With an elevation of 6,547 feet, Redfish Lake is one of the true gems of the northwest that is easily accessible by car. Redfish Lake Lodge sits proudly at the north edge of the high mountain lake and provides views of the Sawtooth mountains in the distance. To truly appreciate the awe and wonder of these peaks, a paddle trip across Redfish Lake is highly recommended.
The lake is 4.5 miles long, and it usually indulges paddlers with glassy, flat water on clear days. There are a few motorized boats on the lake, but paddlers and small sail boats are more common, and visitors are often able to enjoy relative peace and quiet.
The shortest distance to the south end of the lake is to follow the western shoreline from the rental facility near Redfish Lodge. Views of Grand Mogul will guide you, and Mount Heyburn slowly reveals itself over the foothills of the Sawtooths as you round the western elbow of the lake.
There are a few spots along the paddle to stop and relax as you enjoy a packed lunch or a dip in the lake. A dock at the south end of the lake is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The south end of the lake is the trailhead shortcut for many trips into the Sawtooth Wilderness, including Thompson Peak, which is the highest peak in the Sawtooths at 10,751 feet.
If you don't have a watercraft of your own, you can rent kayaks, canoes, paddle boards, paddle boats, and motorized boats at the Redfish Lake Marina at the lodge. In 2013, kayak rental prices for a single kayak were $8 for 1 hour, $25 for 4 hours, and $40 for full-day rentals. If you have a reliable paddle partner to join you, you can also grab double kayaks for $10 per hour, $32 for 4 hours, and $50 for a full day. Note: a 4-hour rental should be sufficient for most paddlers to venture to the south end of the lake and back. A full day rental might be needed for slow paddlers.