Iron Creek to Sawtooth Lake

MODERATE 95 reviews
#1 of 51 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
1811 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

hiking
36 minutes ago

2 days ago

A favorite!

hiking
8 days ago

backpacking
10 days ago

Prettiest place I've ever backpacked.

hiking
11 days ago

hiking
11 days ago

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

hiking
16 days ago

camping
16 days 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
19 days 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.

hiking
19 days ago

hiking
21 days ago

24 days ago

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

backpacking
25 days ago

hiking
26 days ago

Stunning hike! Absolutely loved it!

hiking
27 days ago

backpacking
27 days 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.

hiking
1 month ago

backpacking
1 month 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...

birding
1 month ago