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.

DISTANCE
7.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,247 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

trail running

beach

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

scramble

30 days ago

Definitely my favorite trail in the McCall area. The hike was tough but the views were totally worth it. Mid October was the perfect time to go as we got to experience all of the fall colors and got to see snow at the lake.

hiking
1 month ago

So beautiful!!! End of September the leaves are all changing color and it was breath taking. Definitely a steep trek and there is loose dirt and gravel so be careful going down. We had the whole trail and lake all to ourselves. There’s a beach area at the lake to relax. The drive up to the trail head is a dirt road but not difficult to drive at all. Enough parking for about 6 cars. Would definitely recommend!

backpacking
2 months ago

We set up base camp here for 3 nights and did day hikes in both directions on Crestline Trail - this is really a lovely lake with amazing white sand beach. It's really only about 2.5 miles to the south end of the lake where the beach is. There was a bit of uphill but I would rate this moderate to hard. The distance is pretty short and there are many places where the trail levels out after a good climb, so it's not too bad. The trail is in good shape to box lake - nothing scary or sketchy but a good effort. After Box Lake it gets a bit sketchy - lots of downed trees (look for the downed trees that have obviously been cut to mark the trail) - but nothing scary. Lots of nearby lakes within 7-10 miles for your day hikes - including a lovely view of McCall and Payette lake.

2 months ago

Whew! Tough hike in but the scenery more than makes up for it. The trail is very steep at the beginning and eventually plateaus in some areas. After laying eyes on the lake you are tasked with traversing a steep and rocky trail to the lake's shore. The challenge of this hike is well worth it!

hiking
3 months ago

A serious ass kicker, lots of inclines and dips but the beauty of nature around you is so worth it, there are so many wildflowers and the water is so clear!, nothing beats a hike that really makes you work for it, it’ll pay off big time and the trail maintenance people are super sweet, they do a great job keeping the trail clear so you don’t wander off in the wrong direction, if you want a challenge and a sensory overload, then make this the next hike you go on

backpacking
3 months ago

Hiked in to the lake and spent a night. Forest Service crew was doing trail work as we hiked in, cutting out downed trees. This trail kicked my butt and I’m in decent shape at 2800’ with no pack on. At 7100’ with a heavy pack I suffered. Wildflowers were raging! As were the mosquitoes. Packed in a fishing rod but detected no fish in the lake. Visitors to this place need to study up and practice Leave No Trace.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike! Beautiful wildflowers, solid incline, and well maintained trail. Only took an afternoon to complete!

4 months ago

Beautiful hike. Go in the morning to avoid people.

backpacking
4 months ago

This trail is awesome and we can’t wait to do it again. We backpacked up to the lake and stayed the night. The hike to the lake took us 2:15 to get to the lake and 1:45 to make it back. FYI, No snow in July.

Readers need to take note of the intervals of the contour lines. The intervals on the map are large and if your not aware the map can be deceiving.

There are several excellent campsites on the south side of the lake (3 established sites right on the lake and 2-3 about 50 meters off the lake). There is a beach on the south sound of the lake that is perfect for swimming. We were planning on camping on the north side but couldn’t find the trail so we stayed on the south side of the lake.

We hiked the summit west of the lake for fun. There wasn’t a trail so se just scaled the mountain for a fun day hike.

If you feel like hiking in a fishing pole in, there were a lot of fish jumping in the lake during the morning hours.

Bring bug spray!

hiking
4 months ago

One of my favorite hikes I have done. Had a bachelor hike for my twin brother. It's almost up hill the whole way up. Amazing scenery the entire way. Once you get to the top were you can see the lake it's a step trail all the way to the lake. Very rewarding hike. I would rate this difficult. because of the elevation gain in 3.5 miles. I will be hiking this trail again. Just remember its down hill once you hike back out of the lake.

hiking
5 months ago

Good hike, my 7 yr old hiked it with me, still snow at the top and leading down to the lake. Lots of dead trees but it was pretty in its own way. We stopped where you could see the lake, too much snow and too steep to go down to the lake. A month from now should be good to go. Will do this hike again later.

hiking
Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Its takes anywhere from 4 to 5 hours with breaks to complete. its absolutely beautiful went early October there was light snow but nothing unbearable.

backpacking
Monday, September 04, 2017

The views are amazing and the beach camping is all you would want. It needs to be emphasized how difficult the first stretch can be if you are backpacking. There is a lot of steep elevation gain before the trail briefly levels out into a meadow. Then there is some more uphill before dropping down to the lake. Enjoy!

backpacking
Thursday, August 10, 2017

A beautifully strenuous hike up but well worth the effort. While ascending you will plateau two times and crest mountain ridges three times. If you're hiking with dogs access to water Will be after your first crest just a little over a mile up. Once you reach the lake,
The immediate campsites are very nice but used heavily, if you hike around the west side of the lake to the northside you will find more campsites and solitude. Enjoy.

hiking
Monday, August 07, 2017

Great hike. First 45-60 minutes is a bit tough but lots of flat areas after that. The lake is beautiful. Hardly saw anyone and pretty much had the place to ourselves.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Hiked 7-14 thru 7-16 and camped at the head of the lake. Snow is all clear, some flat areas are still wet/muddy. Lake is high this year, likely that the sandy beach will be water covered until next year.

Great hike, moderately strenuous just due to the short nature. It is uphill both ways, just like like my grandpa's walk to school. Totally worth either a day hike or an overnight.

hiking
Tuesday, July 04, 2017

we gave it a try June 26. 2 miles in, lots of snow and lost the trail. we will try again in a couple weeks. beautiful anyway!!

hiking
Monday, July 03, 2017

Spouse and I hiked to Box Lake Saturday morning (7/1/17). Description rates it as "strenuous" but we felt it was somewhere between moderate to strenuous. 1st hour is on the steep side but the rest isn't too bad at all. Ran into snow (approx. 2-3 feet) in the saddle at 7,300 feet or so, but easily made our way to the lake overlook. Trail before snow is in good shape (wet in spots) and the 3 creek crossings are very manageable. Total time with a 20 minute rest/snack stop was 4 hrs and 15 minutes. All in all a great hike with beautiful wild flowers and views. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Beautiful! Hard hike but worth it.

backpacking
Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Loved the reward of this hike. Well worth it.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Great day hike! Definitely not an easy hike but the views are worth the aching knees and glutes! It took us about 2 hrs to hike up and about an hour and a half to get back down with light packs. We were pleasantly surprised to see how much camping space is around the beach area so we're planning on coming back to stay a night. So beautiful!

hiking
Sunday, July 24, 2016

Great hike with a steep ascent at the very beginning and a constant incline for most of the hike. There is a beautiful meadow a little bit before you start the descent down to the lake. As mentioned by another, it is not an easy hike but it is well worth the effort for the beautiful views along the way and the lake at the end!

hiking
Saturday, July 16, 2016

Awesome trail with a cool surprise with the lake at the top. People that say this is an easy hike are bonkers. Steep going up and a lower body burner on the way down. Fun, but be prepared for the hard work up and back down.

hiking
Saturday, February 06, 2016

I did this trail in September 2015 with all the beautiful changing colors and not another soul in sight. I was the only person on this trail making it so peaceful and relaxing. Easy hike in and out with a few trees and creeks to jump over.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

My very first trail! A few trees to jump over and creeks to cross but a lot of fun and beautiful lake.

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

recorded Box Lake Trail

hiking
3 months ago

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