This short family-friendly hike is the easiest way to get out and view the magnificence of the Sawtooth Mountains.A gentle 2.5 mi out-and-back trail (5 mi total) takes you along a meandering creek under a canopy of pine trees to a meadow scene so beautiful, you'll not soon forget.

This easy hike starts off from the dirt parking lot near Redfish Lake Lodge. Two small footpaths lead away from the far end of the parking lot crossing the road to the lodge just down to the left. The right trail will take you straight to the Fishhook Creek Trailhead, while the left trail will give a short detour over a downed log into a nice wooded area with fantastic photo opportunities of Fishhook Creek. From the left trail, follow the creek upstream to the right a hundred yards to re-connect with the main trail at the edge of the wood.

After a short 0.3 mi climb up through the sagebrush and a few aspens, stay straight at the T, as crossing the bridge to the left will take you on a much longer hike around Redfish Lake.

Another 0.4 mi up, stay straight/left at the T (extension, see below) as the trail levels out for a nice mellow walk through forest and meadows. The area experienced a beetle-kill to the lodgepole pine recently, so you'll notice a number of trees dead or downed, possibly requiring you to step over one or two. Be sure to stop and enjoy the views of the meandering creek as you go by, and notice the wildflowers and wildlife you may see along the way.

After a relaxing 45min, you'll arrive at "The Beaver Ponds" with a wide open view of Fishhook Creek Meadow. 10,229 ft Heyburn Mountain and 10,470 ft Horstmann Peak command attention in the distance, making for a fantastic photo backdrop.

Wander just a few dozen yards left to the creek's edge, where you can make your way carefully through the meadow up to a small waterfall/beaver dam in the clearing. You're here! Rest your feet, enjoy some snacks, and relax in the beauty of the Sawtooths!

For a great extension to this hike, especially in early fall, climb up the ridge on the right at the second T. Through an abundance of aspen trees, the trail climbs 500 ft in 0.6 mi to another junction. Turn left here to arrive at a viewpoint overlooking Fishhook Creek Meadow and gaze deep into the Sawtooth Range.

To get back, return the way you came, and while you're at it, head down to Redfish Lake Lodge for great beachfront access to the lake and enjoy some fish tacos and swirl ice cream from the outdoor gazebo! Mmmm :)

Getting There:
Drive south from Stanley on Hwy 75 for 4.3 miles, then turn right on Redfish Lake Road. Drive 1.8 miles, past the horse corrals and employee housing area, continue straight just beyond a T in the road, and then turn into a large dirt parking area on the right.

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Water Bottle
  • Snacks
  • Bug Spray
  • Sun Screen
Show More
RT Distance 5 Miles
Elevation Gain 300 Feet
Activities Fishing, Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Forest
Groups
River
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Great Hike And Even Better Views

My husband and I were looking for an easy hike to take our dogs on and I'm so glad we chose this one. The hike is pretty easy but the views were amazing. Once you get into the meadow it's one best views of the Sawtooth mountains.

Short Hike, Tall Views

This hike has outsized views for it's length and effort. Beautiful at sunset!


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Hike to Bench Lakes

153 Saves

Hike to Marshall Ridge

122 Saves

Hike to Thompson Peak

163 Saves