Independence Lakes

#3 of 78 trails in Sawtooth National Forest

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Independence Lakes is a 4 mile out and back trail located near Albion, Idaho and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from July until August.

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Corbin Stokes (7665)

139 Completed139 Reviews

I did this hike as a backpacking trip when I was in Boy Scouts. It was a good hike and a fun camping experience.

Cj Miller (439)

2 Completed1 Reviews

Excellent hike. Is as explained in other reviews. I did an overnighter. Very pleasant except for Boy Scouts camping across the lake. Only made it to the third lake as I didn't get to the trailhead till 6:30 pm and wanted to set up camp before it got to dark. Was a bit confused when trying to find the trailhead but if you follow independence lakes road it will dead end at the trail head approx. 1/2 mile past the livestock loading area. The trail head has a parking lot and a toilet, cross the creek, walk through the camp sites and you will find the trail. Like I said its an excellent hike but only gave it 4 stars due to a lot of traffic. ( I like my solitude) Will definetly do it again. Maybe two nights next time.

Jim Jones (281)

5 Completed5 Reviews

Excellent short hike to a couple small alpine lakes, difficulty is moderate as most elevation gain is a half mile from the lake (1200 feet elevation gain) and the elevation is around 9000 feet. Trailhead is easily found on the other side of the boy scout camp off the Oakley-Elba basin road to a right turn (south) on Independence Lakes road to the boy Scout Camp. First mile of the hike skirts around a 2000" ridge giving excellent views of Cassia Creek drainage and the Elba basin gaining only minimal elevation until the trail splits with the ranger trail. At this time the Independence Lake trail enters a small evergreen pocket and climbs steadily (about 1000 feet) until you reach the first of the lakes. A second trail about a hundred yards from the first Independence Lakes trail goes straight up the mountain but do not recommend this way as it is a extreme scramble up the steep talus rocks pulling yourself up using the scrub brush you are forced to step over. Excellent camping at both the lakes and in the evergreen pocket. Good fishing depending on the time of the year as early spring seems to be the best fishing in the second lake have had hardly no luck in the other smaller lakes as they are shallow enough to may totally freeze during the winter months.

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