The Snowslide Lake-Snowslide Summit Hike at Payette National Forest in McCall, Idaho is a strenuous 4.5-mile out-and-back hike featuring Snowslide Lake and a summit ascent of Snowslide Peak.
This is a great hike to an alpine lake set in a deep glacially carved bowl. The hike up to Snowslide Lake is hard because of the steepness and bouldery, eroded-out trail. It is a rough hand-over-foot hike much of the way up. The lake is beautiful in and of itself, but the views only get better higher up.
It is strenuous if you want to continue up to the Snowslide Summit (saddle) above the lake. Much of the entire hike, from trailhead to the pass, is white granite. There is an intermittent snowfield below Snowslide Peak on one of the switchbacks going up to the summit, so you may have to around it, (as this gps track shows I did).
There are dozens of wildflowers along the way, including massive patches of glacier lilies and shooting stars along various parts of the hike.
Once at the summit, go either left or right and scramble up some of the ridges for even better views. To get a view of Snowslide Lake below, scramble up the granite ridge to the south towards Snowslide Peak. It is an easy scramble of a few hundred feet, and you will find a tremendous view looking west toward Snowslide Lake.
To extend the hike even further (not shown in gps track), you can extend the hike down to Maki Lake via the Maki Lake Trail (sometimes hard to follow, beware). There are many great backpacking loops up here, too.
Creek Crossing: At the beginning of the hike, you will need to cross the North Fork Lake Fork. It can be a challenging crossing earlier in the season or during high snowmelt. Otherwise, it might be a 1-2 foot deep wade. There may be some logs to cross, like there were on our hike. Those logs were long and can be a bit tricky to cross, but at least your feet will stay dry.
Pets: Dogs are allowed if leashed and their waste must be carried out.
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