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Photo Gallery: Mountain Lakes of Idaho’s Sawtooths

Posted On August 29, 2016 at 4:09 am by / Comments Off on Photo Gallery: Mountain Lakes of Idaho’s Sawtooths

By Michael Lanza

I’m stepping out on a limb here, but I think there are very few mountain ranges in America with as many drop-dead, gorgeous high mountain lakes as Idaho’s Sawtooths. In fact, the only range that beats out the Sawtooths in that department may be the High Sierra (and not coincidentally, the two share other similarities, including geology). Over nearly 20 years of wandering around Idaho’s best-known hills, I’ve seen many of those watery jewels, and I’ve put together this gallery of photos from many of them.

I don’t make this claim about Sawtooth Mountains lakes lightly. I’ve hiked all over the country, and I’m a big fan of the Tetons, the Cascades (especially the North Cascades), the Winds, the White Mountains (where I started hiking), and other mountain ranges. Anyone reading my story “Tent Flap With a View: 25 Favorite Backcountry Campsites” or looking at my photo gallery of favorite backcountry lakes will see I’ve camped by a lot of nice lakes.

When you consider the beauty and the sheer numbers of clear, high mountain lakes tucked in granite basins ringed by soaring cliffs and jagged peaks, I just think Idaho’s Sawtooths have little competition.

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Some, like Sawtooth and Alice lakes, are well known. Others are more remote and obscure; you may have never seen a photo of some of these lakes. All are only reached by hiking or riding a horse for miles into the wilderness. Seeing these incredible places requires time and effort.

Check out the photos below. Then see all of my stories about Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains, including “Jewels of the Sawtooths: Backpacking to Alice, Hell Roaring, and Imogene Lakes,” Going After Goals: Backpacking in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains,” and “Ask Me: What Are the Best Hikes in Idaho’s Sawtooths?

If you think I’ve overlooked an outstanding lake in the Sawtooths, or if you believe you know of a range with prettier mountain lakes, please suggest it in the Comments section below this story.

Do you like The Big Outside? I’m Michael Lanza, the creator of The Big Outside, recognized as a top outdoors blog by a USA Today Readers Choice poll and others. Subscribe for updates about new stories and free gear giveaways by entering your email address in the box at the bottom of this story or in the left sidebar, and follow my adventures on Facebook and Twitter.

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Baron Lake, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho.
Middle Cramer Lake, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho.
Unnamed "Goat" Lake, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho.
Hell Roaring Lake, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho.
Unnamed lake below Thompson Peak, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho.
Sawtooth Lake
Upper Cramer Lake, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho.
Alice Lake, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho.
Along trail to Imogene Lake, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho.
Middle Bench Lake, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho.
Imogene Lake, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho.
Lake 8522, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho.
Upper Bench Lake, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho.
Arrowhead Lake, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho.
Heart Lake, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho.
Rock Slide Lake, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho.
Spangle Lake, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho.
Above Twin Lakes, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho.
Rock Slide Lake, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho.

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