Explore the most popular camping trails near Stanley with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
25 days ago

I hiked this through the snow with my parents (in their 60s) on November 10th and it was beautiful! We got to the end and the fog lifted, giving us an amazing view of the Sawtooth Range. Its an easy trail, even when it has 4-5 inches of snow on the ground and its 25 degrees outside.

3rd trail I have ever hiked and it was perfect for a beginner. Last weekend in October and the weather was great. Recommend going with others. There were Wolf tracks near the lake and on the trail near the lake. Didn't see any, but just be careful. The lake was so beautiful and peaceful. I would highly do this hike again.

Nice Hike in late Sept. Hiked in via the normal trail that requires crossing the river; and returned via trail on same side of the river. Clean perfect temp hot spring.

Not my favorite hike but it was definitely well worth it. Don’t be discouraged by the lack of trees from a wildfire in August. To access the hike you must drive 10 miles on a dirt road, and then you’ll hit the trailhead (this is a nicely maintained dirt road). The trailhead was beautifully maintained. It was about 50° with some patches of snow and a tiny bit of ice on Oct 26, 2018. We were the only hikers their, so it was nice to see a trail without a lot of people. 4th Of July Lake is beautiful. We did the aprox 3.6 mile round trip hike in about 90 mins.

Flat for the first two miles and then a gradual elevation gain for the next mile or so. Then very steep toward the end and mostly a scramble up to the top with loose gravel and rock.

A little hard to follow the trail as it is not really clear when you get into the thick of it but it is worth the hike :) beautiful and felt amazing.

hiking
2 months ago

Brought my father-in-law here and loved this trail. He is agrees it’s one of the best hikes he’s done in his life! I’m looking forward to doing this again and backpacking further!

This trail is really out of the way to get too. 4x4 drive recommend. DEET a must, no plant or flower based bug sprays. They will attract bees and horse flies. Cougar and bears spotted near Lieutenant Lake and General. Good fishing.

My daughter and I hiked this trail this weekend starting from the lower trailhead - we hiked out and back in one day 10 miles round trip. It took us just under 7hrs - we are newbies and way out of shape! This trail is easy as far as terrain and elevation gain. The view along the creek is serene and encouraging. We did not see any wildlife, but we did see lots of skat and horse poop. I would definitely do this trip again, maybe with a overnight camp at the lake next time. We were so tired by the time we reached the lake we didn't have any energy to walk around the lake. Also, there was a lot of smoke from the fires in the area. Easy hike - just really long.

this was a great hike! not too difficult or too far.

Hiked this on 9/20/18. This was about a 7 mile round trip hike to the hot springs from the Fir Creek Campground. Walking through the meadow along the river was gorgeous this time of year. A couple of muddy areas but easy to navigate around. There was one stretch that was really steep with loose rock and sand and made me a little nervous with our 3 month old so I wouldn’t recommend with a baby or any kids. Apparently there is another way but requires crossing the river. Did not run into any other people. Lots of hot spring pools at the end to choose from!

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked on 9/19/18 with our two dogs (an on-leash trail) and 3 month old. Beautiful views, wonderful creek and very easy. Fall hikes are the best. Quite a bit of logs at the end near the lake but they were easy to get over- we just had to lift our lab over them because she is having issues with her back legs. Only ran into a few small groups. My husband caught a couple of fish in the lake. I highly recommend this trail!

Let me start out saying that this hike is absolutely beautiful and breath taking! Pictures do not do justice to how beautiful and blue Goat Lake really is. I would highly suggest taking your trekking poles and getting to the Iron Creek Trailhead early in the morning (the fog surrounding the mountains is beautiful). The hike starts out as a defined trail and is easy going with the trail getting more moderate as you climb in elevation with switch backs. When the trail runs out, it will bring you to disintegrated rock, when you reach that point, you need to climb up (look at pictures posted). Follow the disintegrated rock “trail” and it will take you in the right direction. You will cross the Iron Creek Waterfall (look for cairns) which will guide you over the waterfall via logs/beaver dam. This is the easier path rather than climbing the rocks on the right side of the Falls. Once you cross the water falls you will run into a defined path that will take you directly to Goat Lake. This is a stunning hike I would recommend to everyone! I would also recommend ready “Randy Clarke’s review as it is a great review that can offer some more helpful information. Hope this review helped!

The trail was all we hoped for and more. An easy well marked start but we did get turned around in the gravel field looking for the easier "steps" which we never found. The cairns were not very helpful as they were spread out. The locator was a godsend!!! At least we knew when we were wandering too far of trail and could wind back to where we should be. The first view of the falls it's a terrific reward! Very easy to lose the path here until we found the logjam crossing and then it was clear again all the way to the lake. We passed many smaller waterfalls and they were just beautiful. Goat Lake was absolutely breathtaking and worth the hike! We found a spot up on some rocks to sit and eat lunch with a view of the blue green lake below and the snow fields across the lake. We walked to the far side of the lake through the boulder field for another view before turning to head back down to Iron Creek campground. We took a long time to make the hike because we stop and take a lot of pictures and two snack breaks. So the trip up took is 3.5 hours and the trip down about 2. But we wander :)

We started out at the upper trail head. From the lower TH drive one mile to the split and go right. You will drive another 2.4 miles to the parking area. Need a high clearance vehicle and only one section was rutted out. Very easy hike to a beautiful lake. It's a 6 mile round trip.

The trail is pretty mellow at the start, but towards the end it gets difficult. The end is steep and a bit of a scramble and the trail is unmaintained, but the lake is well worth it. Goat Lake is beautiful and is one of the best lakes to visit in the area.

Trailing With Us...
First of all, we are Seniors, moderately good shape, and we highly recommend hiking poles for this.
Last week of August 2018, D and I planned to hike to Alpine and Sawtooth lakes but Wapiti fire closed trail at junction up from Iron Creek trailhead. Met some other backpackers there that recommended Goat Lake. A shout out to them - Thank You, Great recommendation!
As many have noted a tough scramble the final mile up, especially with full packs to the waterfall just below Goat Lake, but it was "worth it" as we were told. Be sure to have some water with you before you start this climb. After you ascend, the waterfall will be loud and on the left, nice view, from huge flat outcropping. Find the somewhat hidden trail toward the left near stream above water fall (we hopped over a huge boulder with a cairn atop), path will be more obvious as you continue , only 150 feet or so and you will see log jam/beaver dam with yellow rope. Cross there, then stream (on your right now) and trail will guide you to lake, maybe 1/4 mile. Alternately back at waterfall you can veer more right to climb and hop the boulder field instead, not recommended!
Camping isn't crowded, but only about 6 camping spots, depending on your taste. A few are right by the lake, but all are close. There may be more behind/above if you want to climb up a little, we didn't check that, or other end of lake possibly, not an easy trail to the other end though.
Lake is drop-dead gorgeous!!! Emerald greens and blues, at least do a day hike to see it!
Stay a while and take it in. Few bugs, upper 20s at night, and was smoke free. Perfect!
The hike back down the scramble was sketchy with 30 lb. packs, we rearranged even more weight to hip area for better balance. Take it slow and easy.
Good Luck!

I had planned to do the Iron creek to sawtooth lake hike, but with the trail closed for fire aid, I decided to give this trail a try. I didn't make it to the lake, but the falls were still worth the hike. I started out early and pretty much had the trail to myself going out, but on the return hike I met multiple groups. I will definitely try this hike again when I am better prepared.

We started the hike from the Upper Hellroaring trailhead. As a heads up, get there early for parking and make sure you have a vehicle with good clearance, the road gets quite rough and ideally best for suvs and trucks/jeeps. You can park below and start from the Lower Hellroaring trailhead. No restrooms are available so keep that in mind if your looking for convenience lol. From the trailhead, you go from casual walk/hike with a couple tree trunk bridges to cross over, and progress to a moderate hike. The path is a bit hum drum until your about a mile in with some beautiful creeks flowing through and crystal clear water. Hellroaring Lake itself is very beautiful and worth the hike. I would recommend heading from Hellroaring Lake onto Lake Imogene. A fellow hiker we conversed with had said it is similar to Lake Hellroaring but a bit more challenging on the hike itself (moderate rated) with some beautiful water falls along the way. Hope this review helps!

horseback riding
3 months ago

On 8.31.18 we went horseback riding and our guides name was Pete from Redfish Corrals. He led us through the wooded area and we came out at the sign to Fishhook CR TR/Marshall Lake and Redfish Lake CR TR/Bench Lakes. We went on Fishhook and took a detour upwards to a clear shot of Little Redfish Lake, Redfish Lake, and the Sawtooths. It was very peaceful being on horseback listening to the horses and nature all around us.

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked the trail on 8.30.18 and it was a perfect day to be on the trail. We got up to the Sawtooth Wilderness permit area. The view of the Sawtooths was amazing. We took our shoes off and walked in the ice cold clear and clean water before hearing back out. We placed 4 painted rocks on various parts of the trail and hope others will find them and place them in other states or countries.

My new favorite trail!! Awesome views all along.

backpacking
3 months ago

It was a beautiful labor day weekend hike. With a car incapable of what it looked to be a Red Bull Rally Truck climb up to the upper parking lot, I started at the lower adding about an extra ~2mi. The first 4-miles is a little flat and slow going thru the forest. After that it is awesome. Plenty of camping at Imogene Lake with great views. Overall, 4/5 experience probably due to the increase amount of people at the lake on this holiday weekend.

Great hike until you reach the tricky steep part at the last mile. Mostly shaded hike but start early to avoid the heat at the last unshaded and the most difficult part at the end. The last part may require a little climbing and be warned as the there is no marked trailhead at the end. Stay to the left of the creek by crossing through a log after you see the waterfall and avoid the whole boulder field climb. The trail was surprisingly crowded given its difficulty level. The glacier lake at the end was pristine with nice blue green tint. And the sawtooth mountains looked beautiful. Worth the climb. Might be tricky getting down coz it can be slippery at times. Go early and go prepared for the last climb.

Loved this trail! We hiked with a 7 year old and a dog and it was a moderate hike. The views were stunning. Saw few deer and chipmunks on the way. We went early enough to avoid the heat and it proved to be a good decision! The redfish lake looked beautiful along the trail and the bench lakes were a treat to the eyes.

To build on Valerie B's review, there are two tricky spots. First, continue around the the case of the granite about 25-30 feet to find the natural steps in the granite. Second, right after you see the waterfall, stay low to the water to find the logjam crossing. There are cairns both low and high (in the boulder field), but it is much easier if you cross to the left side of the creek.

Otherwise pretty straightforward and absolutely worth it.

backpacking
3 months ago

I've hiked this twice and it's beautiful. You will love it.

The climb to the lake at the end is arduous. The rest is a slight incline. Shaded trail mostly.

Great hike for all ages. Payoff with a beautiful alpine lake!

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