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Topic: Sawtooth Fine tuning< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2012, 8:42 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hello Everyone,

Last year I posted for recomendations on a trip.  Unfortuneately it was postponed till this year, but tickets now booked for mid September.  Will be spending 6 days in the area with a combo of day hikes plus backpack trip planned.  Looking for some specific feedback to lock in the exact itinerary.  We have hiked in the winds and tetons before, and with trail and elevation considerations target 7-12 mile day hikes and 6-10 miles with packs for BP trip.  WIth that said, looking for advice on how to fill up trip.

Day 1  Day hike/acclimate   Iron Creek - Sawtooth lake

Day 2 Either day hike (perhaps hell roaring to Imogene lake) or 4th of July/washington lake area

Day 2 or 3  Backback trip  Toxaway/Petit loop is the target area however from trip reports and this site, perhaps a variation should be done.  If we stay as a loop, we would stay 1 night at twin and 1 night at toxaway. However would anyone recomend:

a) staying an additional night at toxaway and then day hiking upto Edna lake and back to toxaway.  It looks like 1000' up and 1000' down each way.  Is Edna lake worth the effort.  Is the trail scenic?
b) Adding a night to go from Toxaway and camping at Imogene.  If so, would you go over sand mountain or go towards Farley and around Edith lake.  Which trail is easier or more scenic?
c) Follow the LarryS recomended route and Day 1 to twin lake; day 2 to Edna, Day 3 to Cramer, then out to Redfish.  If so, how hard are day 2 and 3.  Twin to Edna looks like 700' up then 1000 down, then 1000" up and another 1000' down.  How long does it take, how hard is it with packs?  FOr day 3, it looks like minimal elevation change from Edna to Cramer, but is it mostly flat or is it 500' up then 500' down, then back up.  Trying to gage if it is a difficult day?  Lastly, does either Sawtooth Transportation or the Redfish Water Taxi run during midweek around Sept 14?

This will probably be the only time to this area, so trying to see the highlights.  ALl thoughts are appreciated.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 13 2012, 4:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Link to Youtube of my 60miler:  Sawtooth's


Link to writeup:   Sawtooth Writeup

Granted mine is more off the beaten track and a little more extreme.  But you get some idea via pics of the Sawtooths.
We did pass Edna stayed at Hidden, passed Cramer.  Trails are all good.  Edna to Cramer is a big pass.  You can call Redfish Lake Lodge and Sawtooth Transportation for the schedules.....google is your friend.  You may consider a day hike to Goat lk / Thompson Pk area instead of Sawtooth Lk from Iron Crk.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 13 2012, 9:49 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I did the Petit/Alice/Twin/Toxaway/Edna/Hidden/Cramer/Redfish Lakes loop two years ago.  

First off, what a great trip.  

4 days/3 nights with nights at Twin, Edna, and Cramer Lakes sounds reasonable.  The highlight of the trip will be the view from the trail on the climb north from Toxaway.  Day 2 will be pretty strenuous.  I don't remember the climbs from Edna or Hidden being too terrible but the descents toward Hidden and Cramer were pretty steep.  But overall, definitely doable in 4 days.  

We happened to get to the south end of Redfish Lake just as a boat arrived to drop some people off.  But it was a Sunday so I'm not sure how often they run during the week.  You might want to call to see if you can make a reservation for pick up.  We hiked all the way from Hidden Lake to Redfish in one day so the burgers and beer off the grill at the lodge were a great treat.

We used Sawtooth Transportation to get from Redfish Lodge to Petit Lake.  I think as long as you make a reservation in advance, they'll be where they're needed.  We only used him that once but he was on time and friendly.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 16 2012, 6:45 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Definitely check with Redfish Lodge to see if they will be running the water taxi mid week of mid September.  If you stay at Cramer Lake you should be able to get to the water taxi in 2-3 hours.  I am guessing that they run the water taxi on the hour unless someone is at the dock and they take them when they arrive.

Definitely take everyone's advice and do the Twin Lake, Toxaway, Edna, Hidden and Cramer trip.  You will not be disappointed.  The main passes will be after Twin Lake, Toxaway and Hidden Lakes.  They are not really that bad and the views are really nice especially from above Toxaway.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 17 2012, 12:35 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(larrys @ Jun. 16 2012, 6:45 pm)
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Definitely take everyone's advice and do the Twin Lake, Toxaway, Edna, Hidden and Cramer trip.  You will not be disappointed.  The main passes will be after Twin Lake, Toxaway and Hidden Lakes.  They are not really that bad and the views are really nice especially from above Toxaway.

Yeah, we did a version of that.  It was pretty nice. The only part that was less than perfect was missing the boat and doing the ridge walk next to Redfish at well over 100F (I don't know what it was in the shade, but the thermometer in my pack maxed out at 111).
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 17 2012, 11:10 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Big Load, we may have been out there at the same time.  We were there 6-7 years ago and as we neared Stanley the temperature read 111 degrees in our SUV.  We hiked in a few miles from Petite Lake and camped and I never unpacked my sleeping bag it was that hot.  The next day to Twin Lakes was the hottest day I can ever remember hiking in.  After that I guess we gained some elevation and I do not remembering it being that bad.  But you bring up a great point at how hot it can get in Idaho in the summer.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 17 2012, 11:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

@larrys:  My hike was at the end of July, 2007, with infrequent forum visitors daetrip and bowbender.  Upon further review, my previous post fails to convey how gorgeous those lakes are.   As I recall. Boise was nearly as hot as Phoenix that summer, but the abundant cool water on much of the trip made the hiking easier.  We also had less crowds because a fired closed the western trailheads a few days before we set out.  The Potato Fire started while we were on the trail, and the view of it was ominous from that ridge along Redfish Lake.  It was a great trip.  I'd like to get my wife out there someday.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 25 2012, 5:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

All those lakes are worth seeing in the Sawtooths.  Here is one to think about which hits almost all of those, plus a few more.  It was a trip we did a few years ago.  

Start at Petit lake, hike toward Farley Lake
night one: camp at the trail fork to Edith Lake, or if time permits, at Edith Lake.
night two: Edna lake
night 3: cramer lake
night 4: alpine lake
night 5: barrett lake
night 6: Sawtooth Lake
7th day: hike out at Iron Creek.

If you stick to your day hike plus Alice Toxaway Loop, its quit a bit easier and just as scenic to hike to Toxaway, over the pass to Alice, and out to Petit from Alice.  A layover at Toxaway would allow a day hike to visit Edith and Edna.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 25 2012, 6:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If you really have to shorten that trip up, here is a good one:

Start at Petit lake, hike toward Farley Lake
night one: camp at the trail fork to Edith Lake, or if time permits, at Edith Lake.
night two: Edna lake
night 3: cramer lake
night 4: alpine lake  
day 5, hike out to Redfish lake, catch the boat to cross the lake
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 16 2012, 5:03 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Just came back from a week in Idaho.  Per some of the recomendations, I did the following hikes and figured I would give some feedback.

Day hike Iron Creek to Sawtooth lake.  Trail was in good condition and the hike enjoyable.  The lake and views were nice but not what I would call spectacular compared to other hikes we did in Sawtooths, Tetons, Winds.  We used this as an acclimation hike, and it was very good for that purpose.

Day Hike Alpine Creek Trail.  While a shorter hike, this was a very pleasurable trail.  Trail was in great condition, and the views, plus following the creek was a good experience.

Backpack Trip.  Pettit Lake Trailhead to Toxaway lake (camp 1).  Toxaway to Alice Lake (camp 2).  Alice Lake back to trailhead.  We found this loop to a great trip.  Some observations:
-Going in this direction versus the reverse order worked well for us for the following reasons:
1) There is a downhill section towards the beginning of the hike with no views.  If this was done at the end of the hike, it would likely be tiring, boring and frustrating going up this last climb.
2) We found Toxaway lake to be very nice, but Alice lake was spectacular.  Save the better lake for the 2nd night.
3) The switch backs from Toxaway to snowyside pass start in the shade before heading into the sun.  The switchbacks on the way from snowyside pass to Alice lake were completely in the sun.  We also found this section to either take a little longer a be a little longer then the book and maps indicated.  
4) As mentioned, Alice lake was the highlight of this trip.  Save it for day 2.
5) The hike from Alice lake to the trailhead offered spectacular views.  I am not sure if the views would be as good heading up to the lake.
6) The trail from Alice lake to the trailhead has a decent amount of trail that goes through extremely rocky (through large scree field) sections.  While not overly difficult, I think this would be easier to go down then up.

For reference, we found this backpack trip to be as scenic as an earlier trip into the Winds (Elkhart to Hobbs/Island lake) and then into Titcomb basin.  I wouldn't say either was better, however we found the loop to be equally rewarding for people not coming from that area.

I am not sure how to add pictures, but may try to post a few of the various lakes.
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