Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
200.00 ft (60.96 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
4.75 mi (7.64 km)
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Redfish lake is a top summer destination near Stanley, loved for swimming, boating, and camping among views of the Sawtooths. It remains somewhat popular in winter for different reasons, but getting there is harder once the snow falls. You’ll have to walk or ski the snow-covered road from the highway. In return you’ll find winter mountain vistas, icy streams, and a vast frozen lake.

In winter the 2-mile road from the highway to Redfish Lake closes to automobiles in, creating a snowy pathway for all kinds of other users. Snowshoes, cross-country skis, fat-tire bikes, and snowmobiles can all use the road. Frequent travel keeps the snow well-packed, so you may not even need snowshoes to walk it.

Near the lake you’ll pass the lodge, though it’s all closed up in winter. The lakeshore and the dock are just a bit farther, and make a good place to relax and take in the views before turning around. The lake is frozen over for much of the season, but the ice may not always be safe to walk on, so use caution. A handful of trails lead deeper into the mountains, allowing a much longer hike or ski for those who want it. The most popular is Fishhook Creek Trail, which goes toward a backcountry yurt and eventually an alpine basin.

To start this hike you’ll have to park along the highway and walk to the start of the Redfish Lake road. A section of the highway shoulder is usually plowed enough to safely pull off and park, but space fills up on some weekends. Try to get there early or later in the day to ensure a spot.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Frozen lake. Mountain views. Access to longer trails.

Cons

Snowmobile traffic.

Trailhead Elevation

6,570.00 ft (2,002.54 m)

Highest point

6,570.00 ft (2,002.54 m)

Features

Family friendly
Vault toilet
Near lake or river
Backcountry camping
Wildlife
Fishing
Big vistas

Typically multi-day

No

Suitable for

Motorized vehicles
Biking

Permit required

No

Location

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