Best Hikes in Idaho


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    If you are an adventure lover and fond of hiking in the scenic landscapes Idaho is an excellent place for you. Idaho is best for avid hikers and has many hidden hikes for hikers of all levels. 

    Idaho has almost 1,450 hiking trails, biking and mountain hiking trails with backpacking trips in the lush green landscapes of Idaho.

    However, the number of hikes are increasing as the hidden trails are discovered by avid hikers and local organisations. 

    Boise, the capital of Idaho also has amazing hikes to enjoy the beautiful downtime Boise, mountains and countless outdoor recreation activities and adventures. 

    We will discuss the best Hikes, their elevation distance, hiking difficulties and everything you must need to know before your trip. Let’s start our journey toward the amazing hiking trails of Idaho. 

    10 Best Hiking trails in Idaho for Hikers


    The Gem state has one of the best hiking trails in the state. So, if you are moving to Idaho, lace up your hiking sneakers and get your backpack ready to start a journey in the stunning landscapes of Idaho. 

    1. Alice Lake 

    Alice lake is located in the Sawtooth National Recreation area popular for backpacking circuits. The Sawtooth area also has many other hiking trails. 


    But, Alice lake is the most stunning trail which captivates visitors attention due to the picturesque trails, meadows and the mountain peaks. 

    Hiking at Alice Lake starts from the Tin Cup Trail Head at an elevation distance of 13 miles with Moderate hiking difficulties. 

    You can also start from the trailhead towards the toxaway loop, a 18 miles hike towards the beautiful alpine meadows and snowy mountains pass. 

    Do you need a pass for Alice lake?

    Yes, you need a permit for Alice lake if you are hiking for a day or planning camping overnight in the trails of Alice lake. However, you have to fill a permit form at the backcountry of the wilderness border which is free of cost. 

    Can you drive to Alice lake?

    Yes, you can drive a car towards Alice lake. You have to travel south from Stanley along highway 75 and reach Pettit Lake. Later, turn right and drive downwards until you reach the Tin Cup Trailheads. 

    2. Scotchman Peak   

    Scotchman is one of the most prominent and challenging peaks for hiking. The peak is famous for its stunning views of the rugged landscapes, alpine meadows and cascading waterfalls. 


    Scotchman peak is really an adventurous place for avid hikers. You need much strength and energy to climb up the elevation distance of 8 miles, almost 3700 ft. 

    But after such a struggle your eyes will witness the pure beauty and a jaw dropping view of the mountains making the journey worth it. 

    You will also be amazed by the herds of mountain goats and wildlife alongside the Lake Pend Oreille and Clark Fork River Valley. Check the Cost of living in Idaho. 

    3. Palisades Creek Trail 

    Palisades Creek Trail is a heaven for nature lovers and hikers. Palisades trail is located in the Caribou-Targhee National Forests. 


    The Hiking Trail starts from the Palisades Creek Campground and connects the Upper and lower Palisade Lakes.

    Hiking path is moderately difficult with an elevation height of 900 ft to the Upper Palisade lake.

    Hiking trail is surrounded by the wildflowers and tall trees alongside the cascading waterfalls giving a serene environment, tranquillity and  soothing sounds of water. 

    Moreover, the Palisades Creek Trail is also an amazing place for fishing. You can also try your luck to catch a trout from the well-known trail. 

    How long does it take to hike to the Upper Palisades lake?

    A 13 mile route of the Upper Palisade lake can take almost 5 hours to hike towards the scenic lake. 

    Can you drive to the Upper Palisades lake?

    Yes, you can drive to the Upper Palisades lake.Start from Idaho Falls and drive towards the southeast swan valley Highway 26 to Irwin.

    Later turn left and drive towards the Palisades Creek road and reach the Palisades Creek Campground. From here you can lead to the Upper Palisades lake after a distance of 1.5 miles. 

    How long is the hike to the lower Palisades lake?

    The lower Palisades Hike is 9.9 miles out-and-back trail and is moderately challenging. It takes almost 5 hours to complete. 

    4. Mineral Ridge National Recreation Trail

    This amazing trail is nestled in the Coeur d’Alene National Forests of Idaho and is the first BLM recreational site in Idaho.


    The loop hike of the Mineral Ridge Trail is 3.3 miles with an elevation distance of 700 feet. 

    The hiking trail is not challenging at all. While Hiking along the Mineral Ridge Trail, you will be able to witness the scenic views of the Coeur d’Alene lake,

    well-maintained paths and the towering trees and the vibrant spring colours of the wildflowers due the summers and spring season. Mineral Ridge Trail is also popular due to its mining history. 

    How long of a hike is Mineral Ridge?

    Hiking distance of the Mineral Ridge Trail is 3.3 miles. Giving the hikers mesmerising views and long lasting memories. 

    5. Pioneer Cabin Trail 

    Pioneer Cabin Trail is one of the most iconic hiking destinations in Idaho. Hiking at Pioneer Cabin Trail is an 8 mile round trip with an elevation gain of 2500 feet. The hiking will be moderate to difficult.


    You must be prepared well with good hiking boots, plenty of water and snacks. Moreover, the Pioneer Trail is rich in history, wilderness, magnificent beauty and outstanding hiking paths. 

    You can access the Pioneer Trail head by the Trail Creel and Corral Creek road from ketchum offering camping alongside the trail routes.

    There is also a small parking area at the end of the Corral Creek road. 

    How do you get to the pioneer trail Head?

    Start your journey from Ketchum Idaho and drive towards northwest on Highway 75. Drive 10 miles and reach Stanley. Later turn left and follow the ID-21 South. Drive 13 miles and follow the road indicators of Iron Creek TrailHead  to reach the Pioneer Cabin Trail. 

    Where is the Pioneer mountain range in Idaho?

    The Pioneer mountain range is located in the Custer and Blaine counties  in Central Idaho. Pioneer range is popular due to its rugged peaks, alpine lakes, and stunning beauty attracting hikers to explore the landscapes of the Pioneer range. 

    6. City of Rocks National Reserves

    City of Rocks is nestled in the scenic desert of southern Idaho. This is an amazing place for outdoor enthusiasts. However, the area is popular due to its striking rock formation. 


    City of Rocks is also a great place for people interested in hiking and offers a 6 mile trail  to the hikers with moderately difficult hiking trails.

    The elevation gain is 1420 feet featuring rich historical significance and natural beauty. 

    The City Rocks is also best for recreational activities. Hiking and Backpacking alongside the beautiful trails where you can also witness the wildlife of the area. 

    City Rocks is an amazing destination for people who love to climb. The area has a diverse climbing route and attracts a huge number of tourists from across the world. 

    How much does it cost to get into the City of Rocks?

    The City of Rocks does not charge any permit or entrance fee for the visitors. It’s free of cost. So Enjoy!

    Why is City of Rocks important?

    The City of Rocks is important due to its cultural and historical significance. The human habitation of the American tribes and emigrants have left their traces. Moreover, the city lies in its association with the California Trail which was a major route in the 19th Century. 

    7. Goat Lake

    Goat Lake is one of the top hiking trails in Idaho and is located high in Sawtooth mountains in Sawtooth National Recreation Park. Goat Lake is an alpine lake with turquoise coloured water. 


    The hiking Trail of Goat lake blesses our eyes with the stunning mountainous views. Goat Lake Hiking Trail starts from Iron Creek TrailHead.

    And is moderately challenging , 10.4 miles steeped hiking with an elevation gain of 7,600 feet. 

    The Goat Lake trail is amazing for hikers, Backpackers and recreational activities. You can plan a day trip or an overnight camping trip to this stunning place.

    The best time to hike in Goat Lake is from July to September. 

    How long is Goat Lake Trail?

    The Goat Lake Trail is 10 miles long and is moderately strenuous. No entrance fee is required for the Goat lake. 

    Can you camp at Goat Lake Idaho?

    Yes, you can do camping at Goat Lake Idaho. Moreover, Backpacking, fishing , swimming and many other outdoor activities can be done at Goat Lake Idaho.

    8. Sawtooth Lake

    Sawtooth Lake is the top spot for a day hike in the alpine wonderland of Stanley Sawtooths. Stanley is also one of the best places to live in Idaho


    The hiking Trail of Sawtooth also starts from the Iron Creek TrailHead. 

    The hiking trail is 5 miles long and is  moderately difficult with some steep sections and rocky terrain with an elevation gain of 1700 feet.

    The hiking trail is surrounded by the picturesque landscapes and crystal-clear waters. 

    Sawtooth lake is also popular for many recreational activities like fishing, swimming, picnicking and relaxing. You also do camping in the campgrounds near Sawtooth Lake. 

    9. Goldbug Hot Springs

    The best natural Hot Springs are located in the mountains of Central Idaho Salmon. The Hiking Trail to reach Goldbug Hot Springs is moderately difficult.


    The TrailHeal starts from the Warm Spring road 18 miles with an elevation gain of 800 feet. 

    Goldbug Hot Springs are a popular destination for outdoor activities and to enjoy a rejuvenating  soak in the hot springs pools having different temperatures. 

    After the great hiking trail of the Hot springs you can enjoy a soothing soak in the hot springs.

    Moreover the best time to visit the place is during the weekdays and off-peak hours for a more relaxing environment in the therapeutic hot water.  

    Is Goldbug Hot spring free?

    Yes, Goldbug Hot Springs are free for public use throughout the year. However, keep your dogs on leash and check the weather conditions before your visit. 

    10. Tubbs Hill

    Like other Hiking Trails in Idaho, Tubbs Hill is also a fantastic hiking destination with lots of fun and recreational activities. 


    The Tubbs Hill area is located near the Coeur d’Alene  in Idaho. The natural beauty, diverse vegetation, and wildlife of the area makes it worth visiting. 

    The hiking distance is  2 miles and way too easy for an amazing hike. You can reach the TrailHead near the Coeur d’Alene Resort, Mceuen Park, and Independence point. 

    Where do you park for Tubbs Hill hike?

    You can park in the ample parking of the McEuen Parking lot near the Mceuen park. 

    Best Hikes in Idaho FAQs

    Are there mountains in Idaho Falls?

    Yes, there are various mountain ranges in Idaho Falls having excellent scenery and hiking trails with stunning beauty. 

    Where can I  hike in Idaho Falls?

    You can hike in the Palisades Creek Trail in Idaho Falls. This trail is considered the best for hiking and backpacking in Idaho Falls with magnificent beauty and adventurous trails. 


    Idaho is undoubtedly a wonderful place with a large number of hiking trails.

    The well-marked trails, beautiful hiking scenery, lakes, waterfalls and wildlife makes the hiking trails more interesting and relaxing.

    Making Idaho worth a living place. See Minimum wage in Idaho. 

    We have selected the best hiking trails from a long list of destinations in Idaho. We hope the article gave you an idea about the top best hikes in Idaho.

    So, keep them in your bucket list during your travel dairies.