Updated: Apr 25, 2021
On July 8th, 2020, Skip, Bandit, Ezra, and I loaded up the F350 with our backpacking gear and made our three-hour trip to Stanley, Idaho. With it being the beginning of July, backpacking to July 4th Lake was a perfect way to celebrate our freedom.
There are tons of activities you can enjoy in Stanley. Hiking hundreds of trails, and most of them have backpacking sites within. You can horseback ride or mountain bike pretty much any of the trails. Kayaking, paddle boarding, and fishing are very popular in the area due to the beautiful lake that oversees the ridged Sawtooth Mountains that are snow-covered year-round due to the high elevation.
Remember to enjoy the scenery while exploring the area. There are so many vivid views with a variety of colors and textures with every footstep. There are Red Columbines, Salmonberry, western Trillium, Green Alder, and all the wildflowers on every trail.
You may also encounter a Beaver on the river, Elk, deer, a red fox on a trail, and of course, squirrels in every tree. With being out in the wilderness, always make sure you pay attention to your surroundings and be alert for dangerous animals that you may encounter. We always recommend carrying bear spray while hiking.
Ditch the headphones and listen to the birds chirping and the streams that you will encounter. Nature is beautiful, and it's a time for serenity and peace. Plus, for your safety.
As Stanley, Idaho becomes more popular because of its beauty and all the activities accessible in the area. The beautiful town, lakes, trails, and rivers are becoming overly crowded with tourists, and people are starting to not take care of their trash and human waste. Please click HERE to learn about the Leave no Trace behind Project.
The area of Stanley has excellent Boon Dock camping "Camping in non-designated areas" and backpacking sites near lakes and within the trails, but always camp 200 feet away from any body of water. We always try to camp for free when possible. If you Google Campgrounds in Stanley, Idaho, a ton of campgrounds will pop up.
Unfortunately, I could not find a link to all campgrounds. Click HERE to plan your next trip and read about any information you may need to know before heading up the mountain.
Directions to the Trailhead
From Red Fish Lodge, drive south on Highway 75.
You will come up to Fourth of July Road on your left.
I am not technically sure how many miles from Red Fish lodge the road is, but it is not far.
Keep your eye out for the little green road sign on your left.
At this point, you will take a 10-mile gravel road that is rather bumpy and dusty.
A few years ago, a massive fire came through this area, so most of the scenery is charred and destressed, but I find it absolutely beautiful.
If you are from Idaho or were in the state during this time, you understand how much it devastated and forever changed the area.
On the right-hand side (eastern side), you will see a large parking lot, and that is where the trailhead is located.
The trail connects to other trails that lead to multiple other alpine lakes, so the parking lot is rather busy.
We had to park on the side of the road right outside of the parking lot.