Alturas Lake with the Sawtooth Mountains in the distance

Everything You Need to Know About Alturas Lake

Picture this: you’re stretched out across the sand, just a few feet from the water. You feel the warm sun rays beaming down on you as you take a well-deserved break from your daily activities. You sit up and look around, but there is no ocean in sight. No, you’re in the beautiful Sawtooth Mountains, and the stunning Alturas Lake lies before you surrounded by towering mountains. It’s a different kind of paradise—one that’s full of hiking trails, waterfalls, and unique ways to explore the diverse landscapes. If you want to find more exciting and memorable places to experience around Central Idaho, request our free Adventure Guide!

What Can You Do at Alturas Lake?


Alturas Lake Creek Trail Details

The Alturas Lake Creek Trail starts past the southwest corner of the lake, branching off from the main parking lot. The first portion of the path consists of an old decommissioned road until you cross over a bridge. You’ll continue following Alturas Creek at a standard grade as you travel through meadows and avalanche paths until the incline starts to rise. From this point on, the trail is rocky and steep, but several other paths branch off from here.

All in all, the Alturas Lake Creek Trail is 5.5-miles point to point, so unless you plan on taking one of the adjoining pathways, you can head back the way you came once you make it to the end. The first part of the path is relatively easy, but the series of rocky escarpments and steep drops give this trail a high degree of difficulty. Those looking for a leisurely hike should try the Alturas Lake Trail!

Alturas Lake Trail

While it’s not an official trail, a hike around the shores of Alturas Lake is a pleasant way to spend an afternoon in Central Idaho. Kids and adults of all ages will enjoy this 2.7-mile trek around from the main parking lot south of the lake. The trail ends on a beach where you can lay down a blanket a warm summer day and take in the beautiful views of the picturesque alpine lake!

Tip: Since this is not an official trail, some areas are not well-marked.


Alturas Lake is a fantastic place to camp out along the shore on a sunny summer day! There is a large variety of fish species in the lake, including Rainbow trout, Bull trout, Kokanee, and Cutthroat trout. Make sure you check the Idaho Department of Fish and Game website for rules and necessary licenses need for fishing!


Most alpine lakes in Idaho are chilly during the warm summer months, but Alturas Lake can reach temperatures that are somewhat higher than average. The water will have a little chill, but you can still comfortably go for a swim and catch some rays on the beach without getting cold.

Book Your Central Idaho Getaway

Return to your cozy and comfy cabin at our Central Idaho oasis! Triangle C Cabins has everything you need for the perfect mountain getaway. Our accommodations feature rustic and convenient furnishings that put you just minutes away from some of the best adventures in the area. Enhance your stay with one of our Adventure Bundles!

a line of Triangle C Cabins in Stanley, Idaho

Book your trip today and get ready for the vacation of a lifetime! You can also check out our three other properties around Stanley!