Hike to Prairie and Miner Lakes

Rate this Adventure Idaho Prairie Creek Trailhead

Added by Garren Moore

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 


Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

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

Share

Activities:

Backpacking, Camping, Fishing, Hiking

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Summer

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

10 Miles

Elev. Gain:

1975 Feet

Features:

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
Scenic

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

Have you done this adventure? Have something to add? You could be the first to leave a review!

Added by Garren Moore

Programming by week, mountains by weekend.

More Adventures Nearby

Hike the Inferno Cone

Idaho / Inferno Cone Trailhead

To reach the parking lot at the Inferno Cone Trailhead enter the Craters of the Moon National Monument at the main entrance on the north side of the park off US Highway 26 and go approximately 1.

Josiah Roe
1 Saves

Bike the Loop Road at Craters of the Moon National Monument

Idaho / Craters of the Moon Visitor Center Parking

Biking Crater of the Moon National Monument's seven mile loop road provides an intimate experience through a wild landscape. Park at the Visitor's Center.

Sara Sheehy
1 Saves

Hike to Steel Lake

Idaho / Steel Lake Trailhead

Steel Mountain, which defines the highest point of the Boise National Forest, has the impressive qualities of its neighboring Sawtooths.

Keaton Poe
3 Saves