Sawtooth Association

Bench Lakes

Know before you go!

ACCESS: The Redfish Trailhead is very popular and serves many trails. Do not park in no parking zones. Please do not park off the side of the road in the sagebrush or other vegetation, it destroys the delicate alpine habitat.


Please don’t cut switchbacks! It causes erosion, destroys vegetation, and ruins the trail. This trail has switchbacks, please use them!


Most of our trailheads do not have trash facilities. Please be prepared to pack out all of your trash from the trail and trailhead.


Fires are allowed ONLY on a fire pan or fire blanket. If you see a rock fire ring on the ground it is illegal, please don't use it. Bring a camp stove to cook instead of having a fire. Check fire restrictions before you head out.


Bury human waste 6-8 inches deep. All toilet paper and wipes must be packed out. The nearest restroom is by Redfish Lake and Redfish Lodge.


Store your food in a bear hang or bear proof container. A fed bear IS a dead bear. Help keep our wildlife wild.


This trail enters wilderness. You need a free wilderness permit which can be picked up at the trailhead. Make sure you are aware of all the wilderness regulations.


Trailhead: Redfish Lake

Round trip: 8 miles

Elevation gain: 1200 ft


There are several ways to hike to the Bench Lakes. You can hike out and back from the Redfish Trailhead, or take the boat shuttle to the Redfish Inlet Trailhead and hike out and back from there. You can also take the boat shuttle one way to make the hike more of a loop. From Redfish Ridge, turn on to the Bench Lakes Trail and continue to the first and second lakes. 

If you would like to continue to the upper lakes there are some user-made trails. Be prepared to hike off-trail and route find. The Redfish Ridge Trail provides great views of Redfish Lake, the Sawtooths, and beyond. Bench Lakes are a chain of alpine lakes resting on a ridge between the Fishhook and Redfish glacial valleys.

Fun fact: hiking the Redfish Ridge means you are hiking on top of a glacial moraine! Stop by the Redfish Visitor Center to learn more!

Sunrise on Mt. Heyburn reflected in bench Lake