Explore the most popular forest 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.

Attempted this one a few days ago - for all intents and purposes, this should be a pretty easy hike. The snow has mostly melted around Stanley Lake, making the beginning of this hike very deceptive. After a mile or two in, the snow is still pretty deep with plenty of post-holing up to about mid-thigh on me. I made it approximately 3 miles in until I met the "creek" which is now ~30 ft across with no way to cross unless you want to wade through the water and then continue walking in the snow. The cool water will likely be refreshing once it warms up a bit more, will have to try this one again after the snow melts.

hiking
15 days ago

This is the only peak in the Sawtooth Wilderness with a Class I trail to the top. The trail starts at Stanley Lake Campground and follows the Idaho Centennial Trail up to a saddle, where it can be difficult to find the Observation Peak Trail at first. Look for the switchbacks above and scramble over some rocks to get to it. This can also be accessed from the Grandjean Trailhead. The last few miles are steep switchbacks, but offer beautiful views to keep you motivated. There is a cairn and lock box at the top. There is a nice view of Horsetail Falls along the way.

Still has some snow pack occasionally on the trail but nothing that you couldn’t easily pass with hiking boots. Absolutely beautiful!

Completed first weekend in May. First mile was a great hike by hell roaring creek. Soon after we began hitting spotty snow piles which eventually turned into snow. Hip high snow through parts. It took our group 5 hours of hiking to get to the lake. The amount of melt that occured in one day was amazing, but our route back the next day was still going through scattered piles of snow or puddles/marshes of melt. I would hike this again, but if I did, I wouldn't go until mid-May (or June if heavy snowfall that winter) and I would wear gaiters and waterproof boots. The lake was beautiful, the finger of fate was a nice back drop, our campsite was super secluded, and we saw a mountain lion on the way out.

Completed lower TH to the lake and attempted to take this route back, thinking the road may have less snow. There was no bridge. After some log hoping, we were able to get over the creek, but the road was covered in hip high snow. I would highly suggest starting from the lower trailhead, especially if attempting in early to mid May.

hiking
18 days ago

This trail was stunning. We went on 5/5/18, a nice warm overcast off-season day. Still lots of snow on the trail at points which caused quite a bit of post holing. We only went three miles up, but still worth it. These isn’t a very tough hike and the views of the lake were great. Highly recommend!

hiking
3 months ago

Easy trail but real wilderness. Park at the north end parking lot of Redfish Lake and find the trailhead northwest of the lot. The trail meanders upward, west-northwestward, and into thin, creekside forest. When the trail veers west-southwest it evens out in altitude and offers a beautiful diffused light through thin, alpine forest. Follow the trail along Fishhook Meadow before the trail seems to end at a wetland/river area with Thompson Peak and Mickey's Spire in the background. Look northwest from the open area where the trail seems to end to find the Wilderness Permits box marking the boundary of the maintained Sawtooth National Recreational Area. I signed out and kept hiking southwest along a path and found I was few hundred feet from the northeast shore of Fishhook Lake. I continued on the path, southwest along the shore. It was beautiful with wonderful views of the lake to the south, the peaks to the west, and wildflowers everywhere... but it was buggy! I hiked past Fishhook Lake through a field of downed trees, and then the trail became very spotty as the terrain became more rocky and elevated. I just followed the peaks and stayed relatively straight, southwest. I stopped and turned around after finding a lovely cascading creek with no discernible trail on the other side. This area appeared untouched and very wild: A great place to explore, safely.

Completed this hike last June of 2017. Because of the wild Idaho winter of 2016/2017 Goat Lake was well over half frozen. Absolutely amazing hike.

paddle sports
3 months ago

This is an outstanding river trip. I floated it twice and would do it again in an heartbeat.

This was my first time backpacking in to stay the night at the lake type hike! It was quite the challenge w/a too heavy of a pack on my back but one of the most beautiful hikes I've been on lately. The view walking into the lake area was absolutely worth the early AM wake up and semi-intense hike on the side of a mountain!

This was my introduction to the Idaho wilderness and the Sawtooths and it didn’t disappoint! Mother Nature threw rain, snow, and hail at us but we persevered! Trail is well worn up until the final mile which is an entertaining scramble up loose gravel and over a granite boulder field. Trekking poles might be helpful. But the deep blues and greens of the lake and the sheer granite cliff faces is well worth the work!

backpacking
8 months ago

This is a gorgeous hike that I did as an out and back. Be mindful that to get to the upper roaring hells trailhead where this post starts the hike, you might need 4-wheel drive, as the road is pretty gnarly, I had to turn around and start at the lower roaring hells trailhead. It adds three miles in each direction (barely any elevation change), but you will get to Imogene lake from there in 9 miles.

impossible to reach due to river crossing.

nice hike. lots of horses so watch out for poo.

Beautiful, easy hike. Lots of people and lots of mosquitos. The views are worth it though!

10 months ago

This was a spectacular trail. I backpacked and spent the night at I'm Imogene lake. The hike to hell roaring lake was quite easy. Then up to Imogene there was a lot more altitude gain. The trail was super easy to follow. Very well-maintained. Very clean. Bring big spray. Go to the right for lots of amazing campsites.

10 months ago

Serene and magical. Hike can be extended beyond Imogene Lake very easily - bring your map and enjoy this one!!

hiking
10 months ago

On 7/8/17, with 4 kids as young as 6, we made it just shy of the falls. The 40' wide "creek" was more than we bargained for. To help the kids stay focused on the 3 mile trek back down to the lake, I suggested they count the trees impeding the path. No joke, there were exactly 150 of them we had to either hike around, climb over, or limbo under. We also saw a few mountain bikers on the trail who were struggling much more than we were.

Great hike but couldn't find a trail that went all the way to the shore of yellow belly. Had to go off trail quite a ways to get to the lake.

As of July 3, 2017 the trail has not been cleared. There are probably over 50 fallen trees across the trail all the way up that need to be cleared. If you ride, plan on hiking your bike over the tops of of these trees, some pile up to three feet high. We were on foot and still found it difficult in some areas. Also, plan on a 30 ft across (swift but shallow) river crossing just before you get to the falls. Take lots of mosquito spray as there's lots of standing water right now. Other than that, the views are spectacular!!!

Exceptional hike and light traffic:)

backpacking
11 months ago

An incredibly beautiful place. I've been to Hell Roaring Lake many times, Imogene Lake once. July and August can be quite busy with people. September and October, not so much. In fact, I've been there in October when I am pretty sure I was the only person in the whole of the Hell Roaring draining. This is stunning alpine scenery.

Did this trail Memorial Day weekend. It was incredibly beautiful. We made it all the way to the bench despite the snow. Absolutely loved it and it was worth it. This is definitely a trail for adults and teenagers. I would not do this hike with kids.

Beautiful views, lots of natural obstacles. Just my speed.

on Redfish Lake Trail

11 months ago

Great hike for viewing wildflowers!

hiking
Monday, March 27, 2017

hiking
Thursday, March 23, 2017

Great hike, I swear it isn't marked correctly, felt longer than 3.5 miles. Nice place to hike to and have a picnic.

hiking
Friday, February 17, 2017

I'm surprised people were dissapointed. The falls were beautiful (see pics). You can also get right next to the falls on either side. There is a nice trail to the bottom of the falls on the left. We even saw a guy and his dog in the falls. For a real adventure climb the super steep right side of the falls all the way to the top, and see Hansen Lakes. Heck of a climb but the lakes are very cool.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Great hike into a few different lakes. Had a great time hiking in this beautiful area.

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