Backpack through Surprise Valley to Lake 10148

13 miles 2900 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Garren Moore

Trek through legendary Surprise Valley to a remote lake at the foot of Standhope Peak. The terrain varies from sagebrush desert to alpine meadow to craggy granite peaks.

I have a hard time getting the word "legendary" out of my mind when referencing this hike. I liked it that much.

The trailhead begins at 7200'; be prepared to drive 20 miles on a maintained gravel road to get there. The first 3 miles of this out-and-back hike are pretty flat, meandering through a sage, desert terrain. Once you arrive to the fork that splits off to Moose lake, the fun (ascent) begins.

Stay left at the fork 3 miles in, it is well marked and the sign indicates "Surprise Valley". Two miles of steep ascent to Surprise Valley will reward you with immersion in the alpine valley meadows and jagged peaks.

In the valley, you'll hike right by a stagnant lake. After this small lake, the trail fades but the destination is clear. You can see a few miles ahead exactly where Lake 10148 lies up on the ridge. Essentially take the most direct route you can, following the sparse cairns as guides. My only piece of advice would be that you stay to the left (east) side of the river for an easier traverse of the valley.

The valley ascends once more to the base of Standhope Peak and Lake 10148 (it's elevation). There aren't any fish in this lake, but you trade that for absolute solitude. You shouldn't encounter too many backpackers up at this lake since the trail fades and it is more of a difficult hike.

For detailed terrain and hike statistics, please see this Caltopo map.

Read More

Tags

Backpacking
Hiking
Forest
Lake
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Good Day Hike

Started our hike at 8:15 in the morning and made it back to the car at 3:30 in the afternoon. My only piece of advice is when you pass the first stagnant lake you stay far left and find and follow the rock stacks. We stayed close to the river and walked the the swampy and uneven grass. It was great hike and very rewarded finally making it up to the lake.

Stay Nearby

Mackay, Idaho

Copper Basin Guard Station

Overview Copper Basin Guard Station is located in Copper Basin, a rugged and beautiful area in the Pioneer Mountains of south-central Idaho. Recreation Copper Basin offers many recreational opport...

Ketchum, Idaho

North Fork (Id)

Overview North Fork Campground is situated on the banks of the beautiful Big Wood River at an elevation of 6,300 feet. Visitors enjoy fishing and tubing on the river and exploring the Harriman Trai...

Ketchum, Idaho

Wood River Group Overnight Area (Tent Only)

Overview Wood River Group Overnight Area is located inside the Wood River Campground, which has 30 single campsites for RV's and tent camping, which are available for use on a first-come first-serv...

Ketchum, Idaho

Easley Campground

Overview Easley Campground is located along the beautiful Big Wood River at an elevation of 6800 feet, conveniently close to Ketchum, Idaho only 14 miles south. Visitors enjoy fishing, hiking and s...

Nearby Adventures

  • Hike to Kane Lake

    This hike into the Pioneer Mountain Range starts out in a small meadow near Kane Creek, which you will follow for nearly the whole hike. Once you hit the forested area the uphill climb begins and doesn't stop until you get to the lake. About half ...

    6.8 miles 1717 ft gain

  • Hike to Big Fall Creek Falls

    Access the trailhead for Big Fall Creek Falls via Trail Creek Road. From Sun Valley the road is typically passable for sedans but is prone to producing flat tires. The parking area doubles as dispersed, free camping.Start the hike by crossing the ...

    0.5 miles 200 ft gain

  • Rock Climb Trail Creek Road

    This local gem is still in the works, as at the time of writing this there are only 5 TR routes and 1 sport route however the views are absolutely epic from the climbing area. The place doesn't exist in climbing books and we have the Elephant Perc...

  • Hike to Devil's Bedstead West

    Ski enthusiasts recognize Sun Valley for its notorious town and prestigious slopes. What tourists might not realize is that during the offseason, the area surrounding Ketchum is also home to a plethora of remarkable mountains waiting to be hiked a...

    13 miles 4200 ft gain

  • Visit Idaho

    Idaho is a picturesque state filled with beautiful scenery and warm, wonderful people. It's an ideal destination for family travelers, outdoor enthusiasts, adventure seekers, or those just looking for a relaxing getaway.

    Learn More