding. Fell in knee deep or further several places. Snowshoes or cross country skis are highly recommended. Great views and gorgeous lake (although it was still frozen/slush at this time).

Hiked on 5/28. The trail is clearly marked until you pass the creek, where you lose the trail almost completely. You need to navigate to the lake by yourself from that point on. AllTrails and GPS were very helpful in getting us to the lake!! Also, very snowy and wet, at least 3 feet+ of snow. Extremely beautiful and worth the trek, however would probably wait a month or two (or just wear snow shoes!!)

May 26, 2018. Too snowy to actually hike. I parked about a mile from the trail head because the snow was too deep to continue on a car. Got to the trail head and did about half a mile of the trail before turning back. Absolutely beautiful but snow up to my knees in many places (I'm 6'2"). You could probably do the hike if you had snow shoes.

backpacking
2 months ago

Hiked it a on May 21. Good trail but noticed a lot of down trees and branches covering the trail. Also had tough time cause there was still a ton of snow once you pass creek. Made also difficult to walk or follow the trail without snow shoes. Overall good hike, probably better to do in a couple months.

backpacking
2 months ago

This trail is amazing. The lakes along the hike are beautiful and full of trout. The campsites around the lakes are plentiful with great views of the lakes. If you like to fish/backpack this is a great trail. We did this Sept 13-17, 2017.

Still, a lot of snow on the trail as others have stated. Whether you use boots with or without gaters, you will need about 12" of protection to keep your feet dry. I highly recommend gaters!

We followed Trail 640 to the valley Iron Creek crossing. Steadily increasing snow as you make your way up the trail. With some strategic log placement, we were able to make it across with relatively dry feet. From that point on, you will be walking on about 3ft of snow (mostly solid pack). It is absolutely beautiful in the valley and well worth it to cross the creek.

After the creek, despite using 2 different offline GPS trail maps, we were unable to find the trail again. We made our way to the next ridgeline, ate lunch, and decided to turn back.

An amazing hike with the right gear and highly recommended.

It's not the hike's fault there was too much snow.

It is absolutely gorgeous up there! And so quiet. I went on a beautiful blue bird day, crisp and sunny. This was my first time hiking in the Sawtooth wilderness and couldn't believe how lightly tracked the trail was, if it even was the trail.

I followed someone's path about 2.5 miles in before their trail abruptly ended at a canyon. Considering there was no return footprints, I can only assume...
1. They were eaten by a bear,
2. They fell into the canyon or
3. I'm just an idiot and couldn't see where they actually went.

Either way, would love to come back someday and try this hike again when all the snow melts.

going to go back in the next month to actually get to the trail. Unfortunately there was a pretty decent amount of snow so we didnt get to go as far as originally planned! Can't wait to go try again soon!

It was great.

Beautiful at every turn. Would definitely go again. Met great people along the trail who told the best places to set up camp.

Was fantastic, went with the young men’s group. We can’t wait to do it again

backpacking
8 months ago

Fantastic hike with spectacular views and sparkling mountain lakes. Don't forget the bug spray.

Unforgettable!

One of if not the best hikes I've done. Just incredibly beautiful. It was a little chilly and very windy in early October. Saw a tree and several branches toppled so be careful if it's windy. Amazing how fast a tree can fall when it gets going.

10 months ago

A favorite!

Beautiful wilderness. Was the perfect place to see the 2017 Eclipse! It was a bit overcrowded for the eclipse, but we got some good camping spots. We had one patch of snow that made finding the trail difficult when we did the hike back in August, but it wasn't terrible. The water was flowing great and the lakes were beautiful! Highly recommend this loop! We gave ourselves 4 days out there but could have easily done 3.

backpacking
11 months ago

Prettiest place I've ever backpacked.

Beautiful hike. Camped over Labor Day weekend. Only downfall is the trail is pretty crowded.

backpacking
11 months ago

It was a beautiful hike! Challenging to do in 2 days, and would recommend splitting it up into 3. Bring lots of bug spray. There is plenty of running water, and don't forget your iodine tablets! You have to cross a few streams, so brining light weight water shoes is a good idea. However, you can find a way to cross most of them without having to change shoes. I started by heading to Alice Lake first. I would recommend heading toward Toxaway first.

camping
11 months ago

My husband and I arrived around 1:00 p.m. on Saturday of Labor Day Weekend. Parking (free) was maxed out but luckily we found a spot; near the Trailhead is your standard bathroom should you need one. At the Trailhead is where you fill out your free wilderness permit.

Now, the hike was lovely! It starts out pretty flat with your standard Idaho forest and eventually begins to climb. You'll cross a couple of creeks (logs and rocks strategically placed if you'd like to remain dry), enter into a beautiful meadow which still had wild flowers in bloom on September 3, and ride switchbacks with some epic views of the Sawtooth Mountain range. The trail will vary from a powdery dirt like substance to gravel, to rocks... be careful to avoid twisting/spraining your ankle!

We found the hike to be pretty strenuous with a pack as our goal was to camp at the lake, but it was doable!

By the time we arrived at the lake, all of the lakeside camping spots had been taken (obviously)! We still found a nice one but Lake side is what you should strive for!

We did a little bit of fishing and were pretty successful in the evening (sunset) and early morning (sunrise) in catching tiny trout.

The haze/smoke from Montana has reached this lovely range; while it has impeded some of the views slightly, it didn't affect our air quality (as far as we could tell). I lugged my Canon 5D Mark III, 35mm f/1.4 lens, and a tripod JUST to get a shot of the stars. Nothing was visible by midnight so we went to bed. We didn't include our cover/precipitation/wind protector in hopes of seeing some stars... I was hesitant at first due to the cold weather BUT the newest Marmout sleeping bags we purchased were PERFECT and kept us warm. I woke around 2:00 a.m. to beautiful stars!! It was so cold... I couldn't bring myself to get out of my sleeping bag SO I just enjoyed it for what it was. It was also SO QUIET! Our dog actually slept through the entire night without being bothered by little creature noises in the night.

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