Marshall Lake is accessed from the Redfish Lake area and is often passed over for the more popular routes to Bench Lake, Saddleback Lake, and the Redfish Lake Canyon. The Alpine Way Trail passes by Marshall Lakes, so this can be done as a there-and-back hike or as a traverse from Fishhook to the Iron Creek Trailhead. The lake offers relative solitude and is a nice option in early summer when the waterfall draining Williams Peak is roaring down to the lake.
The hike along the moraine ridge north of Fishhook Creek offers outstanding views of Horstman Peak and the upper Fishhook drainage. In late June and early July a dazzling display of arrowleaf balsamroot decorates the south slopes below the ridge, while in October the changing aspens provide a colorful backdrop to dramatic peaks dusted with early winter snows.
Hiking distances and ascents are as follows:
• From Fishook Trailhead to the Wilderness Boundary: 2.2 miles, 940 feet.
• From Fishook Trailhead to Marshall Lake: 4.7 miles, 1,434 feet.
• From Fishook Trailhead to Iron Creek: 12 miles, 2,378 feet.
The popular Williams Peak yurt is located just off the Alpine Way Trail and can be rented in the winter by backcountry skiers.
Bikes can be used for 2.4 miles to the wilderness boundary, which is a nice stand-alone ride, especially with the spectacular views as a reward. Using a mountain bike is also a great way to “shorten” the hike to Marshall Lake.
The trail into Marshall lakes provides access into the Profile Lake basin beneath Thompson and Williams Peak. Both peaks offer moderate to challenging routes. Being the highest peak in the Sawtooths, the climb to Thompson’s summit offers outstanding views and is quite popular. Marshall Lakes is the best access point to climb the east ridge or south face of Peak 10,084.
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 6-8 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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