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Redfish Lake Loop

Difficult
 4.3 (13) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A beautiful loop of the iconic Redfish Lake.


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Map Key

13.9

Miles

22.3

KM

90%

Singletrack

7,588' 2,313 m

High

6,560' 2,000 m

Low

1,977' 603 m

Up

1,956' 596 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

34%

Max Grade (19°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

Overview

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.

Description

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Alan Eskrick

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 13 votes

#1228

Overall
  4.3 from 13 votes
5 Star
54%
4 Star
23%
3 Star
23%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#43

in Idaho

#1,228

Overall
45 Views Last Month
9,126 Since Apr 28, 2015
Difficult

0%
0%
0%
17%
83%
0%

Photos

Very steep, sometimes technical climb at the beginning (clockwise) of the route.
Aug 28, 2020 near Sun Valley, ID
Sawtooth Range
Jun 12, 2015 near Sun Valley, ID
Taking the downs with the ups on the climb up to the western ridge.
Aug 26, 2016 near Sun Valley, ID
Great technical features on the eastern ridge.
Aug 26, 2016 near Sun Valley, ID
The awesome backdrop of the Sawtooth Mountains.
Aug 26, 2016 near Sun Valley, ID
Riding through rock outcrops on the eastern ridge.
Aug 26, 2016 near Sun Valley, ID

Weather


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Check-Ins

Aug 28, 2020
Paul Hallinan
Ride with Chris Paul Lauren and Brighton. Tough climbs but stellar ride. Absolutely gorgeous, the "flume trail" of Idaho
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 13, 2017
daron topel
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