Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
1,900.00 ft (579.12 m)
Trail type
14.70 mi (23.66 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.

Hiking or backpacking to Upper and Middle Cramer Lakes is well-worth your time if you venture out into the Sawtooth Mountains. Whether you choose to make this a long day-hike or an overnight trip, the chain of jaw-dropping emerald lakes that lie below several 10,000-foot jagged peaks make the journey very rewarding. 

The hike begins at the Redfish Inlet Trailhead which is across Redfish Lake from the parking lot, marina, and lodge. In order to access this trailhead, you will either need to hike the 5 miles around the lake from the parking lot or you can take the Hiker's Boat Shuttle which departs from the marina on demand with two or more hikers from 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM. There are scheduled pick-up times in order to ride the return shuttle back to the marina, the last one being 7:00 PM. Be aware of how long your hike may take. Visit the Redfish website for more details.

The elevation gain/loss is gradual, which makes the distance easier to manage. The trail is well-defined and signed the entire way. Starting at the Redfish Inlet Trailhead, you will head southwest ascending through a forested valley largely paralleling Redfish Lake Creek. Marvel at the peaks seemingly growing ever-larger around you, including a well-known rock climbing destination to your left, Elephant's Perch, a massive slab of orange-tinted granite. After approximately 3.7 miles, you will cross the creek -- in all seasons, you will need to wade across. At this point, the trail begins to turn south and then southeast as it continues to ascend through forest and you begin to catch glimpses of the lower of the Cramer Lakes through the trees. The Middle and Upper Cramer Lakes are the largest; take time to enjoy the rumbling waterfall spilling over from Upper to Middle Cramer Lake. Find a lakeside spot to rest and enjoy your lunch or establish your campsite!

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Beautiful alpine lakes. Stunning scenery. Gradual elevation gain.


Popular destination on weekends. May need to take Hiker's Shuttle to Redfish Inlet.

Trailhead Elevation

6,500.00 ft (1,981.20 m)

Highest point

8,400.00 ft (2,560.32 m)


Near lake or river
Backcountry camping
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Adventures


Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.