Pettit and Toxaway Lakes Loop

moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(161)
Sawtooth National Forest

Pettit and Toxaway Lakes Loop is a 17.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Stanley, Idaho that features a lake 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.

Distance: 17.7 miles Elevation Gain: 3,169 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

snow

This is an amazing loop hike with beautiful natural features at nearly every turn of the trail. From craggy sawtooth peaks to numerous alpine lakes and dense forests with all manner of animals. Although fast packers may make this loop in a long day, there is enough natural features to keep one entertained for two nights or even three.

hiking
icy
snow
5 days ago

We went to Farley lake and stayed the night, then went back. The trail leading up to Farley lake was nice about half way through. A couple of fallen trees to walk over, but mostly clear. At some point you have to cross a stream. If you don’t want to get wet you’ll have to find a spot with fallen trees to crawl over. If not you will only get about ankle deep wet. The final stretch to Farley has quite a lot of snow on the trail and is very deep at times. Also the lake is FROZEN. Just know that. Otherwise it was a beautiful spot to camp at.

hiking
3 months ago

Overall pretty cool place. I did this hike in 2 years ago in July with my dad, brother, uncles, and cousins, the youngest being 14. The mountain pass was difficult for those that were out of shape. Bugs were horrible, and by the end of the trip my back looked like the Milky Way. Also there was a sign saying “pack out your fecal matter” which I may or may not have obeyed. But the views of the lakes and mountains were amazing!

horseback riding
7 months ago

Amazing

hiking
bugs
7 months ago

hiking
rocky
snow
7 months ago

First time hiking this trail and now a favorite of mine. Absolutely beautiful trail and stunning views. We hiked the loop clockwise and will again when we return in warmer months.

hiking
8 months ago

This is an amazing loop that is aslo very traveled. If you are worried about bugs...please......please DO NOTT TREAT YOUR CLOTHS IN PERMETHRIN. Way to much water and native fish to worry about. It only takes micro grams to kill char and other fish species. There are other ways to avoid mosquitos and bugs....if you cant do it without destroying your surrounding ecosystem you probably shouldn't be mingling in it. Keep your dogs on a leash and please pack out all of its waste. RESPECT this beautiful place.

amazing breathtaking scenery. Worth every step and bend.

backpacking
bugs
no shade
9 months ago

Very beautiful. Going counterclockwise was perfect. Nice easy uphill for a day, camped at Toxaway then the ascent to the summit and nothin but downhill after that. The summit was our favorite part, simply breathtaking. A few miles of limited shade otherwise mostly walking amongst the trees with great views.

hiking
9 months ago

Toxoway to creek crossing after Farley

hiking
bugs
9 months ago

What an amazing spot! Helpful recommendations from other AllTrailers. We arrived at Pettit Lake Campground at around 2:30 on a Friday and ignored the "trailhead lot full" signs--there was PLENTY of parking. All trails (both directions) start from the trailhead at the northwest end of the lot, which we totally missed. We went clockwise on Pettit-Toxaway + cutoff (~19 total), camping at Alice Lake the first night (beautiful) and breaking it into 2 nights/3 days. The mosquitos were really bad every time we stopped near water, but piccaridin helped. Coming from Seattle, the altitude really got to me on the inclines, but aside from 1 significant climb each day it was beautiful rolling trails. I would definitely call this loop moderate! Perfectly marked, easy to follow *except* that it wasn't always clear that the trail leads ACROSS the river at several spots. Some were trickier to ford without getting feet wet. We could not find an easy way down to Farley Lake on the 2nd night with open camp sights, so ended up at a meadow just beyond by the river. Still buggy but beautiful. Plenty of water spots on the trail, very few people/dogs, a few horse groups. Ended at Pettit and jumped in--perfect! Notes: -We brought bear can but saw nothing but squirrels -Each brought 2-3 liters of water for daytime and that was plenty -Up to 80s daytime, 20s at night When trail isn't clear near river crossings, always follow the WIDER trail

hiking
rocky
9 months ago

This was an absolutely amazing hike. Across 7 miles we crossed multiple lakes. All of them crystal clear and back into the sawtooths. Even passes a spring coming straight out of the ground crystal clear and refreshing. Not for the faint of heart. Not a lot of elevation gain but enough over a distance to get ya. We are camping at toxaway lake and you couldn’t ask for a better mountain lake or view. Very worth it. If you are wanting to start from yellow belly it is worth noting that you should have a vehicle with high clearance as it is very rocky and not maintained! Enjoy!!

hiking
9 months ago

My wife and I backpacked this trail for our 8 year anniversary, and what a treat the scenery was amazing and the weather was fair. we went clockwise around the loop, camping our first night at Alice lake. the next day we hiked down to Toxaway and stayed there and additional night, which led me to geting a beautiful sunburn. the water was cold, but the weather was fair enough to make swimming a thing. after our extended stay we had planned to stay one night at Farley Lake, but just decided to hike out instead. it is amazing out there, but it is definitely a popular trail. 10/10 would hike again.

backpacking
9 months ago

First backpacking trip "out west." Beautiful, challenging, and diverse. The lakes are crystal clear (and cold) and the views are stunning. As others have said, in the summer it can be hot during the day and cold at night. We didn't see much wildlife besides chipmunks and some fish in the lakes. Had heard that mosquitoes would be terrible but we were fine with a bit of bug spray. Sunscreen is recommended.

backpacking
10 months ago

2 nights/3 days was definitely the best way to enjoy everything this hike has to offer. We started around mid-day, and if that’s your plan would highly recommend doing the loop counter-clockwise and spending night 1 at Toxaway. This means that day 3 is entirely downhill since you do the little ridge at first rather than the end, and on day 2 we only had to hike 5.5 miles to Alice Lake where we enjoyed all afternoon/evening by the lake. Alice Lake was one of the nicest places I’ve seen, and the campsites on the peninsula are superb! I am a map nerd and added tons of sites to OSM via maps.me, so those should show up soon on this app and via maps.me for offline mapping/navigation. Enjoy!

hiking
10 months ago

I did this as a day hike. I went to toxaway first and thought it was very gradual and never too strenuous. Didn't get my feet wet on any river crossings. The description is a little out dated, no need for parking permits.

hiking
bugs
10 months ago

backpacking
bugs
rocky
snow
10 months ago

Did a 2 day hike through the Toxaway Loop with a group of friends. We knew we’d be arriving late Friday night and that obtaining a spot at Pettit Lake just to get some sleep would be near impossible so we decided to try our luck at Yellow Belly Lake since the road to access it is so precarious (limiting the type of vehicles that can access it). We parked at the trailhead and most of the nicer spots on the water were already taken. We hiked east along the trail/lake and eventually came to a couple of campsites well away from everyone else with nice views. The other sites were right on top of each other and here, we had privacy and peace. We started the Tin Cup Trailhead around 1030 a.m.; parking was nearly impossible at this time because the lot was almost full. The (typical) park bathroom didn’t have toilet paper so be prepared for this. There’s such a large visiting, it doesn’t surprise me. We made the trek to Alice Lake (breathtaking) and stopped there for lunch. It was packed by 2:00 p.m. so if you want a good campsite, make sure you get there early enough. It is pretty busy so I imagine it’s probably not quite as peaceful as other places. From there we hiked to Twin Lakes and camped there in hopes it would be less populated. While it was, most of the great spots were taken. (Note the trend, leave early!) The hike out of Twin Lakes to Toxaway Lake is beautiful! When reaching the pass there was a little snow to climb over and the hiking poles were super helpful. Someone already mentioned the numerous water crossings... those poles are awesome - especially when you have a heavy pack on that makes balancing difficult. Others have mentioned an avalanche and while yes, there appears to have been one, it didn’t affect the trail much or someone’s gone through and cleared most of it. There are a handful of trees you can easily step over or go around to get right back on the trail. The trek from Twin Lakes to Pettit Lake is mostly downhill so make sure you’ve got good shoes/socks on in an attempt to avoid blisters. The hike was definitely not 17 miles. We clocked about 24 miles on our GPS. Maybe less than a mile of that was diverting from the trail down into Twin Lakes. Mosquitos - We treated our attire with permethrin and wore a mosquito repellant band. Overall, it wasn’t too bad during the hike... however at sunset they’d get pretty terrible. I can’t imagine how miserable it would’ve been without the insect repellent. Highway 21 was closed due to a fire on Sunday July 21 but there is a detour in place. Check with the Sawtooth National Recreation Ranger Station or other resources to verify fire conditions before making the trip. They also aren’t currently allowing campfires. Overall, it was a trail with a variety of amazing scenery and if you have the time and physical fitness for it, you can’t not give it a try.

backpacking
bugs
snow
10 months ago

It was an absolutely gorgeous hike! The trail is clearly marked and well maintained. Hiking to Toxaway lake from Alice there was a surprising amount of snow. You can get through. I slid down most of it to the trail which was pretty fun. I backpacked this loop in 2 nights, 3 days. You can do it faster but I enjoyed soaking up the beauty. Cautions: 1- Bring deet bug spray. There are a ton of mosquitos but if you plan for them it’s not a big deal. 2- the chipmunks, especially at Alice lake are very aggressive. Tie up your food & anything with an odor right away to avoid them chewing a hole in your pack or food bags. Seriously. 3- bring poles. There are several water crossings that are so simple if you have poles to help you balance. Do this loop! It is incredible. Cheers!

Farley Lake to Pettit — easy hike largely through pine forest. Pettit was a cool refreshing sight.

7-18-19 Did the hike in 1 day

Alice Lake to Farley Lake - incredible section of the loop. The hike up to the highest point of the pass is just a series of breathtaking views. Hike down from the pass was slowed by snow fields but those were a fun diversion.

backpacking
blowdown
snow
10 months ago

Wow, what an amazing experience backpacking the toxaway loop. Hiking over the summit was easy to navigate through the remaining snow glaciers. Toxaway lake is probably the most beautiful lake along the loop. The fishing was nonexistent...the lakes may be fished out as there were so many people camping along Alice and Farley Lake it was almost difficult to find space to camp without encroaching on another campers space. The view from the other side of the summit overlooking twin lakes was absolutely spectacular.

hiking
10 months ago

Did a two day, one night counter clockwise loop hike on July 3rd-4th. Crossed the "creek" a few times, two of those times there was no way to cross other than taking off your shoes and wading through the water which was about knee deep and moving moderately fast. There was snow at the Western tip of Toxaway and the trail was lost, but if you scramble up the rocks to the very top you'll be able to find the trail and see that it goes down to the left. There was also quite literally, hundreds of thousands of mosquitoes at Toxaway and plenty of them at every water source so bring plenty of spray and long thick clothing if you plan on stopping near a lake for more than a couple minutes. All that said, the hike was really fun and had some amazing views! The stars at night were absolutely stunning!

Showing results 1 - 23 of 161