Imogene Lake is a 14.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Stanley, Idaho that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length14.3 miElevation gain2,660 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashBackpackingCampingFishingHikingHorseback ridingBird watchingForestLakeRiverViewsWaterfallWildflowersWildlifeBugs
Description
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Getting There

Imogene Lake is a stunning high alpine lake with a complicated shoreline due to the geologic jointing in the underlying bedrock. Several islands dot the lake, the largest of which is connected by an isthmus to the north shore. The trail to Imogene hugs the eastern side of the lake/drainage before making the final climb through numerous switchbacks to the divide with the Yellow Belly drainage.

Both Hell Roaring and Imogene Lakes are accessed from one of two trailheads. The road to the upper Hell Roaring Trailhead traverses across the face of a glacial moraine with two difficult crux sections. The first crux has space to turn around for over-committed drivers, while the second does not. Once it turns the corner into the Hell Roaring drainage, the road remains quite narrow and is slow going over the very bumpy flats. A high-clearance four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended. For hikers without a high clearance four-wheel drive vehicle, the lower trailhead adds about 2 miles to the hike. Mountain bikes can be ridden 3.1 miles from the lower trailhead in about the same amount of time that it takes to drive to upper Hell Roaring.

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Reviews (54)
Photos (131)
Recordings (34)
Completed (130)
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Jordan Frye
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 12, 2020
Hiking

Great hike, pretty flat most of the way. crowded today

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Travis Travis Hartman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 29, 2020
Backpacking
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Janelle Stauffer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 26, 2020
BackpackingGreat!

great hike! I went twice this year. once July 12-14 and then again August 21-23. I hiked from upper trailhead. The road up to the upper trailhead is definitely difficult and requires 4wd. the hike to hell roaring is easy. from hell roaring to imogene-about 4 miles- has about a 1500 elevation gain. the trail is well maintained and the views are beautiful. Imogene is amazing. I recommend the waterfall at the end.

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Bird Price
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 16, 2020
BackpackingBugsGreat!

Hiked July 14 Imogene was an incredible hike. It seemed you couldn’t hike anywhere without finding a new mountain lake. My trip was a 3 day/ 2 night affair. We parked at the upper parking lot and I concur with all the reviews regarding that road. It is gnarly! Do-able with a high clearance 4x4. The trail is very well maintained! Bridges on all water crossings. The hike to Hell Roaring was easy and beautiful. (The whole hike was gorgeous.) Bring deet! The mosquitos are hungry! I highly recommend hiking to mushroom lake. It’s not far from Imogene but the waterfalls are like something out of a Disney movie. One of my favorite parts of this adventure. We did a day hike over the pass, through a gorgeous meadow and up the other side to look out over Toxaway Lake. We saw over 8 lakes that day. I didn’t hike into all of them but just enjoyed their beauty from afar. We were not bothered by bears or chipmunks. Bring a fishing pole. The fish were jumping like crazy. My favorite adventure to date. I want to go back but there are still too many other mountains to explore. But one day, I’ll be there again!! Epic! *you can have a camp fire in a fire pan or on a fire blanket.

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Beth Ineck
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 16, 2020
Hiking

From upper Hell Roaring trail head

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Amy J Murphy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 13, 2020
Hiking
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Tia Stone
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 29, 2020
HikingBugsMuddyRocky

Amazing views and very few people (on a Monday-Tuesday). We parked in the lower lot and clocked the hike from there to Imogene Lake at 9.5 miles. To hike to the waterfall and end of this trail it was a few more miles on top of that. We were backpacking and got eaten alive by mosquitoes! Also, not a lot of shade on the way in between Hell Roaring Lake and back to the parking lot. We got overheated a bit.

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Jenn Treinen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 19, 2020
Hiking

Great hike! It’s nine miles from the lower trailhead to the lake, but once you’re there, you’ll want to see the waterfall at the far end of the lake, so add another mile plus to see all the beautiful views the lake has to offer. There were a lot of people on the trail, and many camping, as we were, but it’s a big lake, and if the first sites you see are taken, keep looking, there are plenty available. Be ready for the attack of the mosquitos once the sun is down.

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Sarah O'Leary
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 20, 2020
Hiking

Hiked to Hell Roaring Lake then to Imogene, both beautiful! Imogene did have lots of clusters of mosquitoes flying around, so went back to hell roaring a littler earlier. Trails were clear, only patches of snow on the sides of the trail up to Imogene. Great hike! Easy climb to hell roaring which gets a little steeper with a few switchbacks on the way up to Imogene.

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Alex Bennett
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 18, 2020
Hiking

Great trail. A few blown down trees, but overall smooth sailing. Went backpacking June 12th-15th. Cold with unpredictable weather. Saw snow, rain and sunshine. No large snow patches or any extremely difficult parts. An amazing hike with beautiful views. Definitely worth a trip.

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Alberto Jaramillo II
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 15, 2020
HikingBugsRocky

Backpacked on 6/22-6/23/19: drove up in my 93’ Honda Accord had to park at the bottom lot then hike up to the trail head. It’s a tough way to start the hike but gets you ready for what’s to come. The first couple miles of the hike up to Red Fish Lake are easy and beautiful. There’s not much elevation gain, except for the hike to the trailhead IF you have to park on the lower lot. Once you past R.F.L. the trail is all up hill. Thankfully there are lots of lookouts so you can stop and appreciate the beauty of the Sawtooths while catching your breath. There are two water crossings. The first one is at R.F.L. and is a large established log, take it slow. The second is located closer to Imogene Lake and is a flat-wide platform style bridge that crosses over a waterfall. Yes, a waterfall!! That part of the hike alone was worth the trip. There are a few places to camp on the way up if you don’t want to make it all the way up to I.L. Once you get to the lake the world is yours! Bug spray, keep warm and enjoy the views!! Hiking poles are helpful but not necessary. Again the hike from Red Fish to Imogene is a steep climb. Check out the recordings. Don’t pack water bring a filter instead to save weight, water is everywhere!

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Monica Hemsley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 5, 2019
Hiking

My husband and I hiked this during the 2017 eclipse with our two daughters who were 8 & 11 years old at the time. We parked at the upper trailhead (super rough road and definitely not for cars) and hiked to Hell Roaring first thing in the morning. We had planned on maybe staying one night there but our girls wanted to keep going so we went all the way to Imogene. The trail was well maintained and beautiful. We spent three nights there and we explored all around the lake. Our favorite thing to do was play in the water on the big flat rocks where the steam feeds into the lake from the lake above it. We didn’t seem to have any issues with bugs although we did see a few ticks. Overall a great hike. Very doable with older kids. Experiencing the eclipse in totality from the backcountry was an incredible way to end our weekend.

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Bryan Howard
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 1, 2019

Trail was well kept and easy grades but longer and more elevation than shown in the previously stored record from another user. This one is more accurate. Excellent lakes, views and the stars were out to greet us upon our late arrival.

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Chris Byhre
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 7, 2019
Hiking

Took 3 days to explore this beautiful place. Slept at Hells Roaring the first night. The sunrise and sunset did not disappoint there. Also got my first view of the ISS there too. Early the 2nd day to tackle the lungbuster up to Imogene. Took us about 3-4 hours at a casual pace up. the whole walk gives spectacular views from hidden lakes to peaks to rocky outcrops. Imogene itself is probably the best part of the hike, if you're going in the height of summer set aside some time there to jump in for a swim. I won't give directions but if you find the campspot with the diving rock. You've hit the jackpot in terms of spot and views. The way out is the easiest part. it's mostly downhill and can be smashed out fairly easy. However, take time to take in the beauty because it's truly stunning.

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Daniel Vega
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 6, 2019
Hiking

Went backpacking up to Imogene Lake last weekend on an overnight trip. Road was too rough for our car to make it to the upper trailhead, so we started at the lower one. Ended up doing roughly 20 miles out and back but it wasn’t too bad on our bodies. Most of the elevation was gained past Hell Roaring Lake, I reckon it’s pretty rough catching that in the afternoon heat. Went in on Friday morning with most people staying at Hell Roaring. Saturday morning was busier on the way up to Imogene but we had a great trip with great weather. Beautiful mountain lakes and breathtaking views in the Sawtooths.

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Melinda Quick
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 15, 2019
HikingBugs

Beautiful views! Hike from lower trailhead to Hell Roaring is very flat and shady. Hike up to Imogene from there is a few switchbacks and you'll have to hike around the lake to find the best camp spots. Incredibly buggy - bring long sleeved shirts and pants and plenty of bug spray (even though it didn't help us much). Hiked in on a Friday after sleeping in our truck Thursday night at the trailhead, and the trail was lightly trafficked. Heading out Saturday we saw a lot more people heading into Imogene or taking a daytrip from Hell Roaring to Imogene.

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David Jeppson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 13, 2019
HikingBugsSnow

Beautiful backpacking adventure with the family over the past three days. Started at upper hell roaring trailhead (it’s a tough road, not for cars) and hiked to Hell Roaring Lake for lunch and then to the south end of Imogene to camp for two nights. Bugs were present on the hike and at the lakes but deet did the trick- very few bites. Nights weren’t as cool as expected - some minimal rain. Lots of snow on the hike to the pass up to Toxaway loop from Imogene but we made it to the top - beautiful views!! We swam a bit in Imogene (nice cold water) and tried our hand at fishing. Saw a few fish rising in the evenings but never caught one . . . we’ll be back!! Overall we hiked about 19 miles between the trailhead and the upper pass to Toxaway over the three days. Perfect adventure for us!

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Celeste Walters
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 30, 2019
HikingBugs

This was such a beautiful hike! We camped at the trail head, there are quite a few spots to choose from. We went the last weekend in June and the night was a bit chilly but not freezing to the point it ruined the fun. We were fine with normal sleeping bags. Then got up in the early morning to start the hike which I would recommend because it got pretty warm and there were less bugs obviously earlier in the day. Definitely dog friendly, our German Shepherd loved it. Some very pretty wild flowers at the beginning of the hike to admire as well. I highly recommend this trail!

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jim sd
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 3, 2018
Backpacking

It was a beautiful labor day weekend hike. With a car incapable of what it looked to be a Red Bull Rally Truck climb up to the upper parking lot, I started at the lower adding about an extra ~2mi. The first 4-miles is a little flat and slow going thru the forest. After that it is awesome. Plenty of camping at Imogene Lake with great views. Overall, 4/5 experience probably due to the increase amount of people at the lake on this holiday weekend.

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Omar Ceniceros
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 26, 2018
Backpacking

I've hiked this twice and it's beautiful. You will love it.

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Christian Li
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 19, 2018
Backpacking

Great backpacking, as others have stated there were plenty of mosquitoes to go around.

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Whitney L
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 6, 2018

The whole trail is a persistent, gentle uphill climb. The hardest part for me was the first mile or mile and a half as it was the steepest. There are lots of little streams and ponds along the way.

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Tim Burke
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 13, 2018

Stayed 4 days last week. Nice hike in and great views at the lake. Bugs were very bad at night so bring some spray. Pass to Payette Peak was still covered in snow. Hike to the 4 lakes beyond Imogene and there were great. Overall a wonderful place to camp.

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Cody Wood
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 8, 2018
Hiking

Went on July 4th. Imogene Lake was beautiful. Easy hike but tons of bugs/mosquitoes on the trail.

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Lucas Tanner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 4, 2018
Backpacking

Visited Imogene with a couple buddies last weekend. Great place to spend a couple days. We went to the right over a log dam and were able to setup camp very near the lake, but guarded when the wind would kick up. It was just after the full moon and the nights were something else once the moon got up and lit up the lake and surrounding mountains. Saw very few people, even on the weekend. We spent our first night at Hell Roaring and, although it was nice, it was quite a bit buggier than Imogene. That said, mosquitos were present at both lakes so take some bug repellent and keep your tent zipped tight if you’re there in late June.

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