Sawtooth Lake LbNA # 62533
|Placed Date||Jul 6 2012|
|Hike Distance||8+ mi||active|
|Last Edited||May 13 2016|
Last checked/found: 6-JUL-12
Location: ~Mile Post 128.4 on Hwy. 21, west of Stanley. Turn south on Iron Creek Road (dirt/gravel) and go about three miles to the trailhead. You may want to search online for the Forest Service’s “SAWTOOTH NATIONAL RECREATION AREA RECREATION REPORT” for current info on road and trail conditions.
Terrain: Rocky dirt trail
Distance: 10-11 miles roundtrip; 1,700 elevation gain
Note: You may want to find my “Jonny Quest” box along the way.
We really enjoyed our time in Stanley, exploring historical areas, enjoying local restaurants and best of all – doing some great hiking. The hike up to Sawtooth Lake was our favorite! Here is a description we found on a Stanley web site:
“This is a not to be missed hike in the Sawtooth Mountains that includes everything you would want to see on a hike in the mountains. The hike starts in the forest and at about 1 mile it opens up into a beautiful alpine meadow. It continues on into the forest again and begins to climb a bit for about 2 more miles. After crossing the creek in an open alpine basin, the trail climbs more abruptly on switchbacks to the turnoff to Alpine Lake which is about ¼ mile off of the main trail. The trail continues on up for approximately another mile or so, switchbacking back and forth on a ridgeline with incredible views of the mountains and valley below. At the top the trail passes a small lake and a few hundred yards farther it opens up on Sawtooth Lake and Mt Regan.”
We left a memento of our hike up near the lake and if you’d like to obtain the image and see all the gorgeous views yourself, start out at the trailhead. You’ll travel near the creek for a ways, and then enter the official Wilderness Area.
A short distance later you’ll arrive at the intersection with the Marshall Lake trail. Stay straight and eventually you’ll come to an intersection with the Stanley Lake trail. Stay left toward Sawtooth Lake.
Now the exciting part if it is early in the season - cross the creek using the log “bridge”! Hiking sticks may be helpful.
Continue up, up, up until you get to the spur trail to Alpine Lake. You can take a detour here to find my “Jonny Quest” box, or simply continue on up the main trail for another mile until you reach a signpost just before Sawtooth Lake. The sign will list McGowan Lakes, NFK Baron Creek and Iron Creek. From this post take a bearing of 110 degrees. The box is behind the pines, under the branches and a rock, adjacent to a log. There is a rock “seat” nearby (It may be easier to go around the pines to the right, rather than heading directly through the pines).
Please rehide the box well to protect it from any marauding muggles, curious creatures and wild weather.
Don’t forget to go a bit further to get some great views of the lake and surrounding mountains! This makes an excellent spot for lunch or a snack.
We live quite far away, so we would greatly appreciate an email to let us know if you made it to this gorgeous area and to let us know how the box is doing.