Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
3,000.00 ft (914.40 m)
Trail type
7.00 mi (11.27 km)
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Snowslide Lake is a popular day hike near McCall, with a steep 2-mile trail to a wooded lakeshore beneath a granite peak. If that doesn't sound like enough, you could set your sights much higher than the lake. The cliffs that form the backdrop belong to Snowslide Peak, but there's an even taller summit next door called Sawtooth Peak.

Sawtooth's name is deceptive, as this peak is nowhere near the venerable Sawtooth Mountains of Central Idaho. There's not even much about this mountain to resemble the teeth of a saw, so the name does beg some questions. Nonetheless, Sawtooth Peak makes a proud perch as one of the taller peaks here in the Lick Creek Range. The route is considerably easier than most climbs in the Sawtooth Range would be, so it's a very attainable yet worthy summit for Idaho peakbaggers.

To stand atop Sawtooth Peak, the first task is to get to Snowslide Lake. This hike starts from a signed trailhead along Lick Creek Road. Parking is very limited, but you can park along the road if it's full. You'll pick your way across a creek then head uphill almost right away. The ascent is mostly through shady forest, with occasional sunny clearings with expanding views of the valley below. Before you know it you'll emerge at Snowslide Lake. Pause here to rest and get inspired by the granite walls overhead, then continue along the trail beside the lake.

A good water source trickles into the head of the lake, as the trail proceeds into a meadow in the bowl above. It becomes overgrown but still easy to follow, then very steep on switchbacks to reach a pass. This is the saddle between Snowslide and Sawtooth Peaks. Turn left to choose the route to Sawtooth.

There is no perceptible trail along this ridge, and it would be nice to keep it that way. There's no need for a footpath or cairns, as the route essentially just follows the boulder spine of the mountain. Try to avoid trampling soil and vegetation by instead walking on rocks and firm dirt as much as possible. Some routefinding is necessary to bypass the biggest blocks and some cliff bands. You can move more or less along the crest with minimal scrambling, but at times you may drop to climber's right for safer passage.

Eventually you'll encounter a final jumble of boulders guarding the summit. Clamber a few moves through it, and then you're there. The top grants huge views over the Lick Creek Valley––across to the hulking Beaverdam Peak plus the lofty crowns of North and South Loon. Surveying this summit-studded panorama, you might even think you were in the real Sawtooth Mountains, if you didn't know any better.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Huge views. Remote summit. Day hike or camping trip.

Trailhead Elevation

5,900.00 ft (1,798.32 m)

Highest point

8,875.00 ft (2,705.10 m)


Near lake or river
Backcountry camping
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required




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