Explore the most popular fishing trails in Targhee 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.

Fun and easy hike! Snow is gone and there are lots of bugs, but it was a great evening hike and didn’t take long at all.

A agree with the last review, this hike was very easy. The day we went was cool, 52°, and breezy. The forest cover kept the strong winds out but the wind did keep the mosquitos away. I would imagine this trail would be full of mosquitoes on a nice day with no breeze. The views of the river were beautiful and the waterfall was fun to see. A nice easy groomed covered hiking trail for sure.

Ran this trail a few days ago. Beautiful. 5a on a Tuesday meant not a soul around. Weather was awesome in early June. Took about 2 hr 25 min to run to upper Palisades and back with no traffic. From the campground it was 14.3 miles and about 1700 ft of elevation. I’ve run this trail on a Friday morning and it was starting to get busy. Saturday’s are really busy. Good luck getting around all the horse and foot traffic on the weekend if you are a runner.

Great hike. Follows a river the entire time that is beautiful. At the time we hiked the creek was pretty full leading to some muddy parts of the trail but it was still very doable. There is not a lot of steep incline on this hike so it's good for a lot of ages. very popular

hiking
25 days ago

Very nice hike...even saw a moose on the other side of the creek. If you only want to do a shorter hike, turn around at the Dry Canyon intersection...about 2.7 Miles in. Otherwise, there are no real destinations before that...just a nice hike in the woods near a pretty stream. There was a little mud, but not all that bad. My 15 year old daughter hiked in canvas sneakers and got sore feet, but otherwise okay. Spots are a little rocky.

This was a really beautiful hike, with tree cover for most of the trail. The river views were great as well. I was a little nervous because this hike is rated at a moderate difficulty, but it was actually very easy, with little or no altitude change.

hiking
30 days ago

The trail has some muddy parts because of the spring runs offs. Otherwise it is dry. No snow. After about 2.5 miles there is a ford. You do not need fording shoes to cross, but it may not be easy to cross if you have small kids with you.

I continued to Siddoway fork, but got to a creek that I was not able to cross (deep, fast running water about 45 feet wide), so I turned around and got back.

backpacking
1 month ago

This is a fun trail to hike and camp at. There's a pretty river that runs through and great scenery. Watch out for stinging nettles but other than that it's a fantastic trail!

backpacking
1 month ago

This is a beautiful trail with, diverse scenery along the way. Only reason for giving it 4 stars is that its pretty popular and can get congested at times. Also when backpacking, good camp spots and firewood are a little sparse.

DONT GO HIKING HERE YET. We made it most the way up the mountain but the whole way up, there’s was still TONS of snow even though it was 75 degrees outside!! It looks deceiving haha, it starts out pretty dry but then get snowy real quick. We didn’t make it down to the lake, but from the view we had of it, it looked frozen still. We also had to park quite far from the trailhead because there was a huge puddle covering the road and we couldn’t drive through it in our little Subaru crosstrek. I’m sure this would be a great hike in July when the snow has melted but for now I’d hold off unless hiking through 2 feet of snow is your kinda thing! There was a beautiful view at the top but I don’t think frozen and bleeding legs from repeatedly sinking in the deep icy snow is worth it.

hiking
2 months ago

We got 5.4 miles away from the trail head in our little Toyota Camry and there is a large hill that is basically a mud hill. I went half way up but started to slide. Maybe I’ll bring a 4x4 next time

backpacking
3 months ago

It's a heavily traveled trail and a great one to start on. We usually hit this one in June each year for an overnight experience and the fishing in the upper lake is usually pretty good! Keep an eye out for moose and deer!

backpacking
3 months ago

Great weekend backpacking destination.

on Big Elk Creek Trail

trail running
7 months ago

Great trail. We made a late season run to the 6.5 mile mark in preparation for next year's Palisades Ultra Trail Series. Creeks were cold and snow was 1-4 inches with lots of animal signs, no actual sightings though. Can't wait until next year!

hiking
8 months ago

Great trail, super pretty, just very muddy.

The hike there is beautiful, it's a little difficult to get down to the lake but worth it. There was quite a bit of people there already when I went (during summer of 2016)

hiking
8 months ago

The hike up to Aldous Lake was easy and the lake was beautiful. The tall pines we're fantastic and well worth the trip by themselves. Hancock Lake, the upper lake, was much more difficult to get to, but was still a great hike. Well worth the extra effort.

hiking
9 months ago

Gorgeous views of the river the whole way! Super easy flat trail. We were the only ones on it since it's mid September and just finished raining and was on the chilly side. Love the rock walls that line the river.... makes for some beautiful pictures!

Absolutely Beautiful!!!

We just went to the lower lake. Really fun trail. Gradual incline to the lower lake. Plenty of places to rest. The trail is mostly in the shade and has beautiful views the entire way.

backpacking
9 months ago

First of all, when the description says heavily used, it's not joking around. The first four miles of the trail (to the lower lake) will see a lot of traffic on the weekends in the summer, mostly due to the relative ease of the trail and the views along the way. Beyond the lower lake, the traffic drops off quite a bit.

The first four miles offer views of the creek. Mountain goats can often be seen on the canyon walls. The lower lake isn't anything too spectacular, though there is a nice resting area.

Between the lower and upper lakes, keep an eye out for moose in the marshy areas. At roughly six miles in, the trail splits. If you enjoy water crossings, you can continue on up Palisades creek. Otherwise, you'll cross the bridge and take a few switchbacks to the upper lake.

The trail along the upper lake will have you in the direct sunlight. However, once you reach the far end of the upper lake, there are several great camp sites. The forest service has even installed a vault toilet.

If you've come this far, the additional three miles up waterfall canyon is worth the effort, particularly in the late spring or early summer when the snow runoff produces a second cascading waterfall on the opposite side of the canyon. One can even take the waterfall canyon trail up to the top of the basin, where it connects with Austin canyon (which can take you over toward Big Elk Creek) and the Waterfall Crest trail, which at the crest connects to the Sheep Creek trail and the Lake Canyon trail, the latter taking you back down to the Lower Palisades lake (caution: this trail will likely be overgrown and GPS is strongly recommended).

hiking
9 months ago

A great trail for a hike with younger children. The trail is quite easy for the first four miles or so, with lots of nice views of the creek. There's plenty of shade along the way, and for those so inclined, several good options for campsites within the first three miles. Beyond the three mile mark, look for mountain goats on the steep canyon walls.

At about five miles in, the trial splits, giving the more adventurous hiker several options, including the South Fork and the Siddoway Fork. The latter connects with Austin Canyon and Neeley Cove.

birding
9 months ago

Many large and small birds - grouse, hawks, etc. there are also many eagles nests in dead pines- Just gotta look up. When you get to the end where it over looks the falls, look left while sitting on the bench and the nest may still be there. Pretty flat land, nothing strenuous at all. After the bench, there's a trail that continues down towards the water.

Great hike

birding
10 months ago

Scenic trail that parallels the Henry's Fork River. Observed lots of wildlife and bird species. Saw ospreys, Western Tanagers, ruffed grouse, Green Tailed Towhee, yellow warblers, mountain chickadees, northern flickers, bald eagle, red tailed hawk, Townsend's Solitaire, and even a Townsend's Warbler. Hiked to where we could see the waterfall, which is across the river. Great hike, beautiful woods and scenery, and not too much elevation change.

Liked this hike. It follows the stream the whole way and is very scenic. Elevation gain is gradual. You can fish the stream if you want

hiking
10 months ago

beautiful hike, the upper lake is totally worth it and the water is great to swim in during the warm season! took us about 5.5-6 hours to complete with lunch included! bring sunscreen and a camera, you won't regret either!

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