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Pets allowed
Yes
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
18.00 mi (28.97 km)
Please respect the outdoors and leave no trace. One tip how to dispose of waste properly: Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products. For more information, visit https://lnt.org/learn/7-principles

He Devil and She Devil are the two highest points in the Seven Devils Mountains, standing at over 9,400 feet. Sheep Lake, the final destination of this trip, sits at the base of the two mountains, and it is one of the larger alpine lakes in these mountains and very nicely isolated. Although just a short linear distance from the Windy Saddle Trailhead, the hike is 9 miles to reach the lake, descending and climbing back out of two drainages to get there. Note that there is a high route to the lake, but the trail is not maintained and has notable exposure in places.

The trail to Sheep Lake via Windy Saddle is an impressive journey through a recent burn area turned wildflower spectacle, into pine and alpine fir forest, and up through pristine alpine lakes. The numerous peaks and precipices of the Seven Devils Mountains tower above and fall below, forming the high points of the deepest canyon in North America. Hells Canyon is only visible from the start of the trail or by taking the junction trail to Dry Diggins Lookout from Lily Pond Lake.

The Seven Devils are remote and take a concerted effort to access, but those who make the trip up the rough gravel road to Windy Saddle and depart down the Sheep Lake Trail will be rewarded with a remarkable wilderness area. Mountain goats, pika, marmots and mule deer are common here. The mountain lakes are well stocked with trout, so consider bringing a fishing rod along with you. It's more than likely you will have a backcountry campsite on a lake in the mountains all to yourself, or you may even have the whole mountain range to yourself if you're lucky. There is nothing diabolical about this amazing place, and the origins of the name are unclear.

From the trailhead at Windy Saddle, the trail descends through the first drainage and through the 2008 burn area. Here you will have to navigate frequent blow downs and carefully pick your way through the wildflowers that flank the trail. After this section the trail enters the next larger drainage flowing off Sheep Lake and making up the West Fork Sheep Creek at the foot of Devils Tooth. At the creek crossing, numerous downed trees offer a bridge across the water, and a beautiful waterfall makes for a nice spot to rest. The trail climbs out of this drainage and up to Lily Pad Lake, where there is a junction for the trail along Dry Diggins Ridge to the Dry Diggins Lookout. Take a left at the junction to continue into the lakes basin on the way to Sheep Lake. There are great backcountry campsites at the lakes, and spur trails go from the main trail to Shelf Lake and up to Gem Lake. That being said, this is a pristine area, so make an effort to camp away from the lake shore and in already impacted areas, and pack out all that you pack in.

Camping is available at the trailhead and just down the road at Seven Devils Campground, and visitors should take the opportunity to visit the Heavens Gate Lookout on the way in or back out. There are no fees or permits needed to access this area. The trailhead is open once the snows melt in late June until the snows return in October or November.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Solitude. Mountain scenery. Wildlife. Wildflowers.

Cons

Rough road to trailhead. Blow downs on the trail.

Trailhead Elevation

7,590.00 ft (2,313.43 m)

Net Elevation Gain

1,690.00 ft (515.11 m)

Address

7 Devils Rd
Riggins, ID 83549
United States

Features

Backcountry camping
Mountaineering
Waterfalls
Bird watching
Wildlife
Big Game Watching
Big vistas
Wildflowers
Fishing
Big Game Watching

Suitable for

Horseback

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Hells Canyon + Seven Devils Mountains, Idaho
Hells Canyon + Seven Devils Mountains, Idaho
Hells Canyon Dam to Pittsburg Landing

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Hells Canyon + Seven Devils Mountains, Idaho

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