DISTANCE
9.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,585 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

bugs

scramble

hiking
Friday, September 15, 2017

I hiked the Sawtooth Mountain trail in early September.
The route I chose is a loop starting on Indigo Trail, then Sawtooth Mountain trail to reach the climbers trail via the south ridge. Once at the top, I decided to go for a scramble of the north ridge to try and intersect the Windy Pass trail. From there, I did succeed but route finding and strain on old legs made this section a small challenge. From there I descended to Indigo Lake and walked the trail that goes around the lake. Finally, I returned to Timpanogas Lake via the Indigo Lake trail. All said, about 10 miles.

The lakes (Timpanogas, Indigo), the scramble up the south summit and true summit, the views from the summit, and the cool/shaded forested sections make this trail a small gem. Combine the hiking with some camping, backpacking, fishing, etc and you get more for your footsteps. There are also several route variants, including a traverse from Sawtooth Mountain to Cowhorn Mountain.

If you follow the Sawtooth Mountain trail, it is good to know that you will be climbing two ridges (at 2 miles and 3 miles) before getting to the use trail at the 4 miles mark or so. These two climbs are fairly steep... mostly because switchbacks appear to not have yet been invented when the trail was cut.. it goes almost straight up and ahead.

The scrambles to the south summit and the true summit are neither technically very difficult nor very long. However, there is exposure on the sides of the summits ridge and good footwear, good attention and caution are necessary. The summit itself has major exposure on the east side;

In season, bugs are likely an obstacle to prepare for; there are two lakes to go by and a few wet/marshy area not far.The summit ridge is, of course, exposes to the run; you may want to carry sunscreen.