Marshall Lake

Sawtooth Wilderness

Sun Valley + Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho

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Marshall Lake


  • An unnamed peak up Fishook Canyon towers over a meandering turn in the creek.- Marshall Lake
  • The Alpine Way Trail climbs above Fishook Creek through several aspen groves.- Marshall Lake
  • An early July wildflower bloom decorates the moraine ridge above Fishook Creek. Horstman Peak dominates the center right background.- Marshall Lake
  • Heyburn Peak split by the Petzoldt Couloir.- Marshall Lake
  • Arrowleaf balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata).- Marshall Lake
  • Horstman Peak and the Sickle Couloir from the Alpine Way Trail.- Marshall Lake
  • A 1961 engraving in an aspen along the trail.- Marshall Lake
  • The massive bulk of Horstman Peak towers over Fishook Creek and is easily viewed from the Marshall Lake/Alpine Way Trail.- Marshall Lake
  • Western spring beauty (Claytonia lanceolata).- Marshall Lake
  • A runoff engorged waterfall above Marshall Lake.- Marshall Lake
  • Marshall Lake reflection.- Marshall Lake
Overview + Weather
Great views. Solitude. Spring waterfalls. Widlflowers.
Mosquitos. Snow on trail into July.
Sun Valley + Sawtooth Mountains, ID
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,434.00 ft (437.08 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Biking
Total Distance: 
9.40 mi (15.13 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
6,560.00 ft (1,999.49 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description


Marshall Lake is accessed from the Fishook Creek and Alpine Way trails. 

Marshall Lake

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.

Additional Adventures

The popular Williams Peak yurt  is located just off the Alpine Way Trail and can be rented in the winter by backcountry skiers.

Mountain Biking

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.

Off-Trail Hiking

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.

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 6-8 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.

Reference: All content excerpted from Exploring the Sawtooths - A Comprehensive Guide by Idaho River Publications.

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(14 within a 30 mile radius)

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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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