You are here

Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
1,718.00 ft (523.65 m)
Trail type
10.40 mi (16.74 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

It could be enough to say that the backdrop to Alice Lake is one of the most stunning views in the entire range. The combination of undulating, glacially-scoured bedrock covered in patches of alpine forest beneath a skyline of jagged spires and impressive vertical faces is breathtaking. Just 400 feet higher, however, the Twin Lakes are nestled beneath the north face of Peak 9,923.  Split by a narrow bridge of solid granite, these lakes occupy a cirque of equally stunning beauty.

Then there is the canyon leading up to these alpine gems. After traversing the shores of Pettit Lake, the trail crosses directly beneath a 2-mile-long rampart of 800-foot vertical cliffs guarding the southeast face of Parks Peak. Beyond this, a narrow canyon filled with a tumbling creek frames the precipitous face of El Capitan. Hikers simply have to turn around for an awesome perspective of the 11,000-foot peaks in the White Cloud Mountains across the Sawtooth Valley. Needless to say, the Pettit Lake drainage is an awesome place.

The fact that it can be combined with Toxaway and Farley Lake into a single 18-mile loop is genius. The natural beauty of the area makes this one of the most visited regions of the Sawtooths. Please respect the regulations banning the use of campfires as necessary to protect this invaluable resource.

The trail to Alice and Twin Lakes is frequently combined over Snowyside divide with Toxaway and Farley Lake.  This 18-mile loop includes 2,572 feet of elevation gain and can be done in a single day or multi-day backpack trip.

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 in a cat hole 6-8 inches deep, buried and well disguised.  Pack out all toilet paper.
• No campfires allowed at Alpine or Twin Lakes.
• Permits required for all stock use in the wilderness.  No grazing allowed in the Salmon River watershed (This included the Alpine Lake drainage)
• No equine stock at Edith Lake.  ALL stock prohibited in the Goat Creek and Alpine Creek (Alturas Lake) drainages.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Great views. Lakeside camping. Loop options.


Can be crowded.

Trailhead Elevation

6,953.00 ft (2,119.27 m)


Backcountry camping
Big vistas

Suitable for




Incredible trip last year. I will post more images when I have the time, planning next trip now. Other images viewable at
Found another great photo of Alice Lake I thought I'd share.
I love Alice Lake! Thought you'd enjoy a few more pictures of this incredibly photogenic place.
Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.

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.

More content from Idaho River Publications