Snowslide Lake Trail
The Snowslide Lake Trail is a hidden gem in the Payette National Forest. What the trail lacks in distance, it makes up for in elevation! This short but strenuous adventure demands a creek crossing and a steep scramble up to the postcard perfect alpine lake hemmed by snow-dusted granite bluffs.
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Route Description for Snowslide Lake Trail
Don’t let the short distance deceive you—the Snowslide Lake Trail is actually quite demanding, though the pay-off is well worth the sweat. Ford a creek and climb up rocky, eroded terrain while battling the effects of exposure. As much of the route is unshaded, we encourage you to bring plenty of water, wear SPF and dress in layers as insurance against varying conditions. Additionally, as you will need to wade through a creek, we suggest waterproof shoes if you aren’t planning on going barefoot—an extra pair of socks wouldn’t be a bad idea! While possible to hike outside the recommended window, crossing the stream and walking up the creek bed during peak run-off is not advised.
While challenging, the Snowslide Lake Trail is worth the effort. Not only is the destination breathtakingly beautiful, but the trail up into the mountain is just as enchanting. Though the tree canopy is open, you will wander through a corridor of towering pines, aspens, and spruce which are carpeted with an array of vibrant wildflowers. After an exhausting climb, the hike will reward you with truly spellbinding alpine scenery. The crystalline, blue-hued waters encircled by lush evergreens and bound by the craggy, snow-dusted ridges anchored by Snowslide Peak and Sawtooth Peak is an unforgettable sight. Push your personal limits, and you will be rewarded with a sense of self-achievement, and stunning scenery—don’t forget your camera!
With plenty of water in tow, your adventure along the Snowslide Lake Trail begins from the trailhead off Lick Creek Road. You will encounter your first obstacle just a few steps away from the trailhead—to ford Lake Fork. Whether you need to wade or boulder hop depends on the water level in the creek, either way, take your time and mind your footing on the slippery rocks. After crossing the stream, the path will divert you southeast, commencing the tireless climb. Enjoy the scene of the aspen groves interspersed with evergreens, and enjoy the sporadic breaks of shade! Let the beautiful scene of blooming wildflowers distract you from your leg-burning workout, remembering, of course, to be mindful of your footing along the way.
Wandering through the odd meadow of brush and huckleberry bushes, the zigzagging route will eventually pass beneath Sawtooth Peak. Beyond this point, blowdown and the increasingly rocky terrain will become your biggest challenge. Navigate the backcountry track, and the path will eventually open to Snowslide Lake. The gorgeous alpine panoramas will undoubtedly render you speechless. Marvel at the grandeur of the looming granite bluffs and the beauty of the crystalline water. If you’re hot and sweaty, take a plunge into the natural pool and cool off, reveling in the scene of the encircling mountains. Explore the shoreline and admire the views of Snowslide Peak and Snowslide Summit in the south. When you are through appreciating the majesty of the environment, carefully retrace your steps down the path.
Snowslide Peak is a prominent summit in Idaho’s Lick Creek Range. Standing at an elevation of 2,598 m, the peak looms above Snowslide Summit and sits across the saddle from Sawtooth Peak. This craggy mountain boasts ideal scrambling conditions with a precipitous north face and a more gently sloped southern face. In late June, you will likely begin to see intrepid climbers scaling the peal after the summit is rid of snow.
Insider Hints for Snowslide Lake Trail
- The mosquitos are relentless, so bring bug spray
- Consider using trekking poles, the terrain is quite steep
- There are creek crossings, so expect to get your feet wet
- Wear microspikes if there is still snow impeding the trail
- Parking at the trailhead is limited, so arrive early
- Bring a swimsuit for a refreshing plunge after a tiring hike
- Pack plenty of water—trust us
Getting to the Snowslide Lake Trail Trailhead
The Snowslide Lake Trail departs from the trailhead off Lick Creek Road.
Snowslide Lake Trail Elevation Graph
Weather ForecastCheck Area Weather
Snowslide Lake Trail Reviews
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