While it is possible to get to Yellow Belly Lake from the Pettit Lake/Tin Cup Trailhead (See Farley or Alice Lake adventures), it makes little sense to hike up and over the moraine that divides the two large lakes when the more appealing trail follows the Yellow Belly outlet. Additionally, the view from the east shore of the lake is better. There is a road that accesses the west shore of Yellow Belly, but it is very rocky, slow, and tedious.
Yellow Belly is one of five large moraine-bound lakes nestled in the eastern foothills of the Sawtooth Mountains. Unlike the others (Stanley, Redfish, Pettit and Alturas), Yellow Belly is not accessible by a well-maintained road. Thick forest grows right to a shoreline void of Forest Service campgrounds, day-use areas, boat launches, or crowded beaches. The short and nearly flat trail to the eastern shore is a great option for families who want to try backpacking with young kids. The long peninsula and cove on the northeast corner of the lake is a great area for exploration.
The loop from the Yellow Belly Trailhead connecting with trail 041 over to Pettit Lake and back around on road 365 is a fun and easy mountain bike ride (6.6 miles with 747 feet of elevation gain). The ride is great for beginners and can be ridden in either direction from the Yellow Belly or Pettit Lake side.
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