Early hiking in the high country

mountainThe trail along Redfish Lake Creek was dry and dusty and it looked more like late July than mid-June in the Sawtooth Mountains out of Redfish Lake.

My wife and I hiked the trail to Flat Rock Junction on the trail and met several backpackers that hiked up to the base of Elephant’s Perch, Bench Lakes and near Alpine Lake.

Most said they were surprised that they could get into the high country this time of the year.

It’s definitely an early opening of the high country and most folks in the Stanley area agree the snow has gone early on the high trails. Although trails are mostly clear, streams still present a problem. They are running slightly high and hikers should be careful with stream crossing. Also, if you have water dogs like us, keep them away from high-country creeks. They could get swept away in a heartbeat.

A really easy way to hike the Redfish Lake Creek Trail is to take the shuttle boat from Redfish Lake Lodge to the Transfer Camp trailhead at the upper end of the lake. That way you don’t have to hike the 5 miles from the lodge to the transfer camp. You’re dropped off right at the trailhead for the Sawtooth Wilderness.

The boat ride takes 10 minutes. Redfish Lake Lodge caters to multi-day and day trip hikers. Price is $10 one-way or $16 for a round trip for adults, $4 each way for 6 years and under and $3 for dogs. For more information go HERE

We’ll have a story on early access in the high country in our Fourth of July outlook in Idaho Outdoors on June 27.

In the meantime, good hiking.

Photo of Redfish Lake Creek by Pete Zimowsky/Idaho Statesman

Posted in Into the Outdoors