Explore the most popular Camping trails in Sawtooth National Recreation Area with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

backpacking
1 month ago

Incredible backpacking trip to Alpine lake. After the easy trip across the Redfish lake, we set-up camp on the best spot on the lake for 2 nights, and had the area all to ourselves. Great opportunity for day-hikes around the area. Saw a HUGE fish zooming around Alpine lake. The stars at night were breathtaking and views that are tough to beat.

hiking
snow
1 month ago

Awesome trail. Well kept. You have to cross tiny streams of water (melted snow) several times but shallow and with rocks so even sneakers are good. Switchbacks at the very beginning and almost at the very end. Very smooth! Rather easy hike. You do have to take a boat to get to the start of this trail, and they don’t run year round. Check out the Redfish Lodge Marina website for information on the shuttle. Alternatively, you can add 5 miles to your hike (each way. Check the Redfish Lake trail)

Tough last mile or so but worth it for those lakes!

One of the most beautiful hikes I have done in sawtooth! would redo.

Worth the suck! A bit of a stack or up the last mile but worth it!

hiking
3 months ago

My Son and I started at the trailhead, after the boat ride from Redfish Lodge dock, at 8:40am August 20, 2019. I'm 66 and my Son is a very fit 28. We hiked the 5.5 miles to Alpine Lake, spent 30 minutes there, and flew back down the mountain and got back to the boat dock at 2:15pm. On this day we didn't need to ford any streams and didn't need water shoes for any stream crossings. We had no altitude adjustment issues even though we had only one day to adjust from our Sea Level homes. The trail condition was great and fallen trees had been cut so we didn't have to do any "step-overs". …. Thank you, Forest Service and trail groomers!!! This hike has spectacular scenery. It also is spectacular exhibits of the 70 million year old white granite Atlanta Pluton and the 50 million year old pink granite Sawtooth Pluton. Stunningly raw and beautiful!! So glad we did this 11 mile roundtrip hike.... and the boat ride was also fun.... the 4-mile each way roundtrip boat ride was well worth the $17/person... especially for me at 66! If you have time for backpacking, I have to think going to and beyond Alpine Lake would offer up some of the most spectacular backpacking scenery anywhere.

hiking
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

this trail is a very hard climb and loose gravel. but the end result is worth it. the trail can be hard at times to see but just keep the creek to the right and look for footprints in the ground. i would only recommend this trail if you are in shape and are committed to climbing a lot and hiking a lot. as you take the turn off to head into saddleback you will come across a river that will have a bridge made of logs that are a little wobbly and tough to cross so just take your time.

We took the boat across the lake for $17 per person. Hiked to the pond and onto the falls. So beautiful. Easy and quick back and forth in one hour just in time for the boat pick up. The falls are worth the hike. Enjoy.

This is an amazing route. Alice Lake is stunning and it is complemented by many other lakes and peaks that make the whole route well worth it. We started at Pettit with our first night at Alice, and our second night at Upper Cramer. When we finished we took the boat taxi across and got ice cream. Great experience. The shuttle has set times to pick you up, but when the taxi comes across to drop people off you can waive them down and head back early. We got to dock at 11 right when a group was being dropped off so it was perfect for us. Mosquitos was the only down side. If you stop for a breather you get swarmed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoZAj5K4Cow

Be sure to refer to the AllTrails map to identify the best spot to cross the creek, NOT where the trail maps indicate you should cross. You'll know you are in the right spot when you come across the logs shown in uploaded photos. On the descent, be sure to again look to the AllTrails map so that you take the right departure from the trail shown on trail maps, else you'll end up at a spot that is next to impossible to cross. Challenging ascent after the creek crossing but a beautiful lake and setting.

This was truly an awesome hike !! It started with a scenic boat ride to trailhead. FYI, go to Red River lodge, at end of Marina dock they will check u in and make sure you get on return boat; $17 round trip, $12 one way and otherwise is 4.5 mile hike to trailhead.(AllTrails : please add this info to trail description). Agree with previous reviews- this trail has everything. Mountains, flowing rivers, wildflowers, wildlife (deer, birds and butterflies), snow and gorgeous lake at end. It is 6 miles each way per my GPS. It is challenging, but not extremely difficult.

Great hike.

backpacking
bugs
snow
4 months ago

Hiked the reverse of this route (Pettit to Redfish) over a 4-night trek with 7 friends. June 30 - July 4. Day tripped to Saddleback Lakes instead of the Alpine Lake detour. Snow was more persistent than expected but very navigable with moderate GPS usage. Higher altitudes frosted our gear over night but continually warming throughout the week. Mosquitoes were a huge inconvenience at Toxaway and below the Cramer chain. More manageable at higher altitudes. Crossed a mess of an avalanche field between Pettit and Toxaway but doable. River crossing between Cramer and Redfish was roughly 3-4 feet of freezing rushing snow melt but everyone managed to cross.

Absolute ass-kicker for me, but well worth it for the views and sense of accomplishment. The creeks are flowing like rivers right now.

This is a nice, short trail with a great payoff. The creek was flowing at river levels and the waterfall was loud! Lily Lake is cool too. We combined this with a hike to Alpine Lake and it made for a great day. PSA, the bridge over Redfish Lake Creek at the campground was destroyed at some point earlier in the year, but there is a large, sturdy log crossing in its place.

Such a great hike! It's tough to find the trail at times, so be sure to keep the creek on your right as you hike in and pay attention on your way out; we got lost and had to bushwack our way back. The last half mile is TOUGH but the views at the end are worth it!

absolutely spectacular views. it can get a little confusing once you get off the beaten path but as long as you keep the creek on your right and the mountain on your left, you'll be fine.

One of my all time favorite places in the Sawtooths. This hike is tough and steep but with amazing and rewarding views. The trail is not the easiest to find or follow, it is not marked. Head across the river at flat rock junction (enjoy some time sliding down the rocks here too) before finding the trail to the north.

backpacking
Sat Jul 28 2018

This hike was SO beautiful but it was pretty tough! It is a steady incline for about two miles. The last mile/mile and a half is a CLIMB!!! Make sure you watch the trails and record your hike. It’s hard to find your way back. Worth it!!

Amazing trail. I started out early around 8:30 so there was no wait for a boat and it was quite chilly to start (around 50 degrees). Love the boat ride to and from. Very moderate trail with a steady set of switchbacks that lead to the lake. I wasn’t paying attention and walked past it so keep a lookout to the left after the trail levels out again. The lake is turquoise blue and refreshing for a swim. Enjoy!

Beautiful trail. Difficult climb at the end but worth the effort! Lake is spectacular!

Probably one of the most beautiful hikes in the Sawtooths. The trail itself is scenic not to mention Alpine Lake. Just hiked this with my dogs in late June; very little snow at the lake this year compared to years past. Lots of sun hiking through the canyon, make sure you wear your sunscreen!

backpacking
Sun Jun 17 2018

Absolutely incredible trail, very well maintained and just breathtakingly beautiful in every direction. We spent two days up at Alpine lake June 13th and 14th, the weather was great and trail was clear until you reach the lake where there’s still a lot of snow, but is still very accessible.

hiking
Tue Jun 12 2018

Camped at the Redfish Inlet campground and day hiked this route up to Alpine Lake. From the main trailhead the markers state it's 5.7 miles up to the lake, which would make this a round trip of 11.4 miles. Gorgeous views and not too difficult until the final ascent.

hiking
Fri Jun 08 2018

Phenomenal day hike. Excellent views, scenery, well-kept dirt trail and not heavily trafficked. At one point about midway up, you are on a ridge with a drop off to Redfish Lake and a huge view of the mountains in the distance on your left and the Sawtooth's snow capped peaks looming up on your right. Plan for some time to hang out and enjoy alpine lake at the top. We did not, and didn't have much time before we had to scurry back down before it got dark. There was still plenty of snow and ice near the lake when we hiked this in early June.

hiking
Tue Aug 01 2017

This hike has it all... forests, lakes, river, waterfalls, hillside of flowers blooming in very late July, sawtooth formation mountains on both sides of trail, snow views and a steady, nice gradual climb. We did not see many people. Do note, you should take a boat from the Redfish Lodge to get to the start of the trail head. We just showed up and got on a boat right away. Also got lucky that the boat arrived early on our return (4:15pm) and took us back on the spot (as opposed to waiting for 5pm). This was an all out beautiful day hike from start to finish. Bring plenty of water. We tracked it at 11.4 miles roundtrip (we did walk a bit around Alpine Lake to find a quiet spot for lunch and to soak our feet). When you get to the last of the switchbacks, look to your left to see a rock ledge; great view looking back at the valley toward Redfish Lake.

Load More