Redfish Lake

Every summer we try to stay a couple of nights at Redfish Lake in the Sawtooth Mountains near Stanley, Idaho. This year we rented a cabin for two nights (August 23-25) while David’s sister, Pauline, was visiting.

Redfish is about a 4-hour drive from Idaho Falls. We usually stop in Sun Valley for lunch on the way. Then we head up Highway 75 – the Sawtooth Scenic byway – to Galena Summit, at 8701 feet. We always pull over to take in the view of the Sawtooths. I captured this photo from the summit – mid-afternoon, August 23.


It is smoky today so you don’t see the far right end of the range where Redfish Lake is nestled at the base of Mount Heyburn. Check out this wiki-link to Galena Summit for a better photo and information…

We’ve checked into our cabin and wander up to the lodge – pose for photos – David and Megan in front of the lodge,

Redfish Lake Lodge

Redfish Lake Lodge

and Megan and I in front of the lake. Mount Heyburn is the craggy granite peak poking up on the far right.


Another view of the lake and Mount Heyburn:

Mount Heyburn

Mount Heyburn

Eric, Pauline, and I hike up to the Bench Lakes. It’s about 8 miles round trip. (David stayed behind with Megan, who didn’t feel well.)

Here is the map at the trailhead that gives you that reassuring ‘you are here’ aerial view of the lake and hiking trials uh, trails.

“No death marches, Eric!”

The trail to the Bench Lakes runs along the left edge of the lake; jogs off, and climbs steeply up to the Lakes when you get about 2/3 the way to the end of the lake. Hard core hikers and climbers can pack in and hike for several days – to Alpine Lake, Cramer Lakes, Hell Roaring Lake – Eric and David both have tales to tell (i.e. death marches) … You can actually hike for fifty miles from various trails leading off from the lake (and take a boat across the lake to save some hiking).

I only took one photo on the four-mile trek up to the Bench Lakes:

Mount Heyburn

Mount Heyburn

We’re at the Lower Bench Lake now. Pauline and I are snacking on nuts, brownies, cheese, and chocolates, while Eric fishes:

Eric, the fish whisperer

Eric, the fish whisperer

He hooks one right away:


A beatiful lake trout. But it’s so fiesty, it’s about beaten itself to death fighting Eric yanking out the hook.

A lake trout and his no good very bad day

A lake trout and his no good very bad day

He catches 8 fish by the end of the day, throws them all back. (Yeah, with big mouth ow-ies, Eric, and occasional gouged eyeballs, and no lunch to boot!)

At the second Bench Lake (five minute walk from the first lake) there’s a nice view of Heyburn.


Pauline and I are pretty beat by the time we make it back to the cabin.

Pauline at the end of our hike

Pauline at the end of our hike

Except, she’s 79 years of age, and no more worn out than I (cashing in now on her years of dedication to yoga, stetching and exercise!)

For dinner we drive to Stanley, Idaho – just a ten minute drive. You might have heard of Stanley, as throughout the winter it consistently hails as the coldest spot in the mainland USA. But this late August night is warm and exquisite. I capture a view of the sun setting over the Sawtooths.

Uh, might be more impressive during the day?

Uh, might be more impressive during the day?

Then we looked in the opposite direction. What the? …

You're kidding, right? A fire?

You’re kidding, right? A fire?

Oh my goodness. A fire has erupted near Challis! Eric, is this caused by your voodoo or are you just photo bombing my photographic challenge?

You're scaring us, Eric

You’re scaring us, Eric

By the time dinner was over, the fire had grown much larger…


We found out when we got home that the fire had erupted in the Salmon-Challis National Forest – 17 miles west of Challis, Idaho. It has not been contained yet, 10 days later.

Okay, time to put a wrap on this. On our way home we hiked near the White Cloud mountains to the Fourth of July Lake. Here is a great link that describes this hike and several other nice day hikes around Stanley, Idaho.

The area had been charred by a forest fire about six years ago.


The trees are bouncing back though! Many young spruce standing 4 feet tall:

New growth!

New growth!

Walking back now though a burst of fall colors.


But, what I enjoyed most about our hike to Fourth of July Lake? The views as we drove back on the 10-mile dirt road to the main highway….

The Sawtooth Mountain Range coming into view!


I took a photo of the “Alps of Idaho”

'Just can't capture it!'

Just can’t capture it!

And a video, which I tried to post here several times, but it doesn’t work, but it should, and maybe it does on your computer, laptop, i- Pad or i-Phone … but if it doesn’t – oh well, I’ll keep working on it: (?????)

Because I never want to forget how magnificent the Sawtooths are.

Well, we’ve been back home over a week now. Pauline stayed with us 10 days but then she flew home. But not before I cajoled her into posing for a picture in our back yard with my hubby, David, her younger brother.

David, Pauline, and Rudy

David, Pauline, and Rudy

Two Caraher dynamos. Well, three, counting Rudy.

Pauline says she wants to do it all again next year. She’s in such great physical shape, she could probably even survive one of Eric’s hikes, you know, which inevitably turn into death marches.

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6 Responses to “Redfish Lake”

  1. David Says:

    Would have liked that picture a whole lot more if you’d said “Suck in the gut and stand up straight, dear.” before snapping it.

  2. Rene Miller Says:

    It looks Rudy photo bombed the picture!

  3. Paullene Caraher Says:

    A great blog. Jody. NIce pictures. David and I do look good!!!
    Glad you mentioned he was younger. Maybe the folks reading this could not tell!!! Hee, Hee!

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