Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
3-4 Nights in Sawtooths. Options? Tips?
Display Avatars Sort By:
Jason Schmidt
(mech_e) - F
3-4 Nights in Sawtooths. Options? Tips? on 06/20/2013 21:02:04 MDT Print View

Hey All. Going to be in Boise on August 5th, and looking for a nice little backpacking retreat for myself and my wife. After reading various trip reports here and elsewhere, I was kinda thinking near redfish lake, but am open to suggestions.

Are there any recs on places to visit? We're probably looking for a loop or out and back to make transportation easier, and aren't opposed to setting a base camp and hiking around. We wouldn't mind scrambling up a mountain (especially something 10 or 11,000'), but neither of us are climbers, so nothing technical. We like waterfalls. Also, sounds like there are a lot of hot springs, but I can't find one with decent, recent reviews. It'd be fun, but the threat of red spider mites and locals bathing make me a little gun shy about it!

Also, is there any special gear recommended? I"ve been to the badlands and black hills a few times, and lots of stuff around MN, but have never bp'ed in a real mountain range.

I feel we're well prepped for weather; we've done shoulder season trips with similar expected temps.

Any flora/fauna to look out for? Brown bears, mosquitos, black flys, rattlesnakes, etc?

Steve S
(idahosteve) - F

Locale: Idaho
Re: 3-4 Nights in Sawtooths. Options? Tips? on 06/21/2013 20:57:05 MDT Print View

that time of year is awesome. The bugs should be almost gone, if not gone due to a lower snow year. I would throw out two basic ideas. Redfish Lake to Cramer lakes, with a stopover at Saddleback Lakes. Take the boat shuttle, go up and either camp at Flat Rock Jct and then day hike the next day up and around Saddleback, or just hike and camp at Saddleback. Continue on up to the Cramers and camp, awesome waterfall between the lakes and out your tents front door, and then retrace back to finish. There is more day hiking around Cramers as well....
Second idea would be to do the "famous" or infamous Toxaway Loop... its good, you can look up the details on line at lots of sites, and read lots of trip reports.
Typically we have super stable weather, predictable patterns, so UL gear works like a charm. you will have warm temps, even at night. No muss, no fuss with permits either.
Need any other details, drop me a line.

edit: hot springs.... prob your best bet is down from Stanley, into Lower Stanley and towards Sunbeam... you can find some reviews on them. Otherwise, the road back to Boise, from Stanley to Lowman via Garden Valley is loaded! Hit Pine Flats, and Kirkham, or Grandjean (Sacajawea) for a start!

Edited by idahosteve on 06/21/2013 21:01:12 MDT.

Jason Schmidt
(mech_e) - F
reply on 07/30/2013 09:48:49 MDT Print View

Thanks, Steve! I think we're all set. I just reserved a site at Glacier View for our first night before we head into the backcountry. I saw the waterfall at Cramer, and it looks awesome! Was also thinking of camping on Kathryn; I checked the sun position, should get an awesome sunrise there.

A few more questions. We were thinking of climbing Decker and or Cramer. I looked at the class 3 routes; is this doable? Do I need any specialized equipment that one wouldn't need on our midwestern 'mountains'? Is this area going to be busy during the week? The campgrounds near the lodge were almost full.

Steve S
(idahosteve) - F

Locale: Idaho
Re: reply on 07/31/2013 10:35:11 MDT Print View

I'm not familiar with either of those routes, but regardless, you will be able to scramble around there and summit. The area is pretty awesome. Fire restrictions have gone into effect around the state, but that basically means no fires in the backcountry, so pretty standard. Have a great trip!

Kevin Garrison
(kgarrison) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area
Your Sawtooth Trip on 08/01/2013 07:49:55 MDT Print View

Jason, I just finished a 60 miler in the same area a few days ago. Its beautiful. Steve's Cramer Lake recommendation is spot on. The waterfall is spectacular. If you're considering Kathryn Lake then you may also consider Upper Redfish, Alpine and even Baron Lakes. I just finished the JMT and I firmly believe that the Sawtooths are just as beautiful as anything along the JMT. Have fun.