One great thing about living in Boise, Idaho, is that the Sawtooth Mountains are in your backyard. We took the whole family to Little Redfish Lake (5 miles south of Stanley and about a mile downstream from much larger Redfish Lake) for a weekend of hiking.
Both lakes were named for the sockeye salmon that return here to spawn in the fall. On the verge of local extinction (extirpation) twenty years ago, sockeye swim 900 miles from the Pacific Ocean, gaining 6500 vertical feet and navigating the fish ladders at 8 major dams. In 1992, only one sockeye returned to spawn in Redfish Lake. They named him Lonesome Larry. Read his story here.
We camped at Little Redfish Lake campground.
The kids enjoyed the campfire,
the dutch oven blueberry cobbler,
and hiking along Redfish Lake.
But the best part for me was the hike to Alice Lake, nestled in an alpine cirque high above Redfish Lake.
My brother-in-law and sister made the trek along with Larry and myself. We hoped to find trout in Alice lake.
The trail follows a classic U-shaped glacial valley, winding 5.5 miles with an elevation gain of 1600 feet.
Alice Lake (elevation 8602′) was beautiful. But it turned cold and snowed, so the guys stashed the fishing rods and we headed back to camp.