DISTANCE
13.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3392 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

beach

forest

lake

views

waterfall

private property

historic site

no dogs

hiking
17 days ago

Very rewarding trail! That hard rating was not messing around!
The first 4 or so miles was super easing going on road just to get to the trailhead. It’s on private property so you’re not able to park any closer. The hikers parking lot at the bottom of ausable road is where you leave your car. Then you need to walk up that road with the golf course on your right. Once you get to the bend in the road veer left and the sign in station is there. But there’s still a bunch more of easy walking to go after that on dirt road.

Sawteeth was the very last trailhead along this dirt road. Once you get there, I highly recommend taking the rainbow falls trail first. It’s absolutely gorgeous but I knew we wouldn’t have the energy to go back that way after completing the loop.
Start the sawteeth loop following the scenic route. I wouldn’t have wanted to hike this loop going counterclockwise at all!

You start off along the trail with lovely views of the lake. After outlook 1 or 2 (i can’t remember which), the trail got a little more tricky to follow. It’s obvious this trail isn’t hiked often, but there are a decent amount of markers to keep you going. The steep incline was super challenging and at some points was straight up scaling rocks and rock climbing. Some areas had ladders which was a much welcomed sight. But you definitely earn it on this one. Once you finally reach the last outlook or sawteeth summit, it mostly all downhill and so much easier than the trail going up.

And of course once you finally complete the loop, you’ve still got that 4 mile trek back to the parking lot unfortunately. But man, do I feel accomplished after completely that whole loop! Make sure you’ve got plenty of water!