Imogene Lake, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho.

Ask Me: What Are the Best Hikes in Idaho’s Sawtooths?

In Ask Me, Backpacking, Family Adventures, Hiking   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   1 Comment

Hi Michael,

I’m an avid reader of your blog and know that you’re very familiar with Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains, so I was hoping you could give me some advice on either a good 3-day backpacking route or a base camp area where I could take three big day hikes from. I consider myself to be pretty fit and I have a handful of backpacking trips under my belt, so I feel comfortable putting in 10 to 15 miles per day, even over strenuous terrain. Thanks for any suggestions you can provide and for all of your informative and inspirational trip reports.

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One Response to Ask Me: What Are the Best Hikes in Idaho’s Sawtooths?

  1. Zachary Robbins   |  July 17, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    On my first backpacking trip in Idaho I did a similar hike to your 3-4 day suggestion. We took the wooden trail between McDonald Lake and Yellow Belly Lake, which you said you hadn’t done yet. It is not interesting, and not the most fun way to end a hike but necessary if you’re doing the loop. After you cross the creek draining McDonald Lake the climb up that ridge is very steep going up and down. It is then a long walk on forest roads to connect with the Lower Hell Roaring Trailhead. I think it actually would’ve been more fun to stay around the Imogene Divide area and backtrack to Hell Roaring instead of completing the loop. We barely stopped at Bowknot and Farley Lakes because of time, but as you said that section is drier and hotter and not as scenic.

    I would say that most guidebooks I read took the Edith Lake route to Toxaway Lake after descending Imogene Divide. Instead we stayed on the high trail and went up Sand Mountain Pass, then dropped to Rendezvous Lake/Lake 8861′ which was an awesome campsite and had spectacular colors at sunset. If I would do it again I would basecamp at Imogene Lake and take a couple days to explore the high lakes below Payette Peak and Mt. Cramer. I hear Profile Lake is awesome.

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