My plan for the summer once I got to Stanley, Idaho was to hike to as many of the alpine lakes in the Sawtooths. You could hike a new set of lakes each week and not even get close to seeing them all!
First up, Sawtooth Lake. I did this same hike almost exactly two years ago. Knowing what to expect, Rio and I pack for an overnight and left for the trailhead at Iron Creek by 6am (being first on the trail in hopes of seeing more wildlife).
Now Rio is no young pup anymore but the two of us have been backpacking together for almost 9 years. Knowing the trail really helped to anticipate where he might have trouble but first then second set of switchbacks finished and we were at the lake a little after 9:30. No problem.
Once above 8,000' the trail was mostly covered in snow but easy enough to follow. There are two things that magically turn Rio into a bounding puppy again, sand and snow. He absolutely loves running around and playing in the snow! *Make sure you check out the video at the end*
Standing at what would have been the water's edge, Mount Regan stares you down as you look out over an icy snow covered Sawtooth Lake. It was July. It was 90 degrees that week in Stanley. I love it.
Clear skies, 360 degree views, sledding in shorts. I made a short video of our hike, enjoy.