Hell Roaring Creek Trail to Hell Roaring Lake

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Sawtooth Wilderness Area

Hell Roaring Creek Trail to Hell Roaring Lake is a 10.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Stanley, Idaho that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length10.7 miElevation gain728 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashBackpackingCampingHikingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingForestLakeViewsWildflowersWildlife
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Reviews (131)
Photos (114)
Activities (91)
Completed (230)
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Holly Traut
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Running

Great easy trail.

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Jarrett Vines
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BackpackingIcy

Great trail, did this one twice this year May 13/14 and October 14/15. Gets a bit cold at night

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Jarrett Berl
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Hiking

Awesome, great place to sleep!

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Deron Roberts
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BackpackingGreat!

Hell Roaring Lake Trailhead to Imogene Lake...to Edna Lake...to Yellow Belly Lake...back to Hell Roaring Lake Trailhead via off grid hike.

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Laura Podewils
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Hiking

On the easy side of moderate—and you can extend this hike to other lakes and vistas! Gorgeous fall hike with a forest floor of color! Did 14 miles today with my pups-lots of creeks and streams.

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Jacque Sansaver
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Horseback riding
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Bella Hartman
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HikingGreat!

This trail is for all level. We stayed a night and camped by the lake itself. Absolutely amazing view of the sunset and sunrise. We never encounter any bugs or mosquitoes. Less than 11 miles out and back. We tried to walked more after we set up our tent but we decided to just stayed and enjoyed the view of this lake. Breath taking view the mountains mirrored by the water. Highly recommended!

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Brynn Johns
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Hiking

Hell Roaring? More like Purgatory whispering. The first bit of the trail has the typical Idaho mountain stream cascading down sound, but once you make the initial climb the creek is more like a meandering midwest creek. The lake is beautiful! All the comments regarding being a good family first backpack make sense. I'm sure there is a place where this creek roars, but you won't find it on this hike. Don't let the name get your expectations up.

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Tina G
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RunningGreat!

This was a really nice trail run. After the initial climb in the first mile it leveled out and was a pretty flat trail in the shade for a few miles. The lake was worth the trip. This was also the least crowded trail by far that I did in this area.

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Amy J Murphy
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Hiking
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Nathan Richard
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Hiking

Great destination. Just okay views on the way.

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Rick Joos
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Hiking
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Isaiah Day
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BackpackingBugsGreat!

My wife, 12 year old son and I completed this hike 7/30-7/31. We started at the lower trailhead. Per reviews most of your elevation gain is in the first mile. The creek is beautiful when you are near it. Several places between 2-3 miles where you can get water and take a dip in the slow moving creek. Not a ton of shade, but a few spots along the way allow for ample shade when needed. Lake area was gorgeous and quite a few mosquito's. We stayed on the Redfish Lake trail side of the lake as the main trail side was a little busy. Most people we passed were staying at Immogene. Truly breathtaking views of the lake and the Finger of Fate. This was our 1st overnight backpack trip and we loved it. Definitely be back to head further and next time we will start at the upper trailhead.

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Tia Stone
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HikingBugsNo shadeRocky

We backpacked on 7/27 out to this lake and then beyond to Imogene. Parked at the lower lot and it was 5.7 miles to the beach of Hell Roaring Lake. Gorgeous views, a moderate amount of people day hiking and backpacking. Lots of mosquitoes and not much shade on this part of the hike.

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Danielle Durham
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Hiking

Pretty hike with two beautiful lakes. We ended up starting from the lower trailhead, which makes it a long trek to Imogene and most of the hike is in forest. We started midday so we were thankful for the shade. We got to Imogene around 4 on a Saturday but had NO problem getting an amazing campsite. We could see people camping around the lake but had complete privacy. Mosquitos left us along until subset then were out in full force. Great weekend in the mountains! July 25-26, 2020

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Justin User
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We did this hike on 7/20/20 and overall it was a good hike. We left from the upper trailhead, which is definitely a rough road in, and the hike itself was pretty good. they do guided horse tours along most of the trail (horses aren't allowed from the upper trailhead to where it meats the main trail) so watch your step as horse poop is plentiful. There were mosquitoes but I used bug spray, and permethrin on my gear, and they left me alone. The trail on the east side of the lake, heading towards Imogene, is muddy but manageable.

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Lacey Wilder
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HikingNo shade

Wonderful trail. Not too hard just long. There was little shade cover so plan to be exposed most of the way. The lake at the end is worth the 10 mile round trip.

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Nathaniel Gerlach
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Hiking

Easy and relatively flat trail. The only thing “moderate” about it is the length. Beautiful lake at the end to reward your effort. Some mosquitoes on the trail, but they seemed to thin out by the lake.

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Spring Kary
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BackpackingBugsNo shadeRocky

Did the trail from the trail head upper he’ll roaring. We went all the way around toxaway loop and back up to mays creek trail. He’ll roaring was ok, mosquito heaven!! We brought our own tin box for a fire, just a turkey aluminum pan, worked great. We stopped at a open area near a pond opening and camped for the night. This was July 19-20. Weather was nice, water was great. Stars were amazing! Saw horse poop and bear tracks. Dry terrain and weather. Sunny almost the whole time. Sandy. Pretty easy hike for me. Not rough just longer. He’ll roaring lake at the end is amazing!!!:)

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Trina Pendleton
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Hiking

This was a fun trail. Not allot going on as far as scenery until the lake but wow! What a view! I would try the upper tail head and go farther past the lake if I did it again. This is a good family trail. Nice and flat with shade.

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Nick Miller
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HikingBugs

Payoff makes it overall worth the journey, but the high horse traffic brings a lot of manure and a lot of flies to the trail. At 1 mile from the trailhead, there’s a perfect spot to take off your gear and wade around in the crystal clear creek. Feels great on the way back from the top. At the lake destination, continue following the trail around the lake for increasingly incredible views of the Sawtooths.

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jenna Pe
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Hiking

Stunning hike. Easy.

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Anne Worden
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BackpackingMuddySnow

We went up with kids on a cool sunny day and came down in 12 inches of snow! Even though our backpack trip was cut short, Hell Roaring Lake was beautiful and there were ample campsites on both sides of the lake. we didn't get to see Imogene because of the storm but this trail is very doable for kids!

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Danielle Sharpe
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Hiking

Awesome trail! The first 30 minutes are pretty rocky with a slight incline, but after that most of the time it's a relatively flat trail with some shade. Not all that much to see after the creek in the first 20 minutes until you get to the lake at the end and WOW is it stunning! Absolutely worth the hike. No snow, and very few bugs. We went 7/3/2020 from 10:30am-4:00pm, and that was with two 30-minute stops for lunch and views at the lake.

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