Night sky over redfish lake

The Best Ways to Climb Mount Heyburn

With the vast collection of mountain peaks and hiking trails in Central Idaho, finding which places are the best trails to tackle during your trip to the Sawtooth Mountains. We recommend making the trek up to the top of Mount Heyburn if you have the necessary climbing experience. Even if you don’t, you can take a class with one of our local tour companies that can then guide you up to the peak for some of the most breathtaking panoramic views in our area. For more ways and places to explore Central Idaho, request our free Adventure Guide!

Your Guide to Hiking Idaho’s Mighty Mount Heyburn

Sawtooth Mountain Guides Trip

Mount Heyburn is one of the key icons of the Sawtooth Mountains and is one of the most prominent peaks hanging above Redfish Lake. If you are looking to climb this peak, we highly recommend that you do so with the Sawtooth Mountain Guides. This adventure company sits in the heart of Stanley and offers one or two-day itinerary climbs. If you are looking to climb Mount Heyburn without a guide please be aware that this summit requires advanced climbing experience.

Bench Lake Trail Ascent

The Bench Lake Trail starts in the unpaved parking lot before you reach the Redfish Lake Lodge. Take the trail weaves through forests and a wooded ridge for about four and a half miles to the first Bench Lake, which is a great first stopping point. Then, follow the trail towards the second lake. From here the trail will be hard to follow towards the remaining three Bench lakes. The hiking up to this point is suitable for most hikers, but inexperienced climbers should not attempt to tackle the next cross-country trek up to the peak of Mount Heyburn.

Redfish Lake Creek Trail Ascent

If you look across the beautiful shores of Redfish Lake, you’ll see the stunning peak of Mount Heyburn rising on the southwestern corner. The easiest way to reach the Redfish Lake Trail for this hike is to take our shuttle across the lake. Take a right onto the trail at the base of the mountain up to the ridge where you’ll eventually meet up with the Bench Lake Trail near the first lake. From there, you can travel up the trail to the highest Bench Lake.  

Technical Climbing

This roughly 500-foot trek up to the peak of Mount Heyburn is only for experienced hikers. Even those with plenty of experience should take extra care when making their way up the mountain. Loose rock, slippery terrain, and steep sections of face climbing make this portion of the trip extremely difficult. However, if you use Sawtooth Mountain Guides or have plenty of climbing experience, the views from the top are incredible (and well worth the trip). 


This journey up to the top of Mount Heyburn has a variety of difficulty levels. The first four and a half miles up to the first Bench Lake is relatively easy, and most people can make the journey without any trouble. The one and a half mile stretch up to the highest Bench Lake is more difficult with the incline increasing and a less marked trail. Once you reach the cross country portion, unprepared hikers should turn around and head back down unless they are with a guide. This section is incredibly challenging. 

Mount Heyburn Packing List

A hike up to Mount Heyburn will take the entire day, but it still requires that you pack essentials for a safe and enjoyable journey. Here’s what we suggest you bring:

  • Backpack
  • Rain jacket
  • Extra pair of comfortable socks
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera
  • Bug repellent
  • Snacks
  • Water
  • Hiking shoes

Book Your Trip to Stanley

Triangle C Cabins offers the quintessential mountain adventure! Book one of our rustic cabins to escape the hustle and bustle of big city living. Our property lies in the heart of Stanley, and you can take our shuttle to the Redfish Lake Lodge, where you receive free access to all of the onsite entertainment, dining, and amenities. You can also check out our Adventure Bundles for easy planning on a variety of exciting and unique activities! There are plenty of adventures around every corner here in Central Idaho. It’s just up to you to get out and explore them!

whitewater rafting

Book your cabin today and start planning your mountain getaway today. We look forward to welcoming you to Triangle C Cabins.