The path to Upper and Lower Norton Lakes is a well-maintained, short-but-steep trail minutes outside of Ketchum that leads to two well-stocked, emerald-green lakes high in the Boulder Mountains. 

Starting at the Norton Lakes trailhead, travel up into the mountains through pine forest, with several small stream crossings (if you're going early in the summer, be prepared to wade). Although this trail packs on the elevation quickly, you're rewarded after just 2.1 miles with a view of beautiful Lower Norton Lake.

While the lower lake is a satisfying destination in itself, be sure to go the extra quarter-mile to find the more isolated second lake. Both bodies of water are a gorgeous emerald green, distinctive from the many other lakes in the region. They're full of trout, making Norton Lakes a favorite destination for backcountry fishermen.  

Pack List

  • Water
  • Food
  • Fishing Supplies
  • Hiking Poles
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RT Distance 5 Miles
Elevation Gain 1400 Feet
Activities Fishing, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Dog Friendly
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Great Hike, Beautiful Water

This is an excellent hike close to Sun Valley. The emerald water is gorgeous, and a nice reprieve on a hot day.


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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

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