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



Backpacking, Camping, Fishing, Hiking

Skill Level:




Trail Type:



10 Miles

Elev. Gain:

1975 Feet


Dog Friendly
Easy Parking

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 to Corbus Lake and Bald Mountain

Idaho / Corbus Lake Trailhead

Soon after driving past James Creek Summit while heading towards Atlanta, a sign with 'Corbus Lake' written on it should appear on the uphill side of the road.

Keaton Poe
2 Saves

Scenic Autumn Drive through Palisades Reservoir

Idaho / Palisades Reservoir

If you're heading to Grand Teton National Park from Idaho Falls and are looking to take the most scenic route, make sure to take US 26 E through Palisades Reservoir.

Josh Packer
19 Saves

Scramble up Cervidae Peak

Idaho / Cervidae Peak Trailhead

From the peak the views are limitless, a full 360 degrees of landmarks like Lucky Peak Reservoir.

Caden Chandler
15 Saves