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Trail difficulty
Blue
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
Loop
Distance
13.20 mi (21.24 km)
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Redfish Lake and the region around Redfish Lodge are extensively developed with five campgrounds, day use picnic areas, public beaches, boat docks and rentals, a restaurant, and cabin rentals. Though the official “trailhead” leaves the Sockeye Campground, it is possible to start the ride directly from any campground or other trailhead parking area.

Grand Mogul Trail

The Grand Mogul Trail climbs out of the Sockeye Campground on the east side of Redfish Lake. It follows the crest of the eastern lateral moraine bounding Redfish Lake and offers a lesser-traveled route to the boat dock on the southwest end of Redfish Lake. 

Hikers will enjoy the pleasant walk along the moraine crest through a Doug fir forest that offers nice views of the White Clouds, Thompson Peak, and the Grand Mogul massifs. While the final mile along the south shore can be affected by the noise of motorboats and recreational traffic on the lake, it has a mysterious old-growth feel (see Redfish Inlet Hikes). 

At the junction above the southeast corner of Redfish Lake hikers are presented with the option to continue up a broad ridge toward Old Decker Peak on the Alpine Way Trail (closed to mountain bikes because of wilderness restrictions) to lengthen the hike or simply drop down the switchbacks to the inlet boat dock. From here you can catch a shuttle back to Redfish Lodge or circumnavigate the lake by returning on the Bench Lakes Trail (see description below).

Mountain Biking—Redfish Lake Loop

As a mountain bike ride, the Grand Mogul Trail (Sockeye to Redfish Inlet) is a nice mix of moderately technical rock dodging, short spurts of smooth singletrack, and some great, narrow ridge riding. The section along the south shore of Redfish Lake involves a handful of very technical terrain that involves boulders, tree roots, and creek crossings. 

The return leg via the Bench Lakes Trail involves a steady climb to the west moraine and then some fast cruising along the flat ridge. The switchbacks dropping to Fishook Creek are extremely rocky because of heavy use as the main half-day trail ride by horseback from the Redfish Corrals to Bench Lakes. The ride is moderately technical with lots of boulders (it’s a glacial moraine), but the overall experience of circumnavigating Redfish Lake is awesome.

Another option is for mountain bikers to descend the Redfish Ridge (Trail #400, 2.2 miles from Sockeye) and loop back to the lodge via the Decker Flat Road (#210) for a 16.2-mile loop that climbs 1,758-feet.

Hiking distances and ascents are as follows:

• From Sockeye Campground to Redfish Inlet: 6.2 miles, 1,060 feet.
• From Sockeye Campground to Redfish Lodge: 13.2 miles, 1,963 feet.

Additional Adventures

The circumnavigation of Redfish combines several different trails. There are several short hikes around the Redfish Inlet and additional adventures up the Redfish Lake Creek Canyon (no bikes). The Bench Lakes (no bikes) and Fishook Creek trails offer additional adventures.

Wilderness Regulations

Though this loop is entirely outside the wilderness boundary, access to the wilderness is very close.  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 6-8 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.

Reference: All content excerpted from Exploring the Sawtooths - A Comprehensive Guide by Idaho River Publications.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Great loop. Nice views. Early season hiking and biking. Multiple options for recreation.

Cons

Riding is technical. Return leg can be crowded.

Pets allowed

Allowed

Trailhead Elevation

6,590.00 ft (2,008.63 m)

Net Elevation Gain

1,963.00 ft (598.32 m)

Features

Old-growth forest

Typically multi-day

No

Suitable for

Hiking
Horseback

Location

Field Guide + Map

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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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