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Saddleback Lakes

Beautiful mountains dotted with small alpine glacial lakes


Last updated: by Olha Savych
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The Saddleback Lakes are located in the Sawtooth Mountains of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, in Custer County, Idaho. Saddleback Lakes can be accessed from the Redfish Lake Creek Canyon Trail. It is a popular hiking destination even though the trail to the lake is considered to be the steepest in the Sawtooths Wilderness. Hikers need a permit that can be purchased at a registration box at trailheads.

The mountain called Elephants Perch is located to the north of the Saddleback Lakes towering over the water with massive granite slabs. It is the most popular technical climbing location in the Sawtooths Mountains. It has the most significant number of technical climbing routes available during the summer season. Camping around the lake is also a popular option as well as fishing and stargazing. Mountain bikes are not allowed in Sawtooths Wilderness. Hikers can also explore Redfish Lake Canyon and Cramer Lakes in the area.

Sawtooth Wilderness is famous for its amazing views and wildlife watching. The closest town to the lakes is Stanley, Idaho. Many hikers start out from Redfish Lake trailhead. The Redfish Lake Creek trail goes southwest for about two mi (three km). From there at the junction take the main hiking trail to Elephants Perch. The trail goes across the river and starts climbing up along the west face of the Elephants Perch. The first Saddleback Lake is in about three miles distance from the trailhead. The hiking and climbing season runs from July through September.

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