a girl hiking in the Sawtooth Mountains Idaho

Why Do You Need to Explore Thompson Peak in Idaho?

Guests come from all of the United States to experience the top-notch hiking opportunities in Central Idaho. The Sawtooth National Forest is home to a vast collection of unique ecosystems, plants, animals, and landscapes, and you can explore all of them during your trip to Stanley. We recommend hiking up to Idaho’s Thompson Peak for its unparalleled views of the area. If you want more recommendations on the best places to see and things to do in near Stanley, request our free Sawtooth Mountains Adventure Guide!

Your Guide to Hiking Thompson Peak in Idaho

Sawtooth Mountain Guides Trip

Sawtooth Mountain Guides in Stanley provides eight to ten-hour day trips up to Mount Thompson. If you are an inexperienced hiker or unfamiliar with the area, we recommend booking a guided tour with this fantastic local guide company.

Redfish Lake Trail Ascent

The hike up to Idaho’s Thompson Peak begins right around the corner from our sister property, the Redfish Lake Lodge, at Redfish Trailhead. Make sure you park your car in the parking lot designated for hikers and backpackers, so you don’t get a ticket. Once you get your gear ready, take the Fishhook Creek Trail from the parking lot. In about one mile, you’ll reach a grove of aspen trees that will lead you up to a ridge with some amazing mountain views for the next few miles. Next, you will pass through the wilderness boundary, where you’ll need to put your free permit in a box. Continue left at the next fork in the road unless you want to branch off to the right and hike to Marshall Lake. 

Finally, the ascent towards the top ensues until you reach a meadow near the base of Thompson Peak in Idaho. A large, deep blue lake is a great place to rest. The casual hiker should not venture beyond this point without a guide, as this portion of the journey is incredibly challenging. 

If you are an experienced hiker, you can continue up to the tallest peak in the Sawtooth Mountains, which is roughly 4,200 feet above the lake. This will add another mile or so to your trek. This hike is challenging but also very rewarding, as it boasts some of the best views in the region. Expect steep, rocky terrain up and down from the peak.


Overall, this trail is challenging, especially the section from the lake to Thompson Peak. While most of the hike leading up to the lake may not feature any difficult obstacles or terrain, it is still relatively arduous for most hikers and backpackers. Most casual hikers should be able to make it up to the lake, but we recommend that they should not continue up to the peak. The terrain contains plenty of loose, crumbling rock, steep slopes, and slippery surfaces. Take a Sawtooth Mountain Guides trip if you want to reap the rewards of a climb up to the top.

Thompson Peak Packing List

A hike up to Thompson Peak in Idaho takes the entire day, so it requires that you pack essentials for yourself and fellow hikers! 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 Stay at Triangle C Cabins

If you’re searching for the perfect place to stay to complete your ultimate Central Idaho adventure, look no further than Triangle C Cabins. Disconnect from the rest of the world in our rustic cabins featuring modern and comfortable furnishings. Our complex is in the heart of Stanley, Idaho, which means that you are less than 10 minutes away from the Redfish Trailhead. As a guest at Triangle C Cabins, you also receive access to all of the amenities and activities at Redfish Lake Lodge! Don’t forget to add on one of our Adventure Bundles for a unique outdoors experience that requires no planning on your part!

Triangle C Cabins entry sign

Book your stay with us today or check availability at one of our three sister properties! We look forward to welcoming you to the Triangle C family!