The Best Way to Hike to the Saddleback Lakes

Are you ready for an adventure unlike any other? A trip to Central Idaho’s wilderness offers a unique journey into some of the most beautiful and natural areas in the country. There are countless ways to explore here, especially on foot. Lace up your hiking boots and head to the Saddleback Lakes for one of the most stunning alpine scenes in the Sawtooths! 

For more ways to make the most of your trip to Central Idaho, request access to our complimentary Adventure Guide!

How to Hike to the Saddleback Lakes

Getting There

The hike to the Saddleback Lakes from Redfish Lake begins at the Redfish Creek Trailhead on the southwest corner of our beautiful alpine oasis. If you’re staying at Triangle C Cabins, take the Redfish Shuttle to the Redfish Lake Lodge, where you can hop on one of our boat shuttles. This will take you to the trailhead. The boat leaves on demand and picks up 9 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m., and 7 p.m. every day. Now, who’s ready to hike?

Hiking From Redfish Lake to the Saddleback Lakes

Be sure to pick up a good hiking map from the Redfish General Store, and talk to the friendly marina crew for some pointers before you begin your hike.

The exciting hike to the Saddleback Lakes begins on the shores of Redfish Lake. Once you disembark the boat shuttle, you’ll take the Redfish Lake Canyon Trail to your destination.  

As you hike along this beautiful trail, you can take in stunning 360-degree views of the Sawtooth peaks, including Grand Mogul, Braxon Peak, and Mount Heyburn. Wildflowers provide an accent of color to the stunning scenery, and birding is also a popular activity during the hike. Be sure to read up on specific instructions to make sure that the creek crossing is accessible, as much of this trail is not a U.S. Forest service approved trail. The hike proceeds along the base of the slabs below the west face of Elephant’s Perch. This is the steepest portion of the trail, and you’ll cross over a drainage creek before reaching the first of the Saddleback Lakes. This breathtaking alpine scene looks as if it is straight out of a postcard and is one of the most iconic scenes in Idaho. Make sure you bring your camera with you for some great photo-ops! Once you take in the views, maybe go for a quick swim, and relax with a snack, head back to Redfish Lake.

All in all, the hike to the Saddleback Lakes is almost seven miles out and back. It’s definitely an activity that you should put on your list of things to do during your visit with us!

Trail Difficulty

Hiking to the Saddleback Lakes is somewhat of a strenuous hike and but is suitable for most ages and abilities. Use extreme caution in the spring as there is  a high creek crossing, that does not have an official bridge in place. We recommend checking in with the marina staff for current conditions. You’ll still want to bring a bag packed with a map, water, snacks, sun lotion, bug repellant, and a first-aid kit just in case! 

Respect your surroundings:

Remember that if you pack it in, pack it out! Help keep this incredible place pristine and pure for the next visitors. Check up on the rules of the Sawtooth Wilderness Area here.

Plan Your Central Idaho Adventure

Once you finish your hike to the Saddleback Lakes, head back to your Triangle C Cabins rental. Each of our cabins features a rustic feel with modern amenities. It’s the perfect place to stay if you want to disconnect from the rest of the world. Explore our Things to Do page and book one of our Adventure Bundles to make the most of your trip to the Sawtooth Mountains.

Triangle C Cabins entry sign

Start planning your trip today by booking one of our cabins. We look forward to welcoming you to our beautiful oasis!