Backpack to Cramer Lakes

Rate this Adventure Idaho Redfish Inlet Trailhead

Added by Amanda Solomon

In less than 8 miles, the trail to Cramer Lakes transports you away from the accessible Redfish Lake Lodge to a secluded and beautiful chain of alpine lakes. A must-do, very accessible Sawtooth Mountains experience!

Before beginning this hike, you'll want to take the ferry from the Redfish Lake Lodge to the other side of the lake, where the trailhead is. From there, you'll progress along the valley floor, following the Redfish Lake Inlet as towering Sawtooths rise up on both sides. During the first few miles, you're rewarded by unobstructed vistas of the entire valley, huge granite boulder fields, and the occasional glimpse at Redfish Lake as it recedes behind you.

After around 3.5 miles, you'll arrive at Flat Rock Junction, denoted by a sign splitting the trail into two, for Alpine and Cramer Lakes. You can camp here to split the hike into shorter legs, or continue on to the lakes. Shorter after the junction, you'll have to cross Redfish Creek. There's no bridge, so be prepared to wade through the approx. knee-high water (may be higher during runoff season.) After the creek, you stay in the valley for a very short amount of time before beginning the switchbacks up the mountain. Once you've topped the hill, it's a relatively flat walk to reach the first lake. Continue on; the best views are to be had near the sparkling waterfall of the second lake and around the 30-acre Upper Cramer Lake. 

Best campsites are near the top of the waterfall between the upper and middle lakes, offering a 360 degree vantage point of both lakes and the surrounding peaks.

After setting up camp, make sure to continue to follow the trail past the upper lake to make the climb to the Cramer Divide. Adding another 2 miles and roughly 1000 feet of elevation to the trip, it's worth it for the extra unnamed alpine lakes, razor-sharp granite spires topping the peaks, and high-altitude glimpse at Hidden Lake on the other side of the pass. 

Pack List

  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bags
  • Food
  • Water
  • Water filtration device
  • Camera
  • Swimsuit (if you're brave enough)
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Activities:

Backpacking, Camping, Fishing, Hiking

Skill Level:

Intermediate

Season:

Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

15 Miles

Elev. Gain:

1900 Feet

Features:

Forest
Lake
Scenic
Waterfall

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