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Box Lake Trail is a 7.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near McCall, Idaho that features a lake. The trail is rated as difficult and primarily used for hiking, trail running, camping, and backpacking. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 7.1 mi Elevation gain 2,247 ft Route type Out & Back
Dogs on leash Backpacking Camping Hiking Running Beach Forest Lake Views Wild flowers Scramble
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Reviews (88)
Photos (110)
Recordings (36)
Completed (120)
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Clayton McGlothlin
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Hiking
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Cole McCall
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 13, 2020
HikingGreat!

Tough hike with lots of elevation gain at the start. Be ready for a steep trail right away but with a beautiful view at the end.

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Matika Rasmussen
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Hiking
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Yaoshan Zhu
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Definitely one of the best trail within 3 hours drive from Boise area. The only reason it’s a “hard” rating could be rocky trail. It’s more of a moderate in my opinion. We had a late start 9/5/2020 afternoon around 1pm. Decent amount of the trail is shaded. Reach the top with gorgeous lake view at 3 miles up, go down to the beach about another mile. People camping along the beach, water is icy cold and clear. Watch out the small rocks on trail down hill, wear hiking shoes so you won’t slip. My medium size 8 years young dog did the whole trail, no issue.

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Rachel Shaw
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 7, 2020
Hiking

Hard and so worth it!! I was struggling on the climb up but didn’t appreciate how steep it was until the way down. I did this as a day hike and started around 11, which was great - I missed the backpackers going and coming and had the lake almost entirely to myself. It was absolutely beautiful. Took me about 6 hours total including lunch and swimming at the lake.

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Justin Raney
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Hiking

Hard hike up. Good camping spots with a beach.

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Mark Elli
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 23, 2020
HikingGreat!Rocky

Definitely not one for coming right off the couch. A pretty strenuous hoof from the get-go followed by a nice meadow walk. A rocky descent into the lake. But such a lovely lake!

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Andy Hill
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 22, 2020
HikingGreat!RockyScramble

Got a late start (11AM), so it was pretty warm starting out. After the first mile, there was enough breeze that the heat wasn't bad. Had a lot of smoke at first, but it cleared as the day progressed. Definitely a grunt in spots - that first mile coming out of the parking lot is painful (and it's so loose that coming down it is almost worse). Trail was clear the whole way - looked like the crews had been through recently. Wildflowers were on their way out at lower elevations, but were spectacular above 7000 feet. Lake was primo, and the white sand beach was awesome. Had just enough horseflies that I needed to slap on some bug repellent, but no mozzies. Well worth the effort, but loose footing definitely merits the "hard" rating.

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Rabera Chanario
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 22, 2020
HikingGreat!

It’s a steady ascent for like 2 miles, it’s moderately trafficked, we passed less than 10 people on the trail either going up or down. You get to view the lake at 3 miles or so.

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Sarah Nirenberg
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Hiking

First half is difficult but well worth it

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Timothy Conaway
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HikingGreat!

Incredible!! The hike didn’t really seem that strenuous, but I’m sure the plethora of wild flowers along the way makes you forget about the work to get to box lake. I started out early morning and didn’t experience many bugs. If you have time, definitely recommend camping at the lake simply to enjoy it longer. Definitely worth the trip and I will be coming back to take my kids on my next visit!

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Laura Root
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 16, 2020
HikingGreat!

super steep trail at first and just regular steep after that except for the flat parts. gorgeous wild flowers. I didn't notice a single bug so I must have been lucky. wear good shoes. my dog loved it

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Colleen Asher
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 15, 2020
HikingGreat!

Go early & be prepared to climb a mountain! Pretty steep & trekking poles were helpful. Bugs weren’t bad but there was breeze the whole day. Don’t forget if you camp make sure your fire is all the way out before you leave - we arrived and the backpackers that stayed the night before had not put their fire out :(

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Lo-Ren Ann
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 10, 2020
Hiking

Great hike. Tough start but worth the views and the lake. Took our dog and she loved it. Recommend hiking shoes: rocky and dusty.

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Patrick Fuller
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Hiking
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Jessica Wallsinger
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HikingBugsRocky

Amazing....I recommend heading up in the morning. I hit the trail around 8:30 am. The wildflowers paint the mountain the whole way up. It is rocky and very steep most of the way. The trail flattens out for a stretch at the top and then BOOM! The lake is gorgeous! Its steep decline down to the water, but pretty quick and totally worth it. The water is clear and the colors are amazing. My photos are AWESOME and it still doesn't do it justice. Definitely bug spray or you will be miserable. The forest crew was out there today clearing the trail of fallen trees and overgrowth from the winter so the trail well maintained and clear all the way to the back side of the lake. Highly recommend this one if you don't mind a totally steep hike. Lots of easy slipping, (loose rocks and dusty earth) on the decline, if you wear tennis shoes, be aware.

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Nicole Huff
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 2, 2020
BackpackingBugs

The wildflowers are amazing! The first part of trail is quite steep and the it mellows out for a bit through a meadow, the final part takes you downhill. The views are gorgeous! I would def recommend hiking to this lake! There are lots of mosquitoes and flies so bug spray is a MUST!

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Martin Hambalek
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 20, 2020
HikingBlowdownBugsMuddy

I did a two night backpack to the lake. Trekking poles were very helpful. Yes, it’s steep and tough, but manageable. I camped at the bottom of the switchback. Plenty of room for 2-3 tents in two separate areas. There’s one more good area about .3 miles after you hit the lake. The biggest issue was bugs - lots of mosquitoes. I had a spritz bottle, but wish I had aerosol. There is a lot of seepage and muddy areas so those bastards thrive. Lastly, I followed the trail past the western Sisters lake. The trail is very tough to follow past the end of Box Lake. Great hike and weekend no matter what.

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Anna Hoover
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HikingNo shade

Absolutely gorgeous!!! its a very steep hike leading up to the lake. Once you see the lake the trail continues down all the way to the lake, just follow the trail to the right! Lots of pretty flowers. Bring water and sunscreen, many parts are very open if its a sunny summer day. A couple of fallen trees to ger over or under, absolutely not too challenging but overall it was an uphill/harder hike, but enough flat parts inbetween to make it doable for a person in decent shape! hiked on july 11 2020.

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Bob K
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 12, 2020
Hiking

Loved this trail. Trail is steep but the views going to the lake are excellent. The views of the lake are gorgeous as well

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Rick Roby
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 4, 2020
HikingSnow

Great hike. Fallen trees and such but a beautiful hike.

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Wendy Bird
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 3, 2020
HikingBlowdownBugsMuddy

This trail was beautiful and challenging. I loved it and I recommend it. There were 9 or 10 trees that had been knocked down over the trail. 2 of them required crawling under them. Kids and dogs might have trouble with a couple of them, but overall it wasn’t challenging. A creek at about 1.3 miles in was higher than usual and took extra effort to cross. The rock path that I’d normally take had a couple steps submerged and the water was running pretty fast. This was challenging. On my ascent I took a downed tree to the right across instead, and on the way down I crossed on some rocks on the opposite side of the path than the trees. My dog wouldn’t have been able to cross it, but ymmv. There’s a lot of marshy sections and a lot of bugs, definitely bring bug spray. I saw one snake, but I’m 80% sure it was just a garter. It was black with one long stripe of yellow/orange from head to tail that I could see, but may have had more on the side/under belly. Lots of deer! :) I started at 6 am and didn’t see anyone until I was nearly done with my descent, at which I saw 4 couples and two dogs. They were all very respectful and distanced properly, but if that would bother you then start early!

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