Sawtooth Association

Sawtooth Wilderness Loop

Know before you go!

ACCESS: Many different trailheads can be used to access this loop. Be ready with a back-up plan if you cannot find a parking spot. Please do not park in the sagebrush or trees on the side of the road, it destroys delicate alpine habitat.


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


Know the regulations for fires on this loop, in many areas they are prohibited. If you see a rock fire ring on the ground it is illegal, please don't use it. Consider bringing a camp stove to prepare food you were planning to cook.


Due to the high use and lack of natural soil, packing out human waste is strongly recommended here. Help protect our water quality and fragile alpine ecosystems by using wag bags. 


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 all aware of the wilderness regulations.


Trailhead: various 

Round trip: 60 +/- miles


Description of the hike This loop is described as a popular backpacking route on AllTrails. It is not a designated loop but rather a connection of trails to create a loop. There are many variations to this loop and it can be started from numerous trailheads. 

If you are planning to backpack a large loop in the Sawtooths, make sure to carry a good paper map of the area and know all the Wilderness Regulations before heading out.

This trail crosses numerous creeks and passes. These creeks may be difficult to cross, especially in the early season which can last through July. Passes hold snow later than everywhere else.

Stanley Lake Trail with McGowan in the background