Explore the most popular wildlife 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.

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)

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!

8 days ago

Hike was pretty easy. Not too far but it was mostly uphill all the way to the lake. There is a upper and a lower lake on this trail for anyone who didn’t know, so don’t forget to make it up to the upper. There was a lot of people on the trail, that’s my only complaint, but I’d recommend

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!

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.

love this trail didn't make the full loop because I didn't know when it ended. Has alot of shaded areas, listened to river just beautiful

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

hiking
10 days ago

We took our 2 and 5 year olds from the main trailhead and back. No boat for us. The views of Redfish were nice as we walked along the ridge and watched boats shoot across the lake. We also saw a very cute weasel or ferret of some kind. The actual destination though was a very buggy lake that was sub par for what other things you could see in the area. If all the hikes that are possible in the area are accessible, I would not recommend this one. We did this simply because the hikes we wanted to do are still frozen over.

hiking
10 days ago

Beautiful hike! There are five lakes but the tail only goes to the first two. You have to bush wack your way to the others. There was an odd combination of mosquitoes and snow up there when we went. Popular family hike so go early to avoid them.

on Redfish Lake Trail

hiking
11 days ago

Great trail conditions. Lots of variety. Great views at lots of locations

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

on Bench Lakes Trail

hiking
12 days ago

Hiked this trail the first week of June and it was awesome. Great weather, not a mosquito in sight (when everywhere else had tons) and I went early-ish (~8am) so encountered few hikers. The trail itself was really pleasant; the grade was low enough that I didn't break a sweat though it still seemed like good exercise.
This trail had great variety; the first part of the hike started in a dense forest, then the middle was along the lake on a ridge, and the final part switch-backed through a mountain meadow with pristine lakes. At the end of the hike I walked to the lodge to grab a beer and dip my feet in the lake. Definitely recommend this hike for a pleasant day!

hiking
13 days ago

This hike is really great for kids. We took 6 and the youngest was 6. It’s a gradual climb and the change in scenery along the way is a big payoff. The wildflowers are currently going off. Will definitely do this hike again.

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
1 month 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
1 month 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.

hiking
1 month ago

This trail was stunning. We went on 5/5/18, a nice warm overcast off-season day. Still lots of snow on the trail at points which caused quite a bit of post holing. We only went three miles up, but still worth it. These isn’t a very tough hike and the views of the lake were great. Highly recommend!

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!

hiking
2 months ago

We hiked up to the second lake, took a swim, and hiked back out. There is a shuttle from the lodge that will take you across and I think you can just hike straight up or down if you want a round trip. Check the map.

We went during beautiful wildflowers season. The path was lined with flowers in certain areas. Super beautiful.

Super quiet. We plan on doing this hike again this summer!

It was great.

Wasn’t a bad hike! Took my dog on a Sunday in February and there were patches of bare trail. We only did about 2.5 miles out-and-back cus it was so cold but it was fun! Will probably do the whole loop this summer.

Great Trail

been on this trail many times with my horses

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

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