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6 Epic Backpacking Adventures In Idaho

Explore some of America's most rugged backcountry.

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

Idaho is home to some of the most remote wilderness in the country, yet it somehow remains an under-the-radar adventure destination. That’s good news for anyone who enjoys peace and quiet in the great outdoors. Even the most popular spots aren’t too crowded and if you head into the backcountry, you could have an entire alpine lake to yourself for a night or two. If that sounds like your kind of weekend, check out these incredible backpacking trips and start making your plans to explore the Gem State.

1. Backpack to Alice Lake

Photo: Dusty Klein

Alice Lake is one of the more popular destinations in the Sawtooth Wilderness and rightfully so. With its crystal clear water and towering mountain backdrop, it’s about as scenic as it gets. Learn more.

2. Hike Redfish Lake to Alpine Lake

Photo: Dusty Klein

This hike starts unlike most hikes...on a boat! Ferry across Redfish Lake to the trailhead that will lead to Alpine Lake, leaving behind the busy shoreline and greeting the empty wilderness ahead. Learn more.

3. Hike and Soak in Goldbug Hot Springs

Photo: Ross Perkins

This can potentially be a pretty tough hike, but just look at the vista from the hot springs...any hike would be worth it! Learn more.

4. Backpack to Sawtooth Lake

Photo: Dusty Klein

Sawtooth Lake is the crown jewel of the Sawtooth Wilderness and belongs on the top of your list if you’re visiting the area. You might see higher traffic and some snow (even in summer months) but the beauty of the surroundings will far outweigh any downsides. Learn more.

5. Backpack to Saddleback Lakes

Photo: Fudo Jahic

If you fancy yourself an angler, be sure to add this backpacking trip to your list and bring your fishing gear. You’ll also get to ride the ferry at Redfish Lake again for this trip. Learn more.

6. Climb Mt. Breitenbach

Photo: Melanie Ahrens

Idaho is known for it’s rugged mountains and is home to 9 peaks over 12,000 feet high. If you want to tackle one of these beasts, Mt. Breitenbach is a good one to start with. Learn more.

Cover photo: Photo: Dusty Klein

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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

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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