Iron Creek to Sawtooth Lake

MODERATE 98 reviews
#1 of 52 trails in

Iron Creek to Sawtooth Lake is a 8.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Stanley, Idaho that features a river and is rated as moderate. 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.

DISTANCE
8.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1715 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

horseback riding

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

28 days ago

Unforgettable!

hiking
2 months ago

One of if not the best hikes I've done. Just incredibly beautiful. It was a little chilly and very windy in early October. Saw a tree and several branches toppled so be careful if it's windy. Amazing how fast a tree can fall when it gets going.

2 months ago

A favorite!

backpacking
3 months ago

Prettiest place I've ever backpacked.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful hike. Camped over Labor Day weekend. Only downfall is the trail is pretty crowded.

camping
3 months ago

My husband and I arrived around 1:00 p.m. on Saturday of Labor Day Weekend. Parking (free) was maxed out but luckily we found a spot; near the Trailhead is your standard bathroom should you need one. At the Trailhead is where you fill out your free wilderness permit.

Now, the hike was lovely! It starts out pretty flat with your standard Idaho forest and eventually begins to climb. You'll cross a couple of creeks (logs and rocks strategically placed if you'd like to remain dry), enter into a beautiful meadow which still had wild flowers in bloom on September 3, and ride switchbacks with some epic views of the Sawtooth Mountain range. The trail will vary from a powdery dirt like substance to gravel, to rocks... be careful to avoid twisting/spraining your ankle!

We found the hike to be pretty strenuous with a pack as our goal was to camp at the lake, but it was doable!

By the time we arrived at the lake, all of the lakeside camping spots had been taken (obviously)! We still found a nice one but Lake side is what you should strive for!

We did a little bit of fishing and were pretty successful in the evening (sunset) and early morning (sunrise) in catching tiny trout.

The haze/smoke from Montana has reached this lovely range; while it has impeded some of the views slightly, it didn't affect our air quality (as far as we could tell). I lugged my Canon 5D Mark III, 35mm f/1.4 lens, and a tripod JUST to get a shot of the stars. Nothing was visible by midnight so we went to bed. We didn't include our cover/precipitation/wind protector in hopes of seeing some stars... I was hesitant at first due to the cold weather BUT the newest Marmout sleeping bags we purchased were PERFECT and kept us warm. I woke around 2:00 a.m. to beautiful stars!! It was so cold... I couldn't bring myself to get out of my sleeping bag SO I just enjoyed it for what it was. It was also SO QUIET! Our dog actually slept through the entire night without being bothered by little creature noises in the night.

backpacking
3 months ago

We backpacked up to Sawtooth Lake for the eclipse and had a great campsite. Got up there 3 days early. Everyday it got more crowded but never to many people. Such an awesome hike! I will return soon.

3 months ago

Great hike! The views are amazing! Did this hike late august and the wildflowers are in full bloom up at sawtooth lake!

hiking
3 months ago

Stunning hike! Absolutely loved it!

backpacking
3 months ago

Camped at Sawtooth Lake for the 2017 solar eclipse. Trail is very well maintained and moderate for the first 3 miles. Two miles before lake the switchbacks begin. Many great campsites available at the lake. Consider climbing one of the peaks or walking the ridge.

backpacking
3 months ago

Stunning! Great hike, spectacular sights and scents! Wish I had taken the time to find Goat Lake too (locals all rave about it). Next time...

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike with stunning views of Sawtooth Lake and Mt Regan. Checked out Alpine Lake as well on the way down. Lots of people backpack and camp either near Sawtooth Lake or Alpine Lake.

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike for a half or full day. The lakes are amazing. A bit challenging terrain at times.

4 months ago

From easy to more difficult to snow and then THE LAKE - what a beautiful scene

hiking
4 months ago

Great trail. Completed with 7yr olds, dogs and larger multi family group. Bring lots of water during the summer (prob xtra socks too) and start early. Scenic, moderate traffic and worth the time / effort. Also, bring OFF or DEET as the bugs are out in force (particularly in the early evening!).

4 months ago

Great hike with beautiful views--water is so clear but there is still snow at the top making it a little difficult around the lake.

4 months ago

simple amazing

5 months ago

Beautiful views! 2 areas where we had to cross snow for a very short distance. Sawtooth Lake still has snow surrounding it but a few spots where you can sit for lunch. Bugs weren't bad but definitely use spray.

5 months ago

Hard to beat this hike on a warm Autumn day! Make sure you check out the viewpoint above Sawtooth Lake - well worth the extra mile!

hiking
5 months ago

Love the hike. July 10 and last 1/2 mile of trail still snow covered and lake 95% frozen over.

Loved the upper half, however lower half was average with a high bug count.

Such a great trail but it is popular, which is its weakness. We hiked on a Monday afternoon and saw approx 15 people on the trail over the course of the day. High traffic for this part of Idaho.

Load More