Explore the most popular river 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.

Hike had it all (other than a waterfall). Ended up on a different trail that brought us to the smallest, most beautiful lake first. Hubby and I were the only ones there. From there we went to the other 2 lakes. Feel like it was more than 4.6 mi & hubby didn’t believe me that it was “only a moderate.” Beautiful flowers, trees, views and lakes. Not crowded at all.

hiking
2 days ago

I struggled on the uphill portion of this hike. Before I left I didn't consider the change in altitude with the elevation gain. It was a challenging uphill hike for me and I huffed and puffed my way all the way to the lake. Despite my huffing and puffing, this was a fantastic hike. Scenery was so beautiful and varied. Lots of wild flowers, butterflies, and the view of the lake was worth the climb. I would definitely make the trek again!

hiking
3 days 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 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!

hiking
9 days ago

What a fantastic hike!! Did this today, and the gradual incline is just enough to keep you honest and the overall out and back distance is far enough to make it count! Go early on a warmer day as there’s not too much shade. Beautiful scenery, fabulous views! Hits all the high marks!

hiking
11 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

Just accomplished this hike the first Sunday in August and it was a good workout to say the least ! Started with Walhstrom Hollow trail and ended with Third Fork. beautiful hike !

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.

This is a lovely hike! We did it in late-July and there were still loads of wildflowers blooming. There are many birds by the river, offering great birding opportunities. The trail is easy, with just some rolling steeps at the beginning; well maintained! I'd suggest leaving to hike early in the morning during the summer months as it can get hot in the alpine sun.
The drive in is long and bumpy requiring a medium, to high-clearance vehicle due to large rocks embedded in the road. There are numerous beautiful camping spots on the way in, no need to pay at the early campgrounds.
From the main trail you can access numerous big mountain ascents, so plan to backpack in and day pack up!

backpacking
20 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.

backpacking
20 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.

hiking
21 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.

backpacking
22 days ago

It had the potential to be a really good trip for my daughter and myself, but things went very wrong for us. For starters there were 2 trailheads, one of which was tucked back to the right marked by a worn old wood carved sign. I suspect we picked the wrong trail to the lake. When I had mapped it out it appeared we would have almost unlimited access to the creek, but as we got out there we found access was limited and the hike was more than we bargained for. I ended up getting sick and dehydrated on the final stretch of the hike and we had to stop and sleep on the side of a mountain against a tree to keep us from rolling down, all the while I was evacuating everything in my stomach. The next morning we decided to just make it to the closest source of water (which happened to be down a false trail that leads nowhere which we discovered by accident) and then just hike out of there. Being as weak as I was and still suffering from dehydration at the least I had to make the hard decision to leave behind a large amount of my equipment on that mountain, an act I feel is just wrong as I’m a firm believer in the “leave no trace” policy. If anyone happens to find it you’re more than welcome to make use of it yourself or you can find me on Facebook if you feel it necessary. What’s important to me is that it gets cleaned up.



After doing some additional research I found that we ended up on “Pioneer Cabin via Hyndman Creek Trail,” although we never made it there. If you’re going for this trail make sure you find that wood carved sign marked “#166.”


Made it back up and met a very nice couple coming back down the trail with all of stuff.

moderate hike, short but with elevation change. great camping

on Murdock Creek

nature trips
24 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.

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
25 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.

When you get to the trailhead facing the posted map and registry, take the trail on the right if you want to run into a rock slide and not find your way through like we did.

So we went back.

Back at the trailhead (facing the map) if you take the trail to the left, you’ll find a lovely hike through forest, and meadows. THIS was the hike I read about in Sun Valley Mag and the one I actually set out to do. At around mile 1.6 you reach a gravel beach along the river and it’s a great turn-around spot if you don’t want to continue on to the lakes.

This trail has some spectacular views, but the switch backs to the cabin make for a gnarly hike. Bring plenty of water

hiking
30 days ago

This is not an easy trail. To get to the lake there is a hard climb almost straight up.

hiking
30 days ago

It was a good chill hike. Was a bit longer hike cause big Smokey creek was rushing so the lower trail was cut off by the creek water was to high to cross. So we had to take the higher tail which made for a good hike.. if you like hot springs give it a try you won’t be disappointed..

Hiked this morning, July 15, moderate difficulty. Good shade throughout. May want to wear a pair of light pants and a good portion of the trail has thistle growing at the edge of a narrow path: I had shorts on and was poked a bit but not horribly. Few spots on the end where the steep decent along with fine gravel makes things a bit greasy. Good overall experience

hiking
1 month ago

Very busy trail. Hiked up to lower lake in the afternoon. Steady climb all the wa with nice views of surrounding peaks. Had expected to see more wildflowers as we had at Baker Lake that morning. Reached lake at 4pm and there was no one else there. Nice views across the lake and plenty of trout in the lake.

hiking
1 month ago

A really nice easy hike through swathes of wildflowers. The lake was relatively quiet as we hiked early but there were several families and groups hiking in ad we made the return...guessing it would have been quite noisy later! Definitely worth the effort to drive up to Baker Lake though just for the wildflowers.

backpacking
1 month ago

Stellar views, and not too crowded, even over the 4th. The pass is still snow packed and there’s a narrow cornice to squeeze through, but there are footprints to follow over the snow packed areas where the trail disappears. Be warned, the mosquitoes are appalling, and are biting through bug repellant. They were so bad I turned my 2 nighter into an overnight and knocked out the remainder of the loop in a day.

This trail blew me away. Prepare to get your feet wet doing a half dozen or so stream crossings and significant hiking over snowpack. Doable in one day if you start very early and travel light. Plentiful sources of water along the way.

hiking
1 month ago

Possibly my favorite hike I’ve ever done. Saw plenty of birds, deer and quarrels on the hike up. The view from the lake is well worth the 8 mile round trip hike! At no point would I consider this a difficult hike, moderate at best.

Gorgeous hike along the creek. The mountains and peaks in the valley are awesome. And just when you question if there really is a cabin at the end of the trail there it is. Loved the art left behind by previous hikers.

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