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Family-friendly scramble to a lovely alpine lake.


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Map Key

3.3

Miles

5.3

KM

Out and Back

7,222' 2,201 m

High

5,917' 1,804 m

Low

1,347' 410 m

Up

1,346' 410 m

Down

15%

Avg Grade (9°)

51%

Max Grade (27°)

Dogs Off-leash

Features Birding · Commonly Backpacked · Fall Colors · Fishing · Lake · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly Short but steep hike to a small lake with areas for fishing, lounging, and camping.

Overview

Steep trail through dense forest, reaching an alpine lake surrounded by impressive cliffs and peaks. This is a popular family hike near McCall, and some choose to make it an easy overnight backpacking trip. Enjoy fishing, swimming, wildflower viewing, or just lounging in the sun at this beautiful little lake.

Need to Know

The trailhead is on Lick Creek Road, which is a dirt road passable to most cars when it is dry. A sign for Snowslide Trailhead marks the parking area, but there's only room for a few vehicles. You can park along the road if the small lot is full.

Description

This is one of the shorter hikes in the mountains east of McCall, making an excellent day hike or bite-size overnight trip. Though it isn't long, the trail is quite steep, however. The climb goes through conifer forest with frequent clearings that grant sunshine and broader views. You can let the scenery distract you from the uphill effort, but don't forget to pay attention to your feet. The trail is quite eroded in places, with loose rocks and protruding roots underfoot. You might get water from a spring that trickles across the trail about ⅓ of the way up, but the real respite comes upon reaching the lake.

On Snowslide Lake's wooded shore you'll find plenty of places to relax and maybe dip your toes in the water. This lake is not as cold or clear as some other alpine lakes in Idaho because of its medium elevation. But its nutrient-rich water supports a lot of fish. That's why this lake is popular for fishing and camping. You'll encounter a handful of good camp spots in the woods around the lake. Permits are not needed and camping is at-large, but it's important to use only sites which are previously established, without increasing impact on surrounding vegetation.

The out-and-back route mapped here is just to Snowslide Lake and then back down. For a longer day hike or backpacking trip, however, you could continue hiking past Snowslide Lake and up through an alpine bowl to the ridge above. This is the trail that connects to Maki Lake Trail #135 and Lake Fork Trail #339 deeper into the national forest.

Flora & Fauna

Wildflowers around the lake are beautiful in summer. The best flower displays are in the alpine meadow just beyond and above the lake, farther along the trail.

Contacts

Shared By:

Jesse Weber

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#3

in McCall

#4736

Overall
  4.0 from 1 vote
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Recommended Route Rankings

#3

in McCall

#68

in Idaho

#4,736

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Photos

A glassy Snowslide Lake glints in the midday sun at the foot of Snowslide Peak.
Dec 31, 2016 near McCall, ID
Reflections on Snowslide Lake
Feb 28, 2024 near McCall, ID

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