There are lakes, then there are alpine lakes and we prefer the latter. Crystal clear and usually in the mountains, it's our happy place. People enjoy lakes for all different reasons. We love them for their view and a place to relax. Kevin sometimes takes a dip, I prefer to set up a chair and take it all in.
We didn't know about any of Idaho's lakes and nor did we believe that when we learned of them that they would be beautiful alpine lakes. Our introduction was fast and furious. We saw as many as we could in a short amount of time.
The great thing about the lakes of Idaho, specifically near Stanley, ID, is that not all of them are hike to lakes. There are a few that you can drive right up to and enjoy the day. Only one allows boats and has a resort on it.
Alpine Lakes of Stanley, Idaho
Goat Lake was something else. One of the more difficult to get to, it was the least traveled to of all the lakes that we explored. High up in the mountains, this lake still has a glacier, beautiful places to camp and some fishing.
Alice Lake has the best hike to get to the lake. River crossings, waterfalls, views, rock scrambling, boardwalk, other alpine lakes and the El Capitan of Idaho. This was the most popular by far even though it was a 12 mile round trip hike!
Alpine Lake is on the same trail as Sawtooth. It comes before and is only a quarter of a mile off the path, so it's worth it if you want a quiet place to relax.
Sawtooth Lake has dramatic views and beautiful blue and green water. One side is rocky, another mountains and another trees for a shaded camping spot.
Redfish lake is the most popular for non hikers. This lake has a resort on it, camping spots for RVs and a local restaurant. It is very RV friendly as there is laundry and a dump station.
Stanley Lake is another lake that you can drive to. This one is much quieter as there are only RV camping spots and no cell service. We had an entire beach to ourselves. Great depth for dogs to play and kids.
Pettit lake might also allow boats and has a huge campground on it. This is also where the trailhead is for Alice Lake.
All unique, but all alpine lakes in Stanley, Idaho. I had no idea there was that much room for all the lakes it holds. This isn't even half of the lakes you can choose from to enjoy, but they are all a good start to add to the list. If it's your first time to the area, make sure to add them to your things to do list.