Bag two lakes on this loop as a long day hike or a split between a few days. These lakes, with beautiful ridge backdrops, also provide some great opportunity to hike, fish, and relax in the outdoors not too far from Sun Valley. 

The 7200' trailhead is suitable for any vehicle to arrival. In fact, this trail head may be the most suitable that I've seen in Idaho, with only a few miles on a gravel road.

See this detailed Caltopo map for a better understanding of this route.

This trail isn't an exact loop, but rather more of a "P" shaped lasso. You hike two and a quarter miles, gaining roughly 500 ft of elevation to a fork in the trail. To the left (southeast) leads to Miner Lake. Straight ahead (southwest) leads to Prairie lake. No matter which way you go, the trail will give you the option loop back around to the reciprocating lake. However, I believe that because the route to Miner Lake is more of a direct ascent, it is easier on your legs to take the more gradual route to Prairie Lake.

Opting for the route to Prairie Lake first, like I did, you'll gain another 1000' in elevation over 2.2 miles (1100' over 1.5 miles to Miner). If you're going to stay the night, Prairie Lake is a good halfway point. On the south side of this lake there is a lovely campsite with log benches and flat ground. Be sure to mark this site as yours upon arrival.

In the morning, or after visiting for just a bit if you're on a dayhike, back track an eighth of a mile to the trail on the north side of the lake and find the trail that goes to Miner lake (well marked with a sign). Follow this trail ascending and descending for two miles to Miner lake. This is another good option to camp the night if you can hike the 7 miles in one stretch.

Finally, head back to the fork where you split off and then north to the trailhead. 

Pack List

Day Hike:

  • Daypack 
  • Snacks 
  • Water
  • Bathing Suit 
  • Fishing Rod 
  • Camera 
  • Dog on leash
  • Sign the permit at trailhead

Overnight (all of the above, plus):

  • Tent 
  • Sleeping Bag/pad 
  • Layers 
  • Water filtration 
  • Bear spray 
  • Book 
  • Hammock 
Show More
RT Distance 10 Miles
Elevation Gain 1975 Feet
Activities Camping, Fishing, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Summer
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
Scenic

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Good Loop

I started at Norton Lakes. Up and over from there to these lakes wasn't too strenuous. Took about 3-ish hrs to go from Norton to Miner to Prairie. There's definitely some climbing but not excessive. Beginner to intermediate. Good peak views from Norton Pass and leaving Prairie Lake.


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