This route covers diverse terrain, from granite cirques, verdant meadows, and alpine lakes to high alpine scrambling passes and granite peaks and scree.
Features: Lake — River/Creek — Views — Waterfall — Wildlife
Dogs: No Dogs
From the Timber Gap Trailhead follow the trail to the left to Timber Gap. You'll start out your journey on the Timber Gap Trail
, which you'll follow for the first few miles of the outing. Once you arrive at Timber Gap Creek and the junction of Blackrock Pass
, take a right and follow the trail towards Blackrock Pass
. If you decide partway through the route that the full distance is a bit much, you can bail out on the Sawtooth/Glacier Pass Class III Shortcut
. This route is still plenty rugged, so it might stretch the definition of a "shortcut". If your plan is to complete the full loop, continue your journey t Blackrock Pass. After a strenuous climb up to the pass, you'll have earned sweeping views.
Shortly after reaching the pass, you'll come to an intersection with the Big Five Lakes - Buckhorn Pass
Trail. Take the cutoff towards the lakes, and you'll be rewarded by the gorgeous lakes known as Little 5 Lakes and Big 5 Lakes. Continue on the Big Five Lakes Trail
to Buckhorn Pass and veer right towards Columbine Lake and Sawtooth Pass at an intersection with the Lost Canyon Trail
. A beautiful alpine lake and scramble await, before a slippery scree slope descent back to the trailhead from Sawtooth Pass on the Monarch Trail.