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Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
1,247.00 ft (380.09 m)
Trail type
4.90 mi (7.89 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.

Farley Lake can be accessed from either the Pettit Lake (Tin Cup) or Yellow Belly Lake Trailheads. The lake is a great stand alone adventure and within striking distance for young children. It is often visited as part of the popular backpacking loop that heads up the Yellow Belly drainage and down Pettit drainage (see Additional Adventures below)

Farley Lake

Farley Lake is contained in an irregularly shaped bedrock basin at the narrowest point of the Yellow Belly drainage. The south face of Imogene Peak climbs above the lake for more than 2,200 feet. The steep talus cone rising from the south shore connects to a narrow couloir that cleaves the impressive 2,300-foot north face of Parks Peak. The shoreline surrounding Farley Lake is limited in campsites, but the scenery and location are divine.

The hike to the lake is through a thick and somewhat tedious lodgepole forest for the first 4 miles. Hikers are rewarded, however, with the stunning waterfall that cascades down a bedrock slot shortly before reaching the lake. 

Hiking distances and ascents are as follows:
• From the Yellow Belly Trailhead to Farley Lake: 5 miles, 928 feet.
• From the Pettit/Tin Cup Trailhead to Farley Lake: 4.9 miles, 1247 feet.
• The popular Farley-Toxaway-Twin-Alice Loop out of Pettit Lake: 18 miles, 3,169 feet.

Additional Adventures

Above Farley Lake the trail leads into two separate alpine lake basins that connect deeper into the Sawtooths. From Edith Lake it is possible to climb over the Imogene Divide to Imogene and Hell Roaring Lakes. A spur from here also connects over Sand Mountain Pass into the South Fork of the Payette River (see Virginia Lake or Hidden Lake).  From Toxaway Lake the main trail climbs over the divide to Twin and Alice Lakes. A popular loop connects Farley with the latter two for a popular backpacking loop out of the Pettit/Tin Cup Trailhead (18 miles and 3,169 feet total).

Mountain Biking

For day hikers or peak-baggers, mountain bikes can be ridden about 2 miles up the canyon to the wilderness boundary.

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 that is 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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Beautiful lake. Moderate hike. Can be looped. Peak accessible.


Popular region. Limited campsites. Mosquitos.

Trailhead Elevation

7,220.00 ft (2,200.66 m)


Backcountry camping
Big vistas

Suitable for



Nearby Adventures


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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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