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Sawtooth National Forest, ID: Alpine Lake

One of Idaho’s premier backcountry destinations, this 11.7-mile out-and-back begins with a boat ride across Redfish Lake and ends at the crystalline waters of Alpine Lake.


Perfect as a dayhike or overnighter, the 5.9-mile (one-way) hike to Alpine Lake has few rivals. Get an early start on busy summer weekends—campsites fill up fast. The trip begins with a boat ride across Redfish Lake to the Inlet Campground. At the drop-off point, pick up the trail that leaves from the northwest side of the campground and hike through thick conifer forest. The trail climbs along Redfish Lake Creek, passing through boulder fields and skirting granite cliffs. After a steep set of switchbacks, the route reaches the eastern shore of Alpine Lake. Set up camp or return to the transfer dock following the same route.
INFO: Sawtooth National Recreation Area, (208) 727-5000;
SHUTTLE: Reserve a spot on the shuttle boat at Redfish Lake Lodge. Rides to the upper end of the lake leave the main dock on demand with two or more people. The boat returns to pick up hikers at the transfer dock at 9 a.m., noon, 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Call Redfish Lake Lodge at (208) 644-9096 for more information.
-Mapped by Jason Kauffman

To Trailhead

The hike begins at the dock at Redfish Lake Lodge.

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