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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.

Length 17.7 mi Elevation gain 3,169 ft 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

Description
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Contact
Getting There

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.

SNRA HQ, Ketchum 208-726-7672, District Ranger Station,Stanley,208-774-3681

Easy to find trailhead. Follow highway 75 south from Stanley, Idaho about 15 miles to the Pettit Lake turnoff on the right. Follow this graveled road, bearing right at the intersection to the Pettit lake campground. Just passed the campground is the large parking area for the trailhead. Trailhead pass is required, available at the District Ranger Station 3 miles south of Stanley or at the Sawtooth National Rec Area headquarters in Ketchum. Trailhead has restrooms, pump water and garbage dumptsers.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (232)
Photos (777)
Recordings (141)
Completed (494)
Rusty Randolph
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 10, 2020
Backpacking

One of the most beautiful hikes I've ever been on. 3 days 2 nights. First night at Alice where we had the north side of the lake to ourselves. Night 2 at Toxaway was a little more crowded but not so much that it detracted from the experience. Down side was I couldn't catch a fish but I sure enjoyed trying.

Katie Shauberger
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 6, 2020
HikingGreat!

Gorgeous loop, very well maintained. We hiked it from August 6th-8th counter-clockwise with our first night at Toxaway and our second night at Alice. On all three days we finished hiking early and got to enjoy the scenery/side treks. The water crossings were mild, only one near Toxaway required a shoe change and the mosquitoes, while noticeable, didn't seem worse than our backyard at home. It was considerably more crowded at Alice than Toxaway, also a Friday vs Thursday night, but everyone was respectful of space and noise so it didn't bother us. I would highly recommend this trail!

Tia Stone
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 6, 2020
HikingMuddyRocky

We just finished this loop as a 3 day, 2 night backpacking trip. Alice Lake was way too busy (where we camped the first night). Toxaway Lake was amazing on night 2. We clocked it at 23 miles, but did have to search for campsites both nights.

Erik Kern
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 3, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful hike. We did it in 3 days 2 nights. Twin Lakes gets busy at night. Farley Lake on our 2nd night was completely empty and beautiful! Lot's of loose rock/gravel on the trail which makes it a little more difficult.

View Erik's Recording
Bruce Bartholomew
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 1, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful but very crowded. Perhaps should limit permits. Peaks and lakes were spectacular! A must do.

View Bruce's Recording
Carolyn Blum
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 30, 2020
Hiking

This was indeed an amazing loop but we clocked it at 21.8 miles. We did walk a bit to see Twin Lakes but that didn’t account for the extra 5 miles. It is definitely doable in 1 day but it took us almost 12 hours with a short lunch break and lots of picture stops. This hike is incredible but make sure you have lots of water, sunscreen, bug spray, and extra snacks.

Daniel Sigler
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HikingBugs
Jonathan Whittle
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 24, 2020
HikingBugsRocky
View Jonathan's Recording
Kevin B
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 24, 2020
BackpackingBugsGreat!Rocky

This is THE classic Sawtooth backpacking trip. It has it all, but expect crowds on the trail. It has gorgeous scenery and a dark night sky perfect for stargazing, so bring a star chart. This was my second time on the loop and did it July 20-23. Having done it before in August I learned there are tradeoffs. In mid July the wildflowers in the alpine meadow's are stunning. The Sego lillies, Indian Paintbrush, etc. are everywhere. But with that beauty comes mosquitoes. And lots of them. Wait till August and things are much drier. The wildflowers are more scarce. But then again, so are the mosquitoes! Either way it's an incredible backpacking trip.

Ryan Beckstrom
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 24, 2020
HikingBugsRocky

Completed a 3-day, 2-night backpacking trip. Gorgeous wilderness - camping at Twin Lakes and Toxaway was almost surreal in its beauty. However, be fully prepared for a strenuous physical journey, especially if carrying a heavy pack. Invest in proper socks and hiking boots (and bring moleskin), so as to not get blisters on your feet while stuck deep in the mountains. Pack a sweatshirt (nights are cold, even in late July) and plenty of bug spray.

Carl Johnson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 23, 2020
HikingBugsGreat!

We got a permit for a larger group (11 of us - to include 7 youth ages 12-17) and did this loop in three days, from Thursday, July 23rd, to Saturday, July 25th. The scenery on this trail is amazing - it is classic Sawtooth and the reason it is on so many of our Bucket Lists. Alice Lake is the quintessential alpine lake, surrounded by the jagged peaks of the Sawtooth Mountains. Twin Lakes is just as scenic and Toxaway Lake not far behind. In addition to those gorgeous lakes, there are a number of large tarns - each with its own charm. During our hike the wildflowers were also spectacular. There were fields of them, sidehills full of them and trails lined with them. The variety and color were among the best we have ever seen - and we have seen a lot. As others have mentioned, it is DEFINITELY mosquito season, esp. in the early morning and evening hours near the lakes. The trail was in good condition. There was no snow on the trail. There were a few muddy patches, but after the epic thunderstorms and heavy rain we had most of Thursday night, that might be expected. Even then, they could all be avoided or walked around. We found excellent campsites at both Twin Lakes and Toxaway Lake, but as we got further into the weekend, the number of people on the trail and competing for campsites, definitely went up. That being said, the crowds on Thursday and even Friday weren't bad. Lots more hiking on Saturday. My only critique on the hike is that doing it clockwise, as we did, you end up having about one mile of uphill near the very end of the hike as you get back over to Pettit Lake. Not usually the way you want to end a hike coming OUT of the high country as you are feeling the effects of hauling 35 pounds around for several days. I would also mention that we are fairly confident the AllTrails information about it being 17.7 miles in incorrect. Two of us hiked with two different types of Garmins and both of us came up with considerably higher mileage. We would estimate the loop to be much closer to 20 miles.

patrick muir
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 22, 2020
BackpackingBugsRocky

hiked the loop counterclockwise on July 18/19. Absolutely gorgeous views around almost every turn. mosquitoes were VERY thick. and the trail is littered with rocks to the point that you almost can't look up because you have to plan every step to make sure you don't twist your ankle. sunrise and sunset from Alice lake were absolutely stunning

Grant Waters
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 20, 2020
Hiking

A few spots that you need to pay attention to the signs or you could go the wrong way. It was pretty buggy at Alice Lake but overall a beautiful loop hike.

Megan Judd
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 19, 2020
HikingBugsRocky

Amazing views! Totally worth the rocky trails. We went counterclockwise on a 4 day 3 night trip. We could have done it a lot faster but the scenery was amazing and it was nice to take it slow. Bugs were awful. Be sure to take plenty of bug spray and then maybe an extra bottle. The parking lot was super busy but it didn’t feel terribly busy on the trail. Especially when looking for a camp spot.

View Megan's Recording
Kim Pocock
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 18, 2020
Hiking

We did the trail clockwise. Beautiful waterfalls, lakes and Mountain View’s. The trail is well done they gave you a good view of the whole mountain. The bugs were kind of bad in the evening.

Aubree Pocock
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 16, 2020
HikingBugs

Such a great trail. The lakes and views were incredible. We went clockwise and enjoyed it. There is 1 big up and over and provides the most beautiful views. Next time I’d plan to do it in 2 nights and 3 days to have a bit more time to hang out and swim or fish in the lakes. And a good heads up is that the permits are at the wilderness boundary instead of the offices like the getting there tab suggests. Also, don’t forget bug spray!!

Sean Verzi
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 16, 2020
HikingBugsRocky
View Sean's Recording
Scott Darrington
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Hiking

Amazing hike, stunning views all hikelong. .

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Evan Maynard
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 12, 2020
HikingBugsMuddy

Went clockwise to Alice Lake and staid overnight. Trail is muddy in places and tons of horse poop. Stream crossings are a little sketchy but great views and camping around Alice! TONS of mosquitoes though...

Parker W
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 11, 2020
Hiking

Going counter clockwise all the most beautiful scenery you encounter first. Second half of the loop isn’t quite as amazing. Some stream crossings where it’s just easier to get your feet wet. Wish there was less horse crap on the trail. Really stunning views!

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