Backpack the Alice Toxaway Loop



25.17 miles

Elevation Gain

2300 ft

Route Type


Added by Matt Huber

A multi-day backpacking trip that is easily customizable in length and days.  Killer climbs that lead to the best views in Idaho.

The Alice/Toxaway Loop is a standard loop in the Sawtooth Mountains, ID.  The basic route is around 20 miles and takes 2-3 days.  This trip report will outline our Aug 2016 trip and also give multiple options for you to use your own imagination when coming up with your own route.  Below is my take on the route with my opinions interjected :)

Day 1-  Tin Cup to Twin Lakes (6.57 miles)

Starting at the Tin Cup Trailhead at Pettit Lake, you will follow Trail 95 all the way today.  About 1/4 of a mile from the parking lot, stay left when the trail splits (this is where you will emerge at the end).  Along the way you will pass Parks Peak (optional 2 mile, class 3 scramble), El Captain, and Alice Lake.  Alice Lake and Twin Lakes are not very far apart but I suggest staying at Twin Lakes  (Less crowds and better views).  Twin Lakes is a little under a mile & couple hundred feet of climbing past Alice.  There are plenty of established camp sites to set up at.  Test your luck with the little trout in the lakes.

Day 2-  Twin Lakes to Imogene (9.44 miles)

Starting from Twin Lakes, hike back up to the sign denoting that Toxaway Lake is to the right.  This begins Trail 92 ( 95 ends at Twins and 92 begins when you start your climb out of the basin).  You start off the say with a nice climb up to the pass.  Once you gain the pass, you have another optional scramble with Snowyside Peak.  This is another class 3 scramble that will take a few hours to complete.  Continue down the north side of the pass towards Toxaway, passing 3 smaller ponds along the way.  You'll be heading downhill on the million switchbacks for longer than you'd think.  Continue on 92 around Toxaway until you come out of the trees and are about 1/2 way around.  You will see a sign denoting the way to Edna Lake, this is Trail 92.  Continue climbing uphill on Trail 92. At the top of the ridge you'll continue towards Imogene/Edith lakes (staying right).  At this point, you have the option to scramble along a few ridge lines if you want to explore.  After descending into the basin, follow the signs to Imogene.  You'll have another climb full of switchbacks to end the day and get up and over to Imogene.  If you're gassed, over it,grumpy, and need a drink... go right to Edith and stay there instead.

Day 3- Imogene (or Edith) to Farely (4.43 miles + exploring)

Regardless of where you stayed the night, you have plenty of time to day hike and explore on Day 3.  If you stayed at Imogene, then you have the option to try your luck at another class 3 scramble with Payette Peak.  If you stayed at Edith... get your lazy butt over to Imogene to see it.  Or you can scramble some of the ridges in the area and explore.  Regardless of where you stayed or did after you woke up, take Trail 40 down from Edith until it dead ends into Trail 96 (Yellow Belly Trail).  You will take a left (East) and head toward Farley Lake.  After about 2 miles, you'll come upon Farley.  Take your pick from the camps around the lake.  I personally thought Farley was the least impressive of everything we saw.

Day 4-  Farley to Trailhead (4.73 miles)

Day 4 is the easiest.  Continuing on Trail 96, you'll hike 2-3 miles until you hit the the split to take you back to Pettit Lake (trail 41).  Taking a right on this trail, you'll have a brisk 500 feet up and 500 feet back down and end up back where you started.

My Caltopo map can be found here:

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Known for

Rock Climbing
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One of my all time favorite backpacking trips!

The Alice Lake-Toxaway Loop is an absolutely spectacular backpack. We did the trip in two days with one overnight. The climb was strenuous, but the views made it oh so worth the effort!

2nd best hike I've done so far !

Did this loop as a thru-hike end of July. This hike was stunning. Views were amazing, lake after lake after lake was such a beautiful site to see. I'll be returning next summer to do it again.


Only word of advice: don’t leave before late June. There is a bunch of snow

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