Hike through wildflower-filled meadows—watch for the light purple splash of wild iris in August—to a jade-colored alpine lake on this 18.8-mile out-and-back in the shadow of the rugged Beaverhead Mountains. This is primitive country: Keep your eyes peeled for mountain goats, bighorn sheep, and grizzlies.
1. (Mile 3.3) Snag your first up-valley views of the limestone and granite wall of the jagged, 11,000-foot Italian Peaks.
2. (3.8) Continue straight.
3. (4.6) Begin a 1,700-foot climb over the next 2.7 miles through aspen and conifer stands.
4. (6.8) Continue straight.
5. (7.4) Reach a 9,300-foot grassy plateau with 360-degree views of a sea of sawtooth peaks and deep-forested canyons.
6. (7.7) Stay left.
7. (8.2) Traverse a 9,400-foot saddle, the highpoint of the trip, where blown-open views beckon a break. To the east, spot the Lima Peaks.
8. (8.4) Cross the Continental Divide—now just a gentle ridge above treeline—into Montana. From here the trail zigzags between Montana and Idaho.
9. (8.7) Look for deer and elk as you cross a vast meadow.
10. (9.4) Reach Divide Creek Lake, a cutthroat-filled tarn tucked in a rocky cirque. Camp on the east shore, next to the outlet creek, with views of the lake and a 10,000-foot unnamed peak. Return the way you came.
(Bonus) On day two, scramble west of the lake up a short section of scree to the Divide for uninterrupted views of the surrounding Italian Peaks.
Get there From Idaho Falls, take I-15 N to ID 22 W. Go six miles and turn right on Medicine Lodge Rd. In 22.5 miles, go left on Webber Creek Rd. and go five miles to the trailhead.