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Redfish Lake Loop

 4.1 (9)

13.9 Miles 22.3 Kilometers



1,977' 603 m


-1,956' -596 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (19°)

7,588' 2,313 m


6,560' 2,000 m


Shared By Alan Eskrick



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A beautiful loop of the iconic Redfish Lake.

Alan Eskrick

Dogs Unknown

Features -none-


Very few mountain bike trails come this close to being "within" the Sawtooth Mountains beside the Redfish Lake Loop. This fun, but rough, loop is worth the effort. Be prepared for some steep climbs and rocky areas with great views overlooking the 5.0-mile long lake.

I've ridden this loop in September and passed very few people, but there can be lots of hikers on the north ridge heading towards the popular Bench Lakes during the summer.


From the trailhead below Redfish Lake, cross the road heading north towards the Fishhook Trail #186. You'll begin climbing through beautiful stands of aspen. Pass by the Fishhook Trail #186, climbing the west ridge above Redfish Lake towards the Bench Lakes Trail. Parts of the west ridge are rocky and challenging but rideable.

Once on top of the ridge, the riding becomes easier with great views overlooking the lake. Pass by the Bench Lakes Trail and soon begin descending to the inlet campground. This is my favorite part of the ride with great views of the Grand Mogul. At the inlet campground, continue heading around the lake and prepare for a steep and loose climb to gain the east ridge.

The upper end of Redfish is lush with vegetation and streams. You'll have to hike-a-bike in some places. After a steep ascent of the east ridge (the most difficult part of the loop), begin riding northward along the ridge. There are plenty of rocks to slow you down. The trail will descend to the campground on the east side of Redfish Lake, where you can ride the paved road a couple miles back to the trailhead.

We rode this loop twice in August 2016 and both times rode clockwise around the lake. The climbs were reasonably easy and we thought the rocky descent on the west side of the lake was more fun to descend than ride up. The descent to the head of the lake is also good in this direction, whilst the climb from the head of the lake around the west side is all rideable.

There is the odd carry section around the head of the lake but they are quite short.


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Your Check-Ins


Jul 28, 2018
Holden Young
May 26, 2018
Jared Meyer
THE BRIDGE is OUT!!!! you can't do the loop unless you cross the creek on a log, which is sketchy! If you want to got to the campground at the en… 13.7mi
Aug 10, 2017
Bryan Babcock
Lots of downed trees and the bridge was out.
Sep 9, 2016
Anna Luecke
Jun 16, 2016
Chris Marney
Clockwise had less hike-a-bike, rest your engine (heart-lungs) for short steeps. Bring handsaw & bike-bell. Mosquitoes an issue. Snow fell. 13.7mi

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 9 votes


  4.1 from 9 votes
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49 Views Last Month
6,588 Since Apr 28, 2015
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i think maybe clockwise is perhaps the better direction. I went that way and was glad I did, as the downhills seemed more technical and steep going that way and the uphills were fairly rideable, but there still was a fair amount of hiking. I took 4 hours, so kind of slow going. Aug 22, 2016
Fantastic scenery and good technical riding. Definitely ride clockwise. Did a bit of pushing and took three and a half hours (all 3 of us aged between 62 and 70) Aug 26, 2016
The south connector trail between the inlet and the start of the climb is a total hike a bike section. Plan on a good 30 - 40 minutes walking this section. If I were to do these trails again, I would do an out and back on either side of the lake. From the lodge (which has good IPAs on tap!) to the inlet on the west side is the easiest but not easy. The east side has several very steep sections that may require some hike a biking. In 4 hours on the loop, I saw a total of 8 hikers, all on the west side trail. Another good option would be to take the boat from the lodge to the end of the lake and ride back from there. That would still be 1.5 hours. Lots of rock dodging on either side. Very much an old-school forest service trail ride. Aug 29, 2018

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