Redfish Lake to Saddleback Lake is a 8.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Lowman, Idaho that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length8.5 miElevation gain2,211 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashBackpackingCampingHikingNature tripsBird watchingForestLakeViewsWildflowersWildlife
Description
Waypoints (0)

When crossing the creek, make sure to look for the logs (shown in photos). Make sure to follow the map to see where to exit the trail.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (69)
Photos (108)
Recordings (48)
Completed (109)
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Audrey Rodriguez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 24, 2020
BackpackingFeeOff trailOver grownRockyScramble

Great trail! First 2mi are cake. But the last 1.5-2mi are a serious climb! If you have a gps be sure to utilize that. We staying a couple nights which I wouldn’t do again since it’s a busy day hike and popular backpacking spot. I prefer solitude. Elephants perch is stunning at sunset!

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andrea dyson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 20, 2020
Off trailScramble

OK several FYI's for first timers. 1.) there is no direct vehicle access to redfish lake inlet. I did not know this lol. you either hike from redfish lake trailhead to the inlet campground (extra 6mile hike) or take a boat in from Redfish lake outlet campground which was about $20 there and back for 1 person. 2.) GO WITH A FRIEND. If you've read other hikers comments, super likely you will get lost since there's like 20 different paths that could be to saddleback lake. The Gia app GPS saved our butts on this one!! It was so helpful although still got lost off trail for about 2 hours. Despite what the trail guide said, KEEP RIGHT. And refer back to your GPS. 3. Last 1.5 miles up is definately a steep scramble. Super fun though, don't give up. 4. We went Sep. 19 and surprisingly the smoke had totally cleared. Overall, make sure you have good gripping hiking shoes, if you can't find the right path just keep right and keep trying. Saddleback lake is breath taking.

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Taylor Morris
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 11, 2020
Hiking
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Jeff Kumar
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 8, 2020
HikingBridge out

This is my favorite hike in the sawtooth so far! I saw a bear, 3 deer and the view of elephants perch is magnificent and that is not to mention the granite walks and pristine lakes.

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Alex Bennett
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 6, 2020
BackpackingRockyScramble

The trail was fine for the first few miles and then you cross the river. There is an old trail and a new trail. Some maps take you on the old trail. The old trail sucks and is extremely steep. We found the new trail on the way down and it was much easier. It was beautiful once at the lake. A fair amount of people at the lake. The fishing was pretty good and was best in the evening.

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Drew Tingey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 6, 2020

Pretty straight forward for the first couple miles then it gets weird once you have to cross the river. If it wasn't for this app we would have gotten way lost but we only got a little lost. Makes for some good adventure. The trail as a whole and the lakes at the end are absolutely unreal plus the nice cliff jump at the second lake makes this is a true paradise. And, literally didn't see a single mosquito which blew my mind! Unfortunately didn't see any bears, moose, or siberian tigers.

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Juergen Sattler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 3, 2020
Hiking
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Devin Kohles
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 21, 2020
Hiking

Sydney fell

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Kipp Efinger
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 21, 2020
HikingBlowdownScramble

Beautiful hike and final destination. It would be 5 stars for my, but I'm only giving it 3 because the trail is extremely difficult to find at multiple points, probably thanks in part to an earthquake that felled trees all over the trail. You definitely want a GPS for this trail and even then you may get lost. We met another couple of locals when we started who said they got lost on this trail last year. They tried to advise us but we still got lost for about an hour hacking through brush and crawling over logs. The first confusing part is when you divert off trail 101 and look for the stream crossing. Just follow your GPS and trust that it is right. There are logs on the trail, so the trail doesn't look right. Just trust its there, and you'll see where people have walked. The river crossing is easy and you can do it at multiple points by hopping over rocks or walking along a fallen set of logs. About 5-10 minutes later you'll see a rock wall on your left. At one point there is a trail about 4 yards long that leads up to the wall. It looks like nothing but maybe a place for climbers to belay, but that is indeed the way up onto the rock. It really isn't obvious at all and by missing this we got totally lost. Scramble up the wall. This is easy enough, but definitely not for someone who isn't well coordinated. Once you get up on the rocks, you have for about 5 minutes until you hit a spot with nothing but solid granite. Get up on the granite and look for the dirty signs of boots on granite. You hike over the granite for about 2 minutes until you find the trail again. Once on that trail there are few tricky spots but as long as you stay on well worn paths you'll find your way up to the lakes. There are no signs or markers, so you really do benefit from a GPS.

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Devin Kohles
Gray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 20, 2020
Hiking

Dats steep

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Simon Whiting
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 19, 2020
Hiking
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Bryon Grueter
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 18, 2020
Hiking
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Logan Brown
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 12, 2020
Hiking

Spectacular destination. Very steep after you cross the river but the end result is worth it. Views for days in every direction.

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Trevor Gillhouse
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 10, 2020
BackpackingOff trailRockyScramble

We wanted to check out Elephants Perch and get an idea of how the climbing is. Let me tell you, beautiful golden granite face. Also the second Saddleback lake rock jump.. it’s a must!

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Robert Hultz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 6, 2020
Hiking

As posted earlier, there are two distinct trails. I went up the red line and down the dotted, and honestly if I were to do it again I would do the same. The red gives you a up close and awesome view of the verticals of the Perch and the dotted gives you a nice view of the water fall/slide coming down. Either way, there would be some moments with a full pack. Went during the week, and only met one couple at crossing, and another coming out just starting down. Got a bit crowded on 101 after crossing the creek. I would say that if you come back down closer to the creek, I would stay up a bit from Redfish creek at the end and go downstream to the first crossing, unless you have great balance or want to wade. Steep!!! But well worth if it you are in reasonably good shape and want to work.

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Laurel Lees
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 31, 2020
HikingOff trail

The destination is an adult playground and the hike up is the most difficult I’ve done — due to altitude and elevation gain (I live at sea level). the boat across red fish lake is awesome and I loved crossing and resting in the creek. The steep hike was really tough with an overnight backpack. And on the way down we went off trail and I got a few blisters. I recommend pushing yourself and completing this hike for an overnight adventure. Gorgeous views of Elephant’s Perch. Bring your rod for fishing! Leave no trace. find the tree the stands alone for a mushroom at the 5oclock shadow!

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Mike Tacchella
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 27, 2020
Nature trips

Amazing lake! Hike is easy for the first two miles then much harder but not terrible.

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Jim Larson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 25, 2020
Hiking

All trails on my iPhone 7 did not have a connection. First time I ever hiked in the mountains was a tough in and out being 68. I crawled across the logs. Was a challenge finding the trails. Met a lot of young people going up as we were coming down. So much fun to see where everyone is from. The beauty that I was seeing was breathtaking. I definitely recommend this. Maybe not as your first hike but a must for a bucket list

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Peter Ware
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 23, 2020
BackpackingRockyScramble

Backpacked to Saddleback Lakes on 7/21/2020. This is a tough climb up the drainage. Very steep with some scrambling here and there. Despite the fact that the direction is obviously up and around the Elephant's Perch, it does require some route finding. There are a few cairns and plenty of foot prints to mark the way. I think what can be confusing here is that there are really two trails. 1) The trail that most recordings here reflect begins with the creek crossing just past the third (shortest) foot bridge on the main 101 trail. There are a couple of logs and then you bear right after crossing. This trail holds tight against the mountain high above Saddleback Creek most of the way up. It is steep and I was worried about descending some sections with a heavy pack on the return. This is the trail we took up. Then about two-thirds of the way up we heard voices below us. Two backpackers overtook us from what definitely seemed like below us rather than coming from behind. 2) Then there is the trail which shows on AllTrails and Gaia GPS as the dotted line, and is marked on AllTrails as 1.6 miles to the middle lake. This is the trail we descended (sort of by accident) as we naturally picked it up on the way down. Gaia GPS lined up with it and we realized this must have been where the other backpackers had come from on our ascent. This is a better more well-defined trail - easier to find and navigate. Still very steep (it's the same mountain after all!), but less scrambly. It's down lower closer to the creek with the mountain and the face of the Elephant's Perch high above. The trick with this trail is finding the creek crossing. This crossing is a little ways upstream from the first one after the footbridge. When the trail reaches Redfish Creek it bears right downstream for several hundred yards and then dead-ends at a T in the trail. Going right to keep heading downstream leads to nowhere, going left to the creek is not a safe place to cross. We backtracked several hundred yards to exactly the point on the creek where the trail is shown on Gaia GPS. Here there is a big log jam of several downed trees spanning the creek. Above the log jam is wadable. A couple of us crossed on the logs, I waded just above and climbed out at the far end of the logs. From there we picked up a faint path through the brush and popped out on the main 101 trail in just a few yards. Relief! Thus, you can trust the Gaia map - I can only assume AllTrails shows the same. I'll add a screen shot to the photos where I marked the waypoints of the lower crossing and circled the upper crossing that we returned on. This was a hard challenging trail, especially with heavy packs, but the payoff and experience gained was worth it.

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Brendan Barnard
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 21, 2020
Hiking

Hiked on 7/20/20 and did an overnight on the banks of saddleback. Took the shuttle from redfish lodge. Amazing views of peaks and lakes! Was easy to find spot to camp. Definitely use the All trails app as you go so that you can follow the red line for river crossing.

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