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Alpine Lake + Baron Divide

Sun Valley + Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho

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Alpine Lake + Baron Divide

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  • The dock at Redfish Lake, where you can arrange a shuttle across the lake.- Alpine Lake + Baron Divide
  • The south end of Redfish Lake. Grand Mogul (9,733') on the left and Heyburn Mountain (10,229') on the right.- Alpine Lake + Baron Divide
  • Taking the boat shuttle across Redfish Lake (bring a jacket for early mornings).- Alpine Lake + Baron Divide
  • Information signs at the trailhead.- Alpine Lake + Baron Divide
  • Fall colors and the Grand Mogul (9,733') from the Redfish Canyon trail.- Alpine Lake + Baron Divide
  • Hiking the Redfish Canyon trail en route to Alpine Lake in September.- Alpine Lake + Baron Divide
  • The slab waterslide/falls at Saddleback Junction.- Alpine Lake + Baron Divide
  • Wildflower in the few open meadows are a pleasant addition to the hike.- Alpine Lake + Baron Divide
  • Granite boulders in an eroded pocket.- Alpine Lake + Baron Divide
  • Glacial polish.- Alpine Lake + Baron Divide
  • Fall color highlights the underbrush along the trail in September.- Alpine Lake + Baron Divide
  • Crystal clear waters of Redfish Lake Creek.- Alpine Lake + Baron Divide
  • Trail sign at Flatrock Junction.- Alpine Lake + Baron Divide
  • The view of Elk Peak (10,582') from the switchbacks to Alpine Lake.- Alpine Lake + Baron Divide
  • Looking up at Elk Peak (10,582') in the Redfish Lake Creek Canyon from the Alpine Lake Trail.- Alpine Lake + Baron Divide
  • Classic U-shaped valley. Looking down the Redfish Lake Creek Canyon.- Alpine Lake + Baron Divide
  • Looking across the Alpine Lake basin (lake is hidden in the middle right foreground) to the headwaters of Redfish Lake Creek Canyon.- Alpine Lake + Baron Divide
  • Granite Peak at the headwaters of Redfiish Lake Creek Canyon.- Alpine Lake + Baron Divide
  • A backpacker looks down onto Alpine Lake and into the headwaters of Redfish Lake Creek Canyon.- Alpine Lake + Baron Divide
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Stunning canyon hike. Easy shuttle boat access. Glacial geology.
Cons: 
Can be crowded. Boat shuttle fee. Heavily used campsites.
Region:
Sun Valley + Sawtooth Mountains, ID
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,902.00 ft (579.73 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Horseback
Total Distance: 
10.80 mi (17.38 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
6,570.00 ft (2,002.54 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

The Alpine Lake Trail is accessed from the main stem of the Redfish Lake Creek Canyon.  Access to the canyon is typically via a shuttle boat across Redfish Lake.

Alpine Lake and Baron Divide

Alpine Lake is an extremely popular destination for both day hikers and overnight backpackers. The trail climbing out of Redfish Canyon is an impressive feat of switchback engineering and has a few sections that could make those suffering from acrophobia a little uneasy. Otherwise, the climb offers outstanding views of the glacially-carved U-shaped canyon below. The campsites around the lake are impacted by heavy use. A fire ban is in place, and the Forest Service is conducting rehabilitation research on some of the more impacted sites. Please do your best to limit your impact when visiting this beautiful alpine basin.

The trail continues over Baron Divide to connect via Baron Lakes to the Grandjean trailhead. Baron Lakes are more commonly accessed from the Redfish Canyon by descending the many switchbacks on the west side of the pass. There are several possible multi-day loops that integrate the Baron/Redfish trail system.

Note that the boat shuttle across Redfish Lake costs $10 each way. While not required, the hike is an additional 5 miles (one way) without a shuttle. Also note that snow can cover sections of Sawtooth trails and high mountain passes until early July in a big snow year.

Hiking distances and ascents are as follows:
• From the Redfish Inlet TH to Alpine Lake: 5.4 miles, 1,902 feet
• From the Redfish Inlet TH to Baron Divide: 7 miles, 2,689 feet

Additional Adventures

For hikers and backpackers who want to stay in the Redfish Lake Creek Drainage, Cramer Lakes are an excellent destination.  The descent from Baron Divide to Baron Lakes is an easy day hike for backpackers basing out of Alpine Lake.

Wilderness Regulations

Most of the trail lies within the Sawtooth Wilderness, so please observe the following regulations:

• Mountain bikes are not allowed past the wilderness boundary.
• Self administered wilderness permits are required and available at the trailhead.
• Dogs must be on a leash between July 1 and Labor Day
• Camp 100-feet from trails, lakes and streams
• Pack out all garbage.
• Human waste should be buried in a cat hole 6-8 inches deep, buried and well disguised.  Pack out all toilet paper.
• Campfires allowed ONLY in a backcountry pan or fire blanket
• Campfires are NOT allowed at some lakes and in some drainages in the Sawtooths.  Please review the campfire restrictions at individual trailheads.
• Permits required for all stock use in the wilderness.  No grazing allowed in the Salmon River watershed (This includes the Alpine Lake drainage)
• No equine stock at Edith Lake.  ALL stock prohibited in the Goat Creek and Alpine Creek (Alturas Lake) drainages.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(14 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(78 within a 30 mile radius)

Adventure Community

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Published in collaboration with Idaho River Publications

Our mission is to inspire adventure with beautiful, comprehensive and waterproof map-based guidebooks.  Owner, publisher, and photographer Matt Leidecker, grew up exploring and guiding on the rivers in central Idaho.  His award winning Middle Fork of the Salmon River – A Comprehensive Guide is the standard by which other river guidebooks are measured.  Printed on virtually indestructible YUPO paper, IRP guides are truly unique all-in-one resources for adventure.  Each book is loaded with full-color maps, stunning photographs, and information on the history, geology, and wildflowers.  Visit Idaho River Publications to explore our guidebooks to the Rogue River in Oregon and the mountains of Central Idaho.

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