Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    BillyBob58's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Tupelo, MS
    Posts
    8,466
    Images
    353

    Sawtooths ID Redfish Lake to Cramer Lakes

    Due to recent Grizzly activity in the Wind Rivers, and a long held desire to finally hike into the Sawtooths, we decided this time "Idaho here we come!". So my best friend, his college age son( both from NC) and I flew into SLC getting there late on Saturday 082011. The evening we did some shopping at REI, and slept in the next morning, then hit the road towards Stanley, ID.

    I could not make the upcoming group hang put together by Paul Gibson of Arrowhead Equip., my friends had to go this week. But I got superb advice from Paul, and it all proved to be spot on. Thanks, Paul! The first advice we took was to hit Smiley Creek Lodge for supper on the way in. The food was great, and we went back there for another meal and milk shake on the way out.

    We only had the cheap throw away cameras, so sorry for the quality of the pics. I still have to get my partners pics. After a late start and crossing Redfish Lake (~6550) by boat, we made it to where the trail crosses the Redfish Creek. Trees are endless, but so are widowmakers, which really adds to the challenge of finding a safe place to sleep. So you guys be careful next week! We decided we better take this nice looking camp area - where we were able to pitch 3 hammocks out of reach of the widow makers, before it got dark:


    Jagged Peaks rose another 1500-2500 ft straight up above us on all sides. ( N44.07 W115.004 ~ 7420 ) We only had a cheap throw away camera to try and record this truly spectacular area:



    At last, taking a load off of my aching feet!


    Packing up next morning, ready for another ~ 1000 ft climb to Cramer Lakes!


    Good base camp with fishing and lounging and minor day hikes:






    Notice the good sized water fall pouring into middle Cramer on the RT:


    Upper Cramer:




    Fishing at Middle Cramer:


    A very cold swim in snow melt at ~ 8360:






    A good time was had by all! The Sawtooths- despite these very inadequate pics- are truly spectacular, with cold, crystal clear lakes and streams.
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 08-30-2011 at 11:34.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  2. #2
    Mr. Arrowhead pgibson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    SW Idaho
    Hammock
    Black Bird 1.1 Dbl
    Tarp
    AHE Shangi La
    Insulation
    KAQ Prototype
    Suspension
    AHE Whoopie Slings
    Posts
    4,544
    Awsome BB! So glad you had a good time. Smiley creek is the place for a good meal and a place to pit your feet up. Been waiting for your report. Y'all come back soon ya hear.
    Arrowhead Equipment -- For all your hanging, backpacking and Ultralight Fishing gear needs.

    Free APEX Upgrade on Every Kick *** Quilt (KAQ)

    Now Offering FlameThower Down Gear And Tenkara Fishing gear
    Arrowhead-Equipment.com
    Tenkara-Fishing.com
    Visit AHE on Facebook Follow us on Twitter
    Sign Up for Arrowhead-Equipment Gear News: Click Here

  3. #3
    Senior Member MuseJr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Alpine, UT
    Hammock
    WBBB
    Tarp
    AHE Hard Rock
    Insulation
    Te-Wa Freeze
    Suspension
    Dynaglide slings
    Posts
    764
    This is like a movie teaser for me. As the days get closer I am getting more excited and this just adds fuel to the fire... Thanks for the info and sorry you couldn't put it off for a couple weeks.
    Giving up on the Wind Rivers must have been a tough call. Not many places outside of CA to chase golden trout and in beautiful scenery. (I don't know if I could have changed locations.)
    "I'm a connoisseur of BACON." - Anyways - 6/9/13

  4. #4
    Senior Member Law Dawg (ret)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Left Coast
    Hammock
    WBBB XLC 1.1 dbl/ Traveler 1.1 dbl
    Tarp
    Toxaway & Bullfrog
    Insulation
    Incubator & Burrow
    Suspension
    Adjustable Webbing
    Posts
    2,283
    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    Trees are endless, but so are widowmakers, which really adds to the challenge of finding a safe place to sleep. So you guys be careful next week!
    Thanks bro! I'm in prep the moto and pack (keep...put back...keep...put back...) right now as I leave Thursday morning. Real nice to have some pics to drool over (even if from a disposible).

    So is it the pine beatles that are causing so many dead trees?
    Mark is the name and If there is more than one way to understand what I just said....I meant the good one.

    Earth First! We'll dirt bike ride the other planets later.

  5. #5
    Mr. Arrowhead pgibson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    SW Idaho
    Hammock
    Black Bird 1.1 Dbl
    Tarp
    AHE Shangi La
    Insulation
    KAQ Prototype
    Suspension
    AHE Whoopie Slings
    Posts
    4,544
    Quote Originally Posted by Law Dawg (ret) View Post

    So is it the pine beetles that are causing so many dead trees?
    Luckily so far Idaho has been spared the pine beetle plague. However throughout the state 80 years of fire suppression has left us with lots of dead timber...mostly from natural causes...that is still standing. We don't get storms that knock them down often (the mountains break up very high winds) so you can find a good bit of timber that is still standing for years after the tree dies off. Time is all that takes them down usually. In some areas there is good management that helps to go though and selectively log and thin the forests that need it, in others like the wilderness area that is not permitted so things build up....often to the point that if a fire does go though it decimates the land, charring the soil to the point that nothing grows for years. But generally with a little searching hanging is usually not a problem...for a big group it might mean your spread out a little, but not to bad. The campgrounds should accommodate even a dozen or so with the right spot or two and no real worries about dead trees.
    Arrowhead Equipment -- For all your hanging, backpacking and Ultralight Fishing gear needs.

    Free APEX Upgrade on Every Kick *** Quilt (KAQ)

    Now Offering FlameThower Down Gear And Tenkara Fishing gear
    Arrowhead-Equipment.com
    Tenkara-Fishing.com
    Visit AHE on Facebook Follow us on Twitter
    Sign Up for Arrowhead-Equipment Gear News: Click Here

  6. #6
    BillyBob58's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Tupelo, MS
    Posts
    8,466
    Images
    353
    Quote Originally Posted by pgibson View Post
    Awsome BB! So glad you had a good time. Smiley creek is the place for a good meal and a place to pit your feet up. Been waiting for your report. Y'all come back soon ya hear.
    Quote Originally Posted by pgibson View Post
    Awsome BB! So glad you had a good time. Smiley creek is the place for a good meal and a place to pit your feet up. Been waiting for your report. Y'all come back soon ya hear. ......................... But generally with a little searching hanging is usually not a problem...for a big group it might mean your spread out a little, but not to bad. The campgrounds should accommodate even a dozen or so with the right spot or two and no real worries about dead trees.
    Thanks again for all the help, Paul! This is surely one of the few places in the country as spectacular as the Wind Rivers. It is different, but very similar as far as impressive peaks. You can hardly tell from my pics, but there is a good bit of snow still on those peaks around Cramer lakes.

    At our car camp, we had no trouble finding trees for 3 with no dangerous trees to worry about. I suspect that the dead trees had been cut down.......there were plenty of dead trees nearby on the ground. But the hanging was good in the designated car camp sites. Up higher, it was a bigger challenge. On the 1st night at about 7400 ft, we actually left the main forest to get out into a meadow with isolated stands of trees. We were able to hang 3 hammocks very close to each other- plus we could see some other tree pairs not far off- all with no threatening trees. Higher up it was much tougher to get out of reach of a seemingly 50-100 ft tall dead tree. But since we decided to just base camp at the Cramer lakes area( lazy hammock laying degenerates that we are ), I don't know that conditions would not have been much improved further up the trail. That is what happened last time in the Winds. At 9400 ft V Lake it was a world of giant- and often dead- trees making finding safe spots tough. Not much better around 9600 ft Big Sandy Lake. But at 10,000 ft Clear lake, the trees were both much smaller(but plenty big enough) and in much better condition, so we had no threats from the widow makers, and great hanging.

    Quote Originally Posted by MuseJr View Post
    This is like a movie teaser for me. As the days get closer I am getting more excited and this just adds fuel to the fire... Thanks for the info and sorry you couldn't put it off for a couple weeks.
    Giving up on the Wind Rivers must have been a tough call. Not many places outside of CA to chase golden trout and in beautiful scenery. (I don't know if I could have changed locations.)
    It was a tough call, and a last minute one, but it doesn't hurt to do something different every now and then. One ( though not the only) of the reasons I always preferred the Winds over the Tetons and Yellowstone was: No Grizz, until recently. That's just me and my hiking companions, we can relax better not worrying about stumbling onto a sow Grizz with cubs. And as the black bears are hunted there, they are pretty shy of man(never seen one, no reported incidents in many years). On this Sawtooth trip did not even take bear spay or guns. Just a moderate sized knife!

    Here is the funny part: I talked to a Sawtooth ranger. He said NO Grizz, and NO worries or problems from the rare black bear. Of course, hang your food just to be safe, but the overall impression from him was that the odds of any kind of bear problem was probably lower than just about anywhere except where they just don't have any bears at all. Paul pretty well backed up this opinion. So when we get to Chinook camp ground, first thing we see is a "bear alert" sign! Then the camp ground host comes up and says they have had a "visitor" on some nights, so we better put our food up. He said a car had also been broken into.
    That night, not long after I had fallen asleep, I was awakened by something giving my hammock a stout nudge. I had no light, but the moon was out. I sat up and looked around, and never saw anything. Maybe I dreamed it?

    As beautiful as this was, I kind of missed the Winds, for some reason. But other than No Grizz, there was one other advantage. Though the vertical rise from Redfish lake was similar to the Winds, the starting elevation is about 2500 ft lower, and a max sleeping elevation for us still about 2000 ft lower. I still felt the elevation, but I could still tell this was much easier on me. Another big plus for the Sawtooths. And really, it does not come much more spectacular. For one thing, those snowy jagged peaks rising out of the sandy beach at Redfish lake would be hard to match anywhere in the country, IMO. And the wonderful boat ride across the lake to the trailhead is icing on the cake!
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 08-30-2011 at 11:31.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •