Hiking Idaho  by Ralph Maughan & Jackie Johnson Maughan

Hiking Idaho Guide Book

by Ralph Maughan & Jackie Johnson Maughan (Falcon Guides)
Hiking Idaho  by Ralph Maughan & Jackie Johnson Maughan
Lace up your boots and sample more than 100 trails in Idaho's vast undeveloped backcountry and wilderness areas. Discover pink granite peaks of the Sawtooth Range, "big tree" country in the Selkirk Mountain rain forest, and Hells Canyon - the deepest gorge in North America. Idaho offers hikers some of the most magnificent and rugged mountain scenery in the Lower 48 as well as peaceful alpine meadows, sparkling lakes, excellent fishing, and the chance to see high-country wildlife. Use this guide for: up-to-date trail information; accurate directions to popular as well as less-traveled trails; difficulty ratings for each hike; detailed trail maps; zero-impact camping trips. Whether you are a day-tripper or long-distance hiker, old hand or novice, you'll find trails suited to every ability and interest throughout Idaho.

© 2014 Ralph Maughan and Jackie Johnson Maughan/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Hiking Idaho" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 113.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 113.

Hike and explore a lava/desert playground close to Idaho Falls. The Hell’s Half Acre lava flow is one of several lava flows in Idaho’s Snake River Plain that erupted about 4,100 years ago. It’s 222 square miles, or 162,000 acres. The loop trail through this unusual terrain is marked by blue-tipped poles. Enjoy the abundant wildflowers such as evening primrose, Indian paintbrush, wild onions, penstemon, geraniums, and prickly pear cactus in May and early June. Since there is no actual trail other than following markers, you can take your time exploring the cracks and crevasses in the lava rock.
Idaho Falls, ID - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.5
Aldous and Hancock Lakes are two easy-to-reach subalpine lakes that are of quite different character despite their proximity. The trail begins by the side of Ching Creek and leads uphill into a diverse conifer forest of lodgepole pine, Douglas fir, subalpine fir, and Engelmann spruce. The trail is very well maintained, with long sections of corduroy spanning a number of perennial areas of seeps and small springs. The trail crosses numerous feeder streams and occasionally approaches roaring Ching Creek.
Idaho Falls, ID - Hiking - Trail Length: 5
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The trail begins by the side of Ching Creek and leads uphill into a diverse conifer forest of lodgepole pine, Douglas-fir, subalpine fir, and Engelmann spruce. The trail is very well maintained, with long sections of corduroy spanning a number of perennial areas of seeps and small springs. Interspersed in the forest are patches of small meadows. The trail crosses numerous feeder streams and occasionally approaches roaring Ching Creek. The elevation gain to Aldous Lake is only 360 feet, and there isn’t much bumping over hill and down dale to get to it. It’s a steady, but moderate, climb. The trail meets the lake near a small dam at the outlet. Aldous is surrounded by stately, healthy trees and is obviously a fertile lake. Fishing is popular at Aldous, but record-setting fish are not caught here.
Dubois, ID - Backpacking,Hiking - Trail Length: 5
This is a short hike that takes you to outstanding Sawtooth mountain scenery and cross-country access to many alpine lakes. Here is a delightful, short trail into the Sawtooths. The scenery is exquisite, although there are no lakes by the trailside. The trail is 3 miles long and not very steep, climbing only 500 feet, but it takes you a good distance into the jagged Sawtooth Mountains. This is a good trail that leads uphill from the trailhead.
Ketchum, ID - Hiking - Trail Length: 6
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Beautiful Baker Lake is a short, easy hike in Idaho’s Smoky Mountains. It’s a fairly easy hike to the lake. The trail is obvious all the way as it climbs, quite steeply, through flower-filled meadows to the lake in just 1.3 miles. Total elevation gain is about 900 feet. The trail is closed to motor vehicles, and a sign says so at the beginning of the trail. A few yards past the trailhead, an unnamed tributary of Baker Creek flows over the trail, requiring a wade in June. Beyond this point, the trail is easy and obvious.
Ketchum, ID - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.5
This is a short hike into a small lake among big, really big mountains.
Mackay, ID - Hiking - Trail Length: 5.2
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Bell Mountain Canyon is an easy hike into a high rangeland canyon with gorgeous eye-popping peaks.
Lone Pine, ID - Hiking - Trail Length: 5
This is a beautiful ridgeline walk above Redfish Lake leading to five-plus lakes nestled below Mount Heyburn. Park at the Redfish Trailhead and follow the path across the road to where the Fishhook Creek Trail begins. At 0.6 mile there is a junction with the Bench Lakes Trail. Turn left here and follow the trail across a bridge over Fishhook Creek. The trail winds up the ridge over Redfish Lake until it finally maintains a straight path parallel to the lake. This stretch is an enjoyable walk. On the right (west) are views of Sawtooth peaks: Mount Heyburn, Horstmann Peak, and the Grand Mogul.
Stanley, ID - Hiking - Trail Length: 4
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This hike is one of the most remote in Idaho. Aside from the stretch along the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, encountering another hiker would be a surprise. This is the most spectacular hike in the Frank Church–River of No Return Wilderness. Big Baldy Ridge is one of the finest walks in the American West. It has some of the most spellbinding views found anywhere. Indian Creek is 24 miles of sublime walking through old-growth forest, with one of Idaho’s most remote hot springs thrown in for good measure.
Cascade, ID - Backpacking,Hiking - Trail Length: 52
There are lofty mountains and high meadows with spacious views on this long loop trail with many additional opportunities.
Leadore, ID - Backpacking,Hiking - Trail Length: 37.2
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This is a big pristine canyon closed to motorized vehicles and livestock. Many avalanche chutes and rugged mountains surround the lushly forested creek area.
Swan Valley, ID - Hiking - Trail Length: 13
This is a spectacular hike into a remote canyon in the Owyhee Wilderness. There is extensive rhyolite and the opportunity to observe raptors, bighorn sheep, and pronghorn antelope. The Parker Grade descends about 1.5 miles, and 600 feet in elevation, to Big Jacks Creek. Big Jacks is a very scenic canyon and one of the most accessible in the Owyhees. Rhyolitic hoodoos, needles, and pinnacles tower above, and nighthawk guano festoons the walls. Bighorn sheep ply the rugged canyon rims while raptors soar overhead.
Bruneau, ID - Hiking - Trail Length: 3
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This part of the Bighorn Crags hosts beautiful fishing lakes amid rugged scenery. There are fewer visitors than at the northern end of the Bighorn Crags. There is no reliable water for the first 4.7 miles. As with the hike to Ship Island Lake, the access roads and probably part of this trail burned in the Clear Creek Fire of 2000. Check with the forest service for current information on rehabilitation of the access roads and trails.
Challis, ID - Backpacking,Hiking - Trail Length: 26
This is one of the most spectacular areas in the Frank Church–River of No Return Wilderness. Witness stunning views of Ship Island Lake and the breaks country of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River with spires, knobs, and the huge monoliths of rugged granite mountains. Many lakes have good fishing. The north and west sides of the Bighorn Crags are especially noted for bighorn sheep.
Salmon, ID - Backpacking,Hiking - Trail Length: 22
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This is an early-season hike near Idaho Falls. There are low but steep and rugged mountains, cloaked with beautiful mixed forest with some impressive cliffs. The Black Canyon Trailhead is unshaded and undeveloped except for a loading ramp. There is room for about five vehicles. The Burns Creek Trailhead is 0.75 mile down a side road that turns left from FR 206. The trailhead is partly shaded and also undeveloped. There is room for about eight vehicles.
Idaho Falls, ID - Backpacking,Hiking - Trail Length: 10.5
Atop Blue Bunch are grandiose views of Bruce, Ayers, and Poker Meadows and, at the end of the hike, of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Blue Bunch and nearby Cape Horn Mountain stand at the headwaters of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, which begins at the confl uence of Bear Valley Creek and Marsh Creek. The hike to the summit ridge of Blue Bunch Mountain gives a splendid view of the Dagger Falls portion of the great Middle Fork Canyon; the expansive Poker, Bruce, and Ayers Meadows and meandering Bear Valley Creek to the west; the rugged mountains of the Soldier-Langer Lakes area to the east; and Cape Horn Mountain to the south.
Stanley, ID - Backpacking,Hiking - Trail Length: 8
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A very pretty lake loop in scenic granite mountains. This is a popular area with routes to two different lakes that can put you in some very beautiful country quickly. A loop trip is also possible with a connecting trail between the lakes. The trailhead can be very crowded on weekends because the trail is not the only attraction to the area. There is room for about 10 vehicles at the trailhead, which also serves as an informal camping area.
McCall, ID - Backpacking,Hiking - Trail Length: 6
Hike to a string of lakes with many small rainbow trout and access many other lake basins. This is a well-used and absolutely beautiful trail. This hike will confirm everything you may have heard about the beauty of the White Cloud and Castle Peak. It has just about every lure for the outdoors-person: deep, cool forests, mountain springs, lakes to fish or swim, mountains to climb, and a conservation battle to get you out of your armchair. (See the Boulder and White Cloud Mountains overview.)
Challis, ID - Backpacking,Hiking - Trail Length: 20
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This hike has fine views of the Sawtooth Mountains to the west. It’s also known for subalpine lakes and a chance to see wolves. This is a steep trail, which quickly climbs to fine views of the Mount Heyburn area of the Sawtooth Range just across the valley. You can hike for just a mile or all the way to Casino Lakes. The trail loses its snow on the west side of the crest fairly early in the year (mid-June). It is open to dirt bikes but not ATVs.
Stanley, ID - Hiking - Trail Length: 11
This gentle walk along the Henry's Fork of the Snake River offers chances to view wildlife and beautiful cliffs. The trailhead is next to the hydroelectric dam at the Buffalo River confluence. The trail continues on down the east side of the Henry's Fork. Basalt cliffs drop off between the trail and the river. You can see beautiful views of the river and cliffs on the other side. Watch for ospreys, as their nests are abundant.
Ashton, ID - Hiking - Trail Length: 6
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