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Alpine Way Trail, Fishhook Creek to Iron Creek

Sun Valley + Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho

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Alpine Way Trail, Fishhook Creek to Iron Creek

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  • A short spur trail visits the rushing Fishook Creek.- Alpine Way Trail, Fishhook Creek to Iron Creek
  • An unnamed peak in Fishook Canyon towers over a meandering turn in the creek.- Alpine Way Trail, Fishhook Creek to Iron Creek
  • The Alpine Way Trail climbs above Fishook Creek through several aspen groves.- Alpine Way Trail, Fishhook Creek to Iron Creek
  • Arrowleaf balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata) and aspen frame the view of the peaks above Fishook Creek.- Alpine Way Trail, Fishhook Creek to Iron Creek
  • The Grand Mogul ( 9,733') and Boyscout Couloir from the Alpine Way Trail.- Alpine Way Trail, Fishhook Creek to Iron Creek
  • Early on the Alpine Way Trail. The stunning view from Fishook Ridge.- Alpine Way Trail, Fishhook Creek to Iron Creek
  • Horstmann Peak (10,475') and the Sickle Couloir from the Alpine Way Trail.- Alpine Way Trail, Fishhook Creek to Iron Creek
  • A 1961 engraving in an aspen along the trail.- Alpine Way Trail, Fishhook Creek to Iron Creek
  • Moss and Douglas fir bark.- Alpine Way Trail, Fishhook Creek to Iron Creek
  • Western spring beauty (Claytonia lanceolata).- Alpine Way Trail, Fishhook Creek to Iron Creek
  • A runoff engorged waterfall above Marshall Lake.- Alpine Way Trail, Fishhook Creek to Iron Creek
  • Marshall Lake reflection.- Alpine Way Trail, Fishhook Creek to Iron Creek
  • The trail traverses some dense lodgepole forests beyond Marshall Lake.- Alpine Way Trail, Fishhook Creek to Iron Creek
  • An old trail sign shows the way to a now defunct trailhead.- Alpine Way Trail, Fishhook Creek to Iron Creek
  • The view of Goat Falls from the Alpine Way Trail.- Alpine Way Trail, Fishhook Creek to Iron Creek
  • Bark detail.- Alpine Way Trail, Fishhook Creek to Iron Creek
  • A closer view of Goat Falls from the spur hike leading to Goat Lake.- Alpine Way Trail, Fishhook Creek to Iron Creek
  • Trail sign at the Alpine Way/Iron Creek junction.- Alpine Way Trail, Fishhook Creek to Iron Creek
  • Leashes are required from July 1 through Labor Day in the Sawtooth Wilderness.- Alpine Way Trail, Fishhook Creek to Iron Creek
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Stunning spring flowers. Great fall colors. Solitude.
Cons: 
Requires a car shuttle. Trail is remote. Second half of the hike is less appealing.
Region:
Sun Valley + Sawtooth Mountains, ID
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
2,378.00 ft (724.81 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Biking, Horseback
Total Distance: 
12.00 mi (19.31 km)
Trail type: 
Shuttle
Trailhead Elevation: 
6,558.00 ft (1,998.88 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

This 12-mile section of the Alpine Way Trail sees quite a bit of traffic at either end. Most hikers peel off to access Goat Lake from the Iron Creek Trailhead or Profile Lake (beneath Thompson Peak) and Marshall Lake from the Fishhook terminus. It is also the primary access to climb Thompson Peak, Williams Peak, or Peak 10,084. Hiking the trail from point-to-point is less common, but it is a nice option when early-season trails are closed by snow in the high country.
   

It is probably best to make the traverse from Fishhook to Iron Creek to take advantage of the early morning light on the stunning vistas from the northern Fishhook moraine. The middle portion of the trail between Marshall Lake and Goat Falls is an interesting study in forestry as it travels through a variety of different aspects and forest types. The frontal view of Goat Falls while descending into Iron Creek is a nice reward for the time spent in the woods. Overall, the trip provides some great views and a different perspective into much of the Thompson Peak region. One stream crossing at Goat Creek may require removing your shoes to stay dry.

Wilderness Regulations:

Most of the trail lies within the Sawtooth Wilderness. 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 and well disguised in a cat hole 6 to 8 inches deep. 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.

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Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

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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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