Observation Peak is a 15.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Stanley, Idaho that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length15.5 miElevation gain2,703 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashBackpackingCampingHikingForestLakeViewsWaterfallWildflowersWildlifeOff trail
Description
Waypoints (0)

The trail starts at Stanley Lake Campground and follows the Idaho Centennial Trail up to a saddle, where it can be difficult to find the Observation Peak Trail at first. Look for the switchbacks above and scramble over some rocks to get to it. This can also be accessed from the Grandjean Trailhead. The last few miles are steep switchbacks, but offer beautiful views to keep you motivated. There is a cairn and lock box at the top. There is a nice view of Horsetail Falls along the way.

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Reviews (9)
Photos (89)
Recordings (3)
Completed (20)
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Julia Moran
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 25, 2020
HikingGreat!RockySnow

This hike is amazing. We got some snow the night before, so probably 60% of the trail was snow covered. We brought yaktrax and gaiters, and ended up using them on the descent. They weren’t necessary, but they were helpful! The views were beautiful. Not a soul in sight. I would definitely do this hike again.

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Kristin George
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 9, 2020
HikingGreat!RockyScramble

This hike is worth it for the views in the last few miles. The first 3-4 miles are pretty flat (and shaded), then there is moderate elevation gain, and at about 5.5 miles it gets really steep and exposed. There is a small sign directing you right and up when you get to the saddle. It's a rocky slog from the saddle to the final set of switchbacks, but the views are outstanding. My Garmin clocked this at 16.4 RT.

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Anna hikes stuff
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 27, 2020
HikingBlowdownSnow

Our group's GPS tracking clocked 16-17 miles RT, so be prepared for a long day! Besides the mileage, this is a pretty straightforward hike with an amazingly epic view of the big peaks from the top...and it's the only Sawtooth summit with a trail all the way to the top. Granted, we had to pick our own way up to the summit due to snow, but it was very doable, and allowed for some fun plunge-stepping and glissading on the descent. Be prepared for some knee-high or worse creek crossings in early season!

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Dan Mcclain
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 2, 2019
Hiking

I have done this hike from Grand Jean and from Standley Lake. the last climb from the saddle up to the ammo can at the top you'll be in full sun so best to do it early. there is a trail marker in the saddle to point you the right way because the trail disappears for about hundred yards until you get to the ridge.

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Steve Kranz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 14, 2019
Hiking

BTW, just be aware, I notice the mileage is wrong while viewing this recording online. Lots of up and back mid-hike. The out and back is not the 32 miles depicted.

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Dan Mcclain
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 17, 2018

a great view of the sawtooths and of the Lakes below the peak.I believe the milage is wrong, not that far ,good day hike

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Greg Hart
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 9, 2018
Hiking
First to Review

This is the only peak in the Sawtooth Wilderness with a Class I trail to the top. The trail starts at Stanley Lake Campground and follows the Idaho Centennial Trail up to a saddle, where it can be difficult to find the Observation Peak Trail at first. Look for the switchbacks above and scramble over some rocks to get to it. This can also be accessed from the Grandjean Trailhead. The last few miles are steep switchbacks, but offer beautiful views to keep you motivated. There is a cairn and lock box at the top. There is a nice view of Horsetail Falls along the way.

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Kevin Watt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 25, 2020
Hiking
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I Wilson
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Hiking
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