Share:

Middle Fork of the Boise River, Camp Lakes and Flytrip Basin

Sawtooth Wilderness

Sun Valley + Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho

Start Exploring
Middle Fork of the Boise River, Camp Lakes and Flytrip Basin

Share:

  • Sign at the Flytrip Creek and Middle Fork of the Boise River trail junction.- Middle Fork of the Boise River, Camp Lakes and Flytrip Basin
  • An overview of the upper Middle Fork. The Spangle Lake basin is the left half of the photo, while the Flytrip Basin is coming in from the right side of the photo. Glenns Peak is on the right skyline.- Middle Fork of the Boise River, Camp Lakes and Flytrip Basin
  • Another overview photo showing more of the Flytrip Basin beneath and to the right of Glenns Peak.- Middle Fork of the Boise River, Camp Lakes and Flytrip Basin
  • Most of the lakes in Flytrip Basin are contained in granite basins that are covered by a thick carpet of trees. There are no trails beyond Camp Lake, so good compass and navigation skills are necessary.- Middle Fork of the Boise River, Camp Lakes and Flytrip Basin
  • A view of Peak 9,963 from the Flytrip Creek Trail.- Middle Fork of the Boise River, Camp Lakes and Flytrip Basin
  • Moonrise above Heart Lake.- Middle Fork of the Boise River, Camp Lakes and Flytrip Basin
  • Looking onto the peninsula that forms the heart of Heart Lake with Glenns Peak in the background.- Middle Fork of the Boise River, Camp Lakes and Flytrip Basin
  • An unnamed Flytrip lake.- Middle Fork of the Boise River, Camp Lakes and Flytrip Basin
  • Glacial polish- Middle Fork of the Boise River, Camp Lakes and Flytrip Basin
  • Sunset in the south lobe of the Flytrip Basin.- Middle Fork of the Boise River, Camp Lakes and Flytrip Basin
  • Sunset over lakes in the south lobe of Flytrip Basin.- Middle Fork of the Boise River, Camp Lakes and Flytrip Basin
  • The south face of Glenns Peak with an unnamed lake in the foreground.- Middle Fork of the Boise River, Camp Lakes and Flytrip Basin
  • Good fishing. South lobe of Flytrip Basin.- Middle Fork of the Boise River, Camp Lakes and Flytrip Basin
  • Looking across Flytrip Basin.- Middle Fork of the Boise River, Camp Lakes and Flytrip Basin
  • An unnamed lake in the north lobe of Flytrip Basin.- Middle Fork of the Boise River, Camp Lakes and Flytrip Basin
  • An unnamed shoreline in the north lobe of the Flytrip Basin.- Middle Fork of the Boise River, Camp Lakes and Flytrip Basin
  • The west face of Peak 10,304 holds some nice technical climbing potential.- Middle Fork of the Boise River, Camp Lakes and Flytrip Basin
  • Camp at 9,200 feet in the north lobe of Flytrip Basin.- Middle Fork of the Boise River, Camp Lakes and Flytrip Basin
  • Enjoying the sunset from a camp at 9,200 feet in the north lobe of Flytrip Basin.- Middle Fork of the Boise River, Camp Lakes and Flytrip Basin
  • A fiery sunset at the head of Flytrip Basin.- Middle Fork of the Boise River, Camp Lakes and Flytrip Basin
  • Flytrip Basin sunset.- Middle Fork of the Boise River, Camp Lakes and Flytrip Basin
  • Night camp.- Middle Fork of the Boise River, Camp Lakes and Flytrip Basin
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Remote. Solitude. Technical climbing potential. Numerous lakes.
Cons: 
Hard to access. Most lakes are off trail. Mosquitos. Remote.
Region:
Sun Valley + Sawtooth Mountains, ID
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
3,765.00 ft (1,147.57 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Horseback
Total Distance: 
29.20 mi (46.99 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
5,440.00 ft (1,658.11 m)
Current Local Weather:
Published in collaboration with
Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

The trail into Camp Lake is accessed from the Middle Fork of the Boise River Trail 8 miles up the canyon from  Mattingly Junction.  Check out that adventure for an overview of the M.F. Boise canyon or the Atlanta overview for more general info about the greater region.

Camp Lakes and Flytrip Basin

The middle canyon between Mattingly Creek and Rock Creek traverses through sparse forest on a series of connected alluvial fans that have accumulated on the valley floor beneath Peak 9,266. Depending on how far you have traveled, hiking this section can feel a bit like riding a slow-moving conveyor belt through the somewhat monotonous canyon landscape.

The upper Middle Fork to the Camp Lake junction, however, is a spectacular canyon. There is a lot of variety as the trail skips back and forth between the sunny and shady side of the drainage. There are also some great views into the north side of Mattingly Peak.

Camp Lake and Heart Lake are the lowest of more than 14 small and medium-sized lakes that dot the Flytrip Basin. The cirque is oriented northeast, which aligns with the general trend of jointing in the underlying Idaho Batholith granite. Over time, erosion along the individual joint lines carved out the numerous lakes that occupy micro-drainages within the larger Flytrip Basin. At the downstream edge of the cirque, there are as many as eight separate creeks that eventually feed into Flytrip Creek. This landscape of joints and ridges is blanked with a thick cover of timber. Hikers exploring both on and off-trail in the region will find Flytrip to contain a beautiful yet convoluted and confusing landscape.

Note that snow can cover sections of Sawtooth trails and high mountain passes until early July in a big snow year.

Off-Trail Hiking

The trail fades into a meadow just upstream from Camp Lake. Beyond that, hikers must depend on their own map, compass, and GPS skills to explore further. It is a long hike from Atlanta into the Flytrip Basin, but there are other routes into the region from both the South Fork of the Payette and Salmon River drainages. None of these are easy, and all involve crossing long talus and scree slopes to get into the basin.

It is possible to summit at least three of the four major peaks ringing the lakes. In order of least to most difficult, they are: the Class 2 east ridge of Glens Peak, Class 3 west ridge of Peak 9,963, the Class 3 to 4 southwest ridge of Snowyside Peak, and the Class 4 to 5 west ridge of Peak 10,205.

Technical Climbing

One of the more promising features for new technical climbing routes in the Sawtooths is Peak 10,340 on the ridge northwest of Snowyside. Dave Williams guided Robert and Miriam Underhill up Snowyside in 1934, and the three traversed off the north ridge and over this peak. They climbed the prominent tower on the north ridge of Point 10,340 and named it Crystal Peak. The sheer west face of this feature towers above upper Flytrip Basin. Two vertical buttresses, each approximately 500 feet tall, are split by cracks, slanting corners, chimneys and roofs. The rock is part of the Sawtooth Batholith and looks similar to the granite found on the Elephants Perch.

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.

 

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

Download
Published in collaboration with
Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(11 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(71 within a 30 mile radius)

Published in collaboration with
Related Content

Related Content

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
16 Members
Who's Done It
1 Members
Submission by
Contributor
103 Adventures Explored
103 Adventures Published

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.

Newsletter Signup

Join the Outdoor Project Community

Get access to essential planning materials and information for your next adventure. Take a few seconds to join the community. It’s FREE!

Free Field Guides + Maps

Post Updates, Tips + Comments

Organize + Track Your Adventures

Insider Detailed Info, News + Benefits

Custom Driving Directions

Recommended Campsites, Photos + Reservation Info