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    North Fork Lake Trail

    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.
    3-4.5h
    Distance
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    10.6 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.
    457 m
    User Ratings
    These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
    Be the first to add a review!
    Directions to Trailhead

    Explore Idaho’s Boulder Mountains and enjoy a refreshing swim in an idyllic alpine pool on the North Fork Lake Trail. This hidden treasure in the Salmon-Challis National Forest offers a scenic and secluded experience that boasts unrivaled alpine vistas.

    View North Fork Lake Trail on Map

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    Route Description for North Fork Lake Trail

    Discover a hidden paradise in the Boulder Mountains on the North Fork Lake Hike. This unforgettable experience explores a swathe of wilderness occupied by lush subalpine woodlands, montane meadows, meandering creeks, an alpine lake, and soaring craggy crests—not to mention an array of wildlife. As this route travels high into the alpine, it is important to come prepared to face inclement weather, as conditions at high altitudes can change on a dime. Note this path is unmarked, so we suggest downloading the trail GPS before heading out.

    With plenty of water in tow, your adventure along into the alpine travels westwardly into the pine woodlands. Enjoy the shaded canopy as you relentlessly climb and watch for wildlife, including elk and deer. Intersecting with snowmelt streams on several occasions, the route will eventually escape the timberline. Beyond this point, the trail GPS will guide you up a steeper segment of terrain to gain a ridge. Finally, after some hiking through the montane meadow, you will crest the shoreline of North Fork Lake.

    The scene from here will render you speechless. Marvel at the grandeur of the looming cliffs anchored by Ryan Peak that flank the turquoise waters. Take a refreshing swim in the water and watch for pikas and mountain goats adorning the mountainsides. When you are through exploring the basin, head back the way you came to the trailhead.

    Getting to the North Fork Lake Trail Trailhead

    Access this adventure from the trailhead off the National Forest Road North Fork Spur 1.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground

      Dispersed Camping

    • When to do

      April-October

    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly

      Older Children only

    • Route Signage

      Poor

    • Crowd Levels

      Low

    • Route Type

      Out and back

    North Fork Lake Trail Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

    Check Area Weather

    North Fork Lake Trail Reviews

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