Fall 2017: Sawtooth Wilderness

mountainsideI found the Sawtooth Wilderness in central Idaho to be an amazing place, containing scenery on par with the best of the country’s national parks. Picking your favorite National Park is like picking your favorite child, and I don’t want to be drawn into that game, but my overall impression is similar to the great parks. I hope you enjoy my pictures almost as much as I enjoyed being there and taking them.

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A hike along the shore of Sawtooth Lake offers many nice views. This one shows most of the lake.
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Lingering snow, a talus field, Sawtooth Lake and mountains. There are many things in this picture.
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It was very quiet as evening approached. This was true almost every night on this trip. The weather was almost as amazing as the scenery.
A calm, early morning mountain scene
A calm, early morning mountain scene
Middle Cramer Lake is a pretty mountain lake with a surprise.
Middle Cramer Lake is a pretty mountain lake with a surprise.
A morning view from my campsite.  Jealous?
A morning view from my campsite. Jealous?
One of many cascades.  The water was alwas good.
One of many cascades. The water was always good.
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The early morning sun sets the mountain side on fire as it is reflected in an unnamed and virtually invisible pond. If this scene were in a famous national park, people would wake up before sunrise to be here, and the photographers would be trampling over each other. Here, it’s just me.
Lake Ingeborg reflects the montain side in the early morkning.
Lake Ingeborg reflects the montain side in the early morkning.

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There’s a lot to see here: A wide mountain meadow with white granite rocks and a stream flowing to a lake.

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Looking down on Arrowhead Lake
Don't ya just wonder what lies over the edge of Avalanche Lake?
Don’t ya just wonder what lies past the edge of Arrowhead Lake?  (Believe it or not, more mountains.)
You can see a long way in every direction from Sand Mountain Pass.
You can see a long way in every direction from Sand Mountain Pass.
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You can see a long way in every direction from Sand Mountain Pass. And each view is different.
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Still at (or actually above) Sand Mountain Pass, and each view is still different.
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My first view of Toxsway Lake was impresive. So were the other views. No wonder it is a favorite. But most people only see it from near ground level since they follow the shoreline. They don’t know what they’re missing.
Closer to lake level, Toxaway Lake is impressive in a different way.
Closer to lake level, Toxaway Lake is impressive in a different way.
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This is (or could be) a nice shot that shows the effect of the smoke in the air on day one.
The Sawtooths have many streams like this one.
The Sawtooths have many streams like this one.

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This may be the south end of Sawtooth Lake, but another lake beckons.
This may be the south end of Sawtooth Lake, but another lake beckons.
Looking back at Sawtooth Lake
Looking back at Sawtooth Lake
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High mountain waterfalls are fun because they are relatively rare and usually a surprise. I could hear this one from a distance and assumed it to be an ordinary stream.
From this viewpoint, you get two lakes for the price of one.
From this viewpoint, you get two lakes for the price of one.
Just another view along the trail
Just another view along the trail

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An austere view on the way up Cramer Pass
An austere view on the way up Cramer Pass
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Would you believe this lake is called Hidden Lake. It doesn’t look like it’s hiding to me. Nor is it hidden as you walk along the trail near the shore. Beat me.
Virginia Lake is a favorite.
Virginia Lake is a favorite of many.
The Sawtooths Wilderness is a land of many pretty lakes.
The Sawtooths Wilderness is a land of many pretty lakes.

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Two packrafters fish on Lake Vernon.  I actually counted five of them/
Two packrafters fish on Lake Vernon. I actually counted five of them.

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I found it hard to leave Sand Mountain Pass.  There were so many views.
I found it hard to leave Sand Mountain Pass. There were so many views.
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Those mountains in the distance are very different from the Sawtooths. Mountains are like that; it’s one reason why I find them endlessly fascinating.
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While the smoke in the air was quite obvious to me, it was maddening to try capturing it in a picture. Perhaps this was my best effort. Not how the smoke obscures the details in the distant mountains.
It's September.  Yet little patches of snow still linger.
It’s September. Yet little patches of snow still linger.
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While I’d like the smoke to be gone, it imparts a fog-like atmosphere to this pretty scene.
Twin Lakes were one of my favorites.
Twin Lakes were one of my favorites.
Smoke mixes with clouds in the distance.
Smoke mixes with clouds in the distance.
From below, while walking on the trail, this rock was very imposing.
From below, while walking on the trail, this rock was very imposing.
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A hiker approaches the Tin Cup trailhead

Totals for the Sawtooth Wilderness: 6 days, approximately 100 miles

Next destination: Kings Canyon National Park