What Is the Best Way to Hike to the Bench Lakes?

You don’t have to travel far from Redfish Lake Lodge to find some of the best hiking trails in the area. In fact, you don’t even have to leave our property. Whether you want to walk along the shores of our stunning alpine lake or test your climbing abilities, there is an extensive network of mountain trails running from our property! One of our favorites hikes takes you to the gorgeous series of Bench Lakes. These five small bodies of water gradually take you to the base of Mount Heyburn, where the views are breathtaking.

For more fun outdoor activities and adventures in Central Idaho, request access to our complimentary Vacation Guide! Now, let’s lace up those boots and hit the trail!

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Your Guide to Hiking to the Bench Lakes

Fishhook Creek Trailhead Ascent

The journey to the series of Bench Lakes trail starts at the Fishhook Creek Trailhead near Redfish Lake Lodge. Shortly after you begin the 8.2-mile round trip trek, there is a fork in the path. Take a left at the fork and head over a small creek bridge that will lead you along a ridge overlooking the western shore of Redfish Lake. The views here are fantastic and provide stunning photo opportunities. Soak in the scenery, especially the towering mountains surrounding the lake, before continuing on the trail until you reach the Bench Lakes. At the next fork in the pathway, take a right. You’ll follow this route for about a mile before reaching the first of the series of five lakes.  

Redfish Lake Creek Trail Ascent

Another way to reach the Bench Lakes is by the Redfish Lake Trail. The easiest way to begin this hike is to take our shuttle across the lake. Take a right onto the trail at the base of the mountain up to the ridge where you’ll eventually meet up with the Bench Lake Trail near the first lake. From there, you can choose how far you want to go! 

Bench Lakes

The Bench Lakes offer a fantastic place to stop and admire the Sawtooth Mountain wilderness. Pack some snacks and enjoy sitting on the shore of the first lake. You can easily hike to the second lake, but we suggest that only experienced climbers should trek beyond the first two. 

 If you do have experience hiking and climbing, you should be able to make it to the last of the Bench Lakes without having too much difficulty. There is no marked trail here, and the terrain is relatively rugged, so hike with caution if you think you are up to the task. You can climb beyond this point, but we strongly recommend that you use a local guide for safety reasons.

Mount Heyburn

Mount Heyburn is the crown jewel if you choose to continue beyond the Bench Lakes. This challenging trip features plenty of technical climbing with rough terrain, loose rocks, and steep inclines. If you want to revel in the one-of-a-kind views on Stur Chimney, consider booking a trip with Sawtooth Mountain Guides. They offer one and two-day treks out of Stanley.

Book Your Sawtooth Adventurea cabin at Redfish Lake Lodge

Your ultimate Sawtooth adventure starts at Redfish Lake Lodge. Our collection of lodging options provide you with an authentic and comfortable stay on the shores of our beautiful mountain lake. You’ll discover an array of activities, restaurants, and amenities on our grounds, so you don’t have to leave our property for anything! Of course, we recommend that you venture our into our scenic wilderness and explore the Salmon River, Sawtooth Mountains, and many other incredible places in our area. Check out our specials for more ways to experience Redfish Lake Lodge!

Start planning your trip to our mountain oasis by booking one of our accommodations today! You can also take a look at the availability at our three other properties down the road in Stanley. We look forward to welcoming you to the Redfish family.