Hike through wildflower-filled meadows—watch for the light purple splash of wild iris in August—to a jade-colored alpine lake on this 18.9-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.
Gear up Idaho Mountain Trading, 474 Shoup Ave., Idaho Falls, ID. (208) 523-6679; idahomountaintrading.net
Fishing permit Nonresident $13 plus $6/day; ID resident $26/year; fishandgame.idaho.gov
Contact (208) 374-5422; 1.usa.gov/itpeaks
- Distance: 29.8
Location: 48.515178, -120.73584
Trailhead for Heather and Maple Pass loop.
Location: 48.511786, -120.743351
Traverse a wide hillside meadow filled with summer wildflowers; keep your eyes peeled for wildlife.
Location: 48.50871, -120.744895
Trail fork: left 0.5 mile to Lake Ann; right to continue loop.
Location: 48.507009, -120.755925
Find picnic spots along shoreline; camping no longer permitted in area.
Location: 48.508615, -120.75384
Emerge from forest cover for first big views of Lake Ann basin.
Location: 48.508696, -120.76355
Heather Pass; fork right for meadow stroll, sweet campsites and rocky traverse to Lewis Lake.
Location: 48.509838, -120.764632
Nice ridgetop campsite.
Location: 48.510194, -120.766187
Primo campsite with awesome view.
Location: 48.51046, -120.768178
End of maintained trail; option to traverse rockfall to Lewis Lake.
Location: 48.503711, -120.769293
Big ridgetop meadow. Look for secluded campsites in tree glades; use established sites.
Location: 48.503312, -120.768523
Small sheltered campsite near pond.
Location: 48.501752, -120.768812
Big view southwest toward Glacier Peak.
Location: 48.500774, -120.76617
Small, exposed campsites.
Location: 48.499581, -120.760678
Maple Pass. Side trail forks right up flanks of Frisco Peak.
Location: 48.510549, -120.734832
Trail junction: fork left on paved trail to return to starting point; or right for 0.5 mile to Rainy Lake viewpoint.
Location: 48.504137, -120.736034
Rainy Lake viewpoint.