Hike to Bench Lakes

Lowman, Idaho

4.0/5
based on 3 reviews

Details

Distance

8.2 miles

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Madison Sankovitz

This hike leads you through Sawtooth forest with spectacular views of Redfish Lake, Grand Mogul, and Mt. Heyburn. It ends in a series of five alpine lakes. 

This hike is great for anyone wanting to experience a scenic trail and peaceful alpine lakes. The five Bench Lakes are a chain of lakes draining from Mt. Heyburn. Park in the dirt parking lot across from the Fishhook Creek Trailhead near Redfish Lake. Shortly after the start of the trail you will reach the first fork. Take the trail to the left towards Bench Lakes and follow it across a small creek bridge and up onto the ridge on the western side of Redfish Lake. You will walk about two-thirds of the length of the lake before coming to the next fork. Take the path to the right and walk just about a mile to the first Bench Lake (away from Redfish Lake). You may stop here, but I recommend continuing at least the short distance to the second Bench Lake. You can get there by following the path to the left side of the first lake. The third, fourth, and fifth lakes are higher and require hiking off-trail, but if you are up to the task they are beautifully settled in high alpine bowls.

Head back the way you came or follow the ridge trail the rest of the way across Redfish Lake and take the boat shuttle back to the lodge (near where the trailhead is). See redfishlake.com for shuttle times and pricing. 

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Features

Photography
Hiking
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
Romantic
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

I only hiked to the first lake and I would love to continue to the others. However, the hike in and of itself held stunning views and is relatively easy in terms of elevation gain for a Sawtooths hike. The first lake is really more of a pond and doesn’t have great access.

We started our hike around noon and made it to the fourth lake by 5pm. The hike is a steady, easy elevation gain until hitting the second lake and heading up the trail to the fourth lake. At this point the trail takes an abrupt upward direction. There are spectacular views from this vantage, but the camping is rugged with large granite boulders and small, scattered tent sites. From here we day-hiked up the back side of Mt. Heyburn to the fifth lake which had even more amazing views of the lower lakes. For a more comfortable & shady camp, I recommend staying near the second lake.

This took about 2.5 hrs out and back. Not much elevation gain. Lots of exposure in the hot parts of the day. Slightly busy on the weekend. Spectacular views of some jagged peaks.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Nearby

Hike Fishhook Creek

Hike to Marshall Ridge

Hike to Thompson Peak

Photograph Redfish Lake at Dawn

Camp at Redfish Lake

Backpack to Saddleback Lakes

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