Payette Lake Rim Loop Hike

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Moderate
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
4.5-6h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
18.5 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
402 m
User Ratings
These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
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Directions to Trailhead

The Payette Lake Rim Loop is a scenic hiking trail near McCall, Idaho, in the Bear Basin Area. Get outside into the fresh air and indulge in breathtaking views of Payette Lake framed by the Lick Creek Mountains. Whether you hike, bike, snowshoe, or cross-country ski, you can find an adventure on this trail.

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Route Description for Payette Lake Rim Loop Hike

The Payette Lake Rim Loop is a favorite amongst locals and visitors alike. Conveniently located and impressively scenic, this lovely route is hard to beat. Explore a swathe of wilderness occupied by lush pines, spruce, aspens, and an array of wildflowers. Offering great birding and wildlife viewing opportunities, there is no shortage of scenery to indulge in. Note that this route is well-loved and shared with mountain bikers, so sections are rocky and uneven. Note this route is not well-signposted, so use the trail GPS.

Your adventure along the Payette Lake Rim Loop begins from the Polar Bear Trailhead. Setting out from here, you will follow the Polar Bear Road southeast into the forestlands. Soon after your departure, you will reach a junction; veer left here onto the unmarked trail. Using the trail GPS, you will be guided north northeastward along the rim above Payette Lake. After some hiking, you will divert left onto another path up to a ridge that boasts great views of the lake below. Continue hiking north, and the trail GPS will eventually redirect you east and back down to the Payette Lake Rim Trail.

Beyond this point, you will be guided south along the rim overlooking the lake and the bounding granite crest. Ultimately the trail will reconnect with the initial segment of the trail you traveled. To get back to the trailhead, simply retrace your footing along the route.

Getting to the Payette Lake Rim Loop Hike Trailhead

The Payette Lake Rim Loop departs from the Polar Bear Trailhead off Bear Basin Road.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    No

  • When to do

    Year-round

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    Older Children only

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    Lollipop

Payette Lake Rim Loop Hike Elevation Graph

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