Explore the most popular hiking 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.

We read a lot of reviews and guides for this hike before leaving because everything was so conflicting. The last mile of the hike is definitely the most difficult part. There's a good section of steep gravel leading up to the first waterfall overlook. When you get to the rock wall on your right if you continue walking the base of the wall you will find the more staircase type section that is easier to go up, and that will be the start of the steepest part of the hike. Once you get to the waterfall overlook it is easy to miss the easier trail leading through the woods, so on the way up we went through the rock field. You can definitely avoid this by trying to stay as far to the left following up the waterfall and then you will find a beaver dam to cross above the falls. In that section there are a few times that it will look like the trail has ended but it hasn't, just keep pushing along and there are multiple different ways through the trees. Once you get to the falls you are pretty close so if you've made it that far, keep pushing on because it's definitely worth making that last little climb.

We went on a weekend and backpacked in, there were definitely a good amount of people camping up there so it was a bit "crowded" but mainly because there are only about 5-7 different spots along the lake to set up camp. We tried following the path along the lake to get our own private area but encountered others along the way that said they didn't see anywhere to set up down on the SE corner of the lake. By that time our packs were heavy so we headed back to the main area and grabbed a spot on higher ground which was still really great.

A few people were fishing and we saw some small trout in the lake. We got in for a swim and some guys were jumping off one of the higher rock areas but the water was quite cold as to be expected.

Great get away, my little corgi like dog made the hike and loved it, but he is like a little mountain goat. There were a couple areas on the trail up at the top, following the lake where we had to pass him because his short little legs couldn't make the jump, but the rest of the way up he made it up on his own. I was a little wary of bringing him because of some things that I read, but he is spry and good at climbing so he did well. Bigger dogs that love hiking should do just fine, and little dogs that love hiking might need a hand here and there but can make it as long as they are tough.

Great hike. A little of everything on the way.

Awesome hike, beautiful lakes, incredible mountains. First half is super easy, all the elevation gain is done in the last two miles. My watch clocked me at 10.75 miles, we had to park a little bit down the road from the main parking lot, so a little bit of the extra mileage came from this but not a lot. I’d plan this to be more around 10 and not 8.5.

Easy trail to Fourth of July and Washington. We stopped at the pond and our kids scrambled up the peak there but kept going to Washington which is spectacular. Beautiful stream with wildflowers on the trail in. Don’t get tricked by the pond- keep going! Washington Lake is bigger than 4th of July and lovely.

Loved this trail and Lake! Switchbacks made the elevation change easy. Beautiful lake, clear water.

Really nice hike with many creek crossings. I will do this again next time I take a trip to this area. Fourth of July Lake is a beautiful stop, but trail continues. It adds another 3/4 to 1 mile to go past a pond and descend to Washington Lake. Really stunning location to spend some time. Peaceful, clear water, and a nice ridge line across the lake. We didn’t take the trail any farther. Wildflowers were still blooming, especially in more lush areas by creeks. Pretty awesome microclimates. Trail is fairly wide. No insects (early-mid August).
There was a 10 mile trip in on gravel road to get to the trail head. The last 6 miles of which is an area burned by a wildfire perhaps 5 years prior.
3 horses and later, 3 dirt bikes also went up during our hike. They all passed respectfully. We saw a good number of other hikers, but it wasn’t crowded. Many were backpackers coming in from much longer treks in White Cloud. Loved the hike!

Starts with a beautiful walk in a valley and ends with a fun but tough scramble up to the falls (the route on here doesn’t include the scramble). The stretch in the woods inbetween is unspectacular.

Lovely day hike. It was a great way for a flat lander to acclimate before a multi day backcountry trip.

backpacking
6 days ago

Unbeatable scenery but day one is extremely tough. Going over the top of the peak with full packs and then down a field of scree was as unappealing as it sounds. The majority of the loop: four lakes basin, boulder chain of lakes, way up and down castle divide and the chamberlain lakes was worth all the hard work!

backpacking
6 days ago

This was an amazing loop. The only reason I give it a four instead of a 5 was the route finding before the established trail was a bit much for me. The scree scrambles down Patterson were not my favorite, to say the least. Also the trail from Patterson Peak to Quiet Lake was either non existent or impossible to find. Everything else about the loop was unbelievably amazing. So many lakes, viewpoints, wildflowers.

backpacking
6 days ago

We did this as part of the White Clouds loop backpacking. Lovely lake and hike.

backpacking
7 days ago

Amazing trek! Absolutely stunning 360 degree views from the top of all passes (worth the off trail scree scramble). You hike by, camp, or view at least 20 different high alpine lakes - all gorgeous! Fishing was great! Wildflowers were on point! I have a happy and tuckered dog!

hiking
7 days ago

What a fantastic hike!! Did this today, and the gradual incline is just enough to keep you honest and the overall out and back distance is far enough to make it count! Go early on a warmer day as there’s not too much shade. Beautiful scenery, fabulous views! Hits all the high marks!

Excellent family hike with my 2 year old strapped to my back. Great views at the turn back point and all along the way.

Went last weekend. Served its purpose. My 13yo sons first loaded overnight trip. Lots of rocks, horse poop and dust. Trail is well marked and easy to follow. There is a lot of traffic. Get there early and get a spot. Fishing is way better on the back side of the lake. We had no bug problems as the wind was blowing. If not take 100% deet. Good experience

Stunning!! Like being in a Nat Geo pic! Beautiful every step of the climb. Lake is awesome. Couple times a day you can hear the thunder-like rumble as snow avalanches into lake.

Caution: last half mile is steep. trail is unmarked (very hard to follow) and has overgrowth. Be careful. Taking your time. Wait and follow other to follow easiest path forward.

tough hike with the 50lb backpack!

it is a little than moderate for small children ;)

Very enjoyable hike! We backpacked to Sawtooth Lake and camped. Good amount of elevation gain and we hiked in early August and I was chilly. If you camp, be sure to pack warm clothes for sleeping!

Loved the trail and views at top were gorgeous.

backpacking
16 days ago

We decided late Friday night to head out for an overnight in the Sawtooths ... and selected this route. A good bit of elevation gain to make it to Sawtooth Lake is definitely worth it. There were a number of people camping, but we were still able to find a great spot. Bring bug spray, not insane but you’ll want it. Good access to water along the way. Always amazing to wake up at 9,000ft. A good number of day hikers, all good encounters up and down, including a lovely mix of languages and cultures. ♥️

Well, this is a beautiful trail. The first part of the trail doesn't have a whole lot of shade, but there are places where there is a creek bed where dogs can cool off. There is a fairly short section that has an incline, but not too bad at all. There is a river crossing that does have some logs across it that make it possible to cross without wading through the water. After the first river crossing; the trail is super easy and well shaded. There is a wooden sign attached to a tree (not sure on distance from the river, but a mile-ish...) that directs you to the right to get to Bridal Veil Falls. You will go down that trail a short distance and come to another river crossing. This one doesn't have logs across it that I found, so I just took my shoes off and waded through, definitely was a nice cool down! At this point however, is where that 5th star left my rating. To get closer to the falls, it is a very steep and not really well marked or clear trail unfortunately, so I didn't feel comfortable enough to go all the way to the falls (was by myself).
I still love this trail, and will do go again. The views are amazing!!

My husband and I hiked up to this Lake a week ago, we backpacked in and spent the night it was our first trip overnight and it was well worth it. The last mile of this hike is tough but they hike is so well worth it. The fishing was great at about 7 at night

We did the loop 17 miles the downhill is unbelievable

I am not going to rewrite the entire route directions, but we were given some hints from fellow hikers that were AWESOME helps:
1) Granite wall - there is easier access to start your climb into the scree field - still a granite wall but with "Steps" that make an easier climb. Once you are at the spot just at/before the falls where you see the big granite wall to your right - keep walking straight and to the right as the trail bends around the granite wall. Where the granite butts up against the scree field you will see some natural formed steps that make it easier to climb up the wall into the scree field.
2) YOU DO NOT NEED TO CROSS THE BOULDER FIELD TO GET TO THE LAKE!! There is a shorter/easier route. At the top of the scree field - you'll be above the top of the falls just entering the boulder field. Look to your left for the beaver dam that is above the falls in shallow/calm water. That beaver dam is where you will cross on the LEFT side of the water/creek. Once you spot the beaver dam, you will easily see the trail the leads from where you are standing through a wooded area to that beaver dam. Once you cross the beaver dam it's a short easy hike to the lake (I posted a picture of this)
3) The All Trails map/location indicator was spot on - there are a couple places in the scree field where we used the indicator to make sure we were still on trail. It winds around a bit in there - so the location indicator was a good confidence marker.

backpacking
22 days ago

The trail was much better than expected. Still some snow packs at 8300’ where we camped on Sawtooth lake. Super windy and that kept the mosquitoes down for the most part. As soon as the wind died down, out they came...
Plenty of water on trail. Not a great hammock location as suitable trees weren’t abundant anywhere Sawtooth lake itself, but we made due. The trail Was 9.9 miles according to this app’s tracker. Plenty of people and dogs “off leash” but no problems.

backpacking
23 days ago

Gorgeous area with amazing views. Note that climbing up and descending Patterson Peak is done on loose scree fields. We were also unable to find the second half of the windy devil switch backs. I’m not sure if we lost the trail or if a rock slide washed the trail away.

I couldn't find the lake made it to a dead end with no option to climb over

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