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Grand Sawtooths Loop is a 73.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Lowman, Idaho that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until August. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 73.6 mi Elevation gain 16,069 ft Route type Loop
Dogs on leash Backpacking Camping Hiking Nature trips Bird watching Forest Lake Views Wild flowers Wildlife
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Reviews (20)
Photos (119)
Recordings (13)
Completed (34)
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Johnathon Owsley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 12, 2020
HikingGreat!

This was an awesome trip I did the loop in 6 days 5 nights the week before Labor Day with quite a bit of detours coming out right around 100 miles. This was my first backpacking trip so I learned a lot towards the end. I went clockwise on the trail. I used Backpacking Idaho book by Douglas Lorain for the first day for some sweat detours but is a different loop as I learned so it will be my trip for next year. The first day I went to Trail Creek Lakes and Observation Peak which provided heck of views and made it to just before the turn over to Stanley lake. The second day I went over to the Stanley lake just around Sunrise and went back on trail and then went on trail then detoured off to see the Alpine, Sawtooth, and the McGown Lakes. Worth the detour. The sawtooth lake was pretty crowded but mostly day hikers. Then the third day got back on trail and tried to detour over to Goat lake and found it to be too difficult with the amount of food I had so I turned around and got back in trail. Will have to try next time. I made it to the Redfish lake in the trail there I saw Marshal lake which was pretty dang cool. I camped not far from when you cross the bridge on top of a tree line beach by the redfish lake. The fourth day I took a couple detours over to the bench lake and that was probably one of my highlights with the perfect reflection off the water without people. Then got back on trail and then made it to the Redfish inlet and took a small detour over to the lily lake and the waterfalls which was pretty cool. Then I got back on trail and headed over to Hell Roaring Lake. That trail from the Inlet to the Roaring lake had quite a bit of dead trees and I ended up complaining to the forest service but be aware of the trail. Hell Roaring lake was pretty cool and ended up camping just a past a small lake between hells Roaring and Imogene. Day five went over to Imogen around sunrise and it was breathtaking with the reflection. Then wen over the hill into the Toxaway Lake area. I definitely suggest doing the hill in the morning with all the switchbacks. Then I went on trail and made it to Alpine lake by the end of the day. I saw Edna, hidden lake, and the Cramer Lakes. They were pretty cool The sixth day I woke up and saw the first small lake just about sunrise and went over to the baron lake during the best timing and got some of my best pictures I took. Them it was pretty much downhill from there to the trail head. Great trip you won’t get to see the things unless you go out there. I would suggest enjoying the moment a lot more then I did but there is so much to see. I suggest it to anyone.

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Ben Kirkland
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 26, 2020
Hiking

This was a gorgeous trail, that covered a lot of terrain. I would have cut off the northern half up towards Stanley Lake and gone through Sawtooth lake instead had I not realized it too late to do so but the northern section is beautiful as it is. I loved being in the rugged high terrain of the Sawtooths.

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Kimberly Kempton
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Hiking
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Kimberly Kempton
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Hiking
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Kimberly Kempton
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HikingBlowdownOff trail
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Cody Dean
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BackpackingBlowdown

My brother and I did this 70 mile loop over 11 days starting in July 25th, 2020. Amazing route overall. Going counter clockwise seems like a very good idea. Starting from Grandjean then, you’ll hit some of the best lakes right away. Imogene lake was unreal. Middle Cramer lake sunset was unreal. The mountains everywhere were unreal! The side trail to Goat Lake is pretty sketchy for backpackers with a heavy pack. Another reason to go counter clockwise from Grandjean. You will have a light pack by then. Even then, not many campsites at Goat Lake, and the amount of unburied human feces and TP ruined some campsites also.... Best to probably stash backpacks before side trail and spend day up there and camp somewhere else, unless mid week where less people might be there. If you have a problem with horse crap you might mind this loop. Loads of it throughout. Marshall lake is a horse camp. Kind of a gross lake because of it. Might be best to skip and make it to Sawtooth Lake instead. Sawtooth lake was windy but most beautiful best site on the northern part of loop. At least 2 dead elk were in Sawtooth Lake near middle and outlet. Extremely smelly. Would not drink out of Sawtooth Lake unless near inlet. Alway filter water! Water was generally plentiful. I think 10 miles was the longest dry stretch. Also had many down trees before Redfish lake. Lots of round rocks that are easy to slip on to accompany them. A bandage wrap with safety pins for ankles is a good idea! More people than expected. Especially best Redfish. Lots of boats on Redfish Lake. The Alice-Toxaway loop is also killer. My brother and I spent 3 nights on it after doing this loop. Way more people though. Here’s the shots I captured there: https://www.flickr.com/gp/189716352@N03/7J5324

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Cerra Cavalletto
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 24, 2020
HikingMuddySnow

We did a version of this trail that totaled 51 miles, we had to cut it short due to an illness in our group. This trail was AMAZING, the views were beautiful, the inclines were there but they weren’t anything insane. There were still sections of snow on the trail but we only encountered snow on one day, no micro spikes necessary. We’re already planning our return trip to finish the loop!

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Wayne Caldwell
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Started at Redfish heading counterclockwise, I'd recommend if you're trying to knock out some miles. The trail was rather boring for a while though. From a views standpoint grandjean on was great. If I did again I'd try to nix the leg from red fish to Stanley to grandjean it just felt like miles.

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Kerry Fackrell
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Hiking

I started clock-wise out of Grandjean, wanting to do the northern-most loop. The hike was fantastic! Very scenic and lots of solitude. The three creek crossings were impossible to do without getting wet. There are logs, but they were partially submerged (and very slippery). I just put on my water shoes and braved the numbingly cold water! At about 4 miles, right after the sign to Trail Creek Lakes/Stanley Lake, I completely lost the trail due to downed trees. I spent about 1.5 hours trying to pick the trail back up, then just going cross country. I never did locate the trail, and when a thunderstorm rolled in, with hail, while I was on top of a rocky ridge, I hot-footed it back down. I returned to Grandjean campground and later that evening, did 5 miles going the opposite direction on the loop, along Baron Creek. Beautiful views and pretty level. I'll be back!

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Sebastian Veneziano
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarDecember 23, 2017
Camping

Did portions of the loop starting at Grandjean and went clockwise heading toward Stanley Lake then to Redfish Lake and cut over the pass to the Baron Lakes and Alpine Lake. Overall did about 32 miles in three days. Lots of tree fall along the trail especially at the pass at Baron Lake to get back to Grandjean TH, also lots of snowfields, and rock slide that obscured the trail coming down off the pass at Upper Baron Lake. But the views were stunning and awe inspiring. Definitely a hike to do if you have 3-5 days. Plenty of cold clear water everywhere along the trails we took, so bring those Aquatabs and Sawyer straws, no need to buy it in Stanley.

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Andy Paik
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 21, 2016
Backpacking

So many lakes to see!!! Just make sure that time is not of the essence for this loop. Had 4 days to finish this loop so it was very hard to enjoy what Sawtooth had to offer. Sawtooth Lake was by far my favorite lake - the initial view from the top if you're hiking from Grandjean is phenomenal. The Cramer lakes are another great spot to definitely spend some time. Just simply beautiful. Most of the lakes after Edna look pretty much the same, incredibly, but same. Hiking back to the Grandjean from Elk Lake was very stale. Approximately 13 miles from Elk lake back to Grandjean and not much to see... I recorded 65+ miles than the 63 that was posted so keep in mind you may be doing an extra 5-8 miles. Ultimately, I would not do this hike again. I saw what needed to be seen. I loved every second of it, and wished I had more than 4 days to do it but this is life.

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Johnathon Owsley
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Hiking
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Johnathon Owsley
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Hiking
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Kimberly Kempton
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Backpacking
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Delynn Bird
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Hiking
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Delynn Bird
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Hiking
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Delynn Bird
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Hiking
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N. An.
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Backpacking
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Taylor Reuer
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Hiking
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Brian Humphreys
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