Alice Lake

Alice Lake nestles in the southerly heart of Sun Valley’s Sawtooth Wilderness surrounded by many serrated pinnacles reflective of the range’s namesake. It is reached by driving north of Ketchum on Highway 75 over Galena Summit to the Pettit Lake highway sign where a left turn is made. Continue on the Pettit Lake Road to the backpacker’s parking lot where the marked trail to Alice Lake is located. The distance to the lake is approximately 6 miles. Stream crossings can be treacherous in the early season, May thru early July; however it is possible to avoid said crossings by going trail-less on the southerly slopes. The last stream crossing is on a bridge just before the lower lakes. Take “wading attire” if you plan to stick to the main trail. Ski Mountaineering / Alpine Touring options are vast. The greatest vertical drops can be found off Snowy Side Peak’s north-easterly slopes into either Twin Lakes or Toxaway Lake drainages. The great open slope skiing off El Capitan’s lower northerly reaches is also numerous. Perfect Peak and McDonald’s are also popular spring and summer ski destinations. Mountain Bikes are allowed to the Wilderness Boundary at the end of Pettit Lake. Alice Lake was first stocked by the Idaho Fish and Game in the early 40s and 50s with Eastern Brook Trout. Because Brookies are prolific breeders, all the lakes in this tributary are no longer stocked and your fish of choice will be Brook Trout. The lower Lakes, Alice, and Twin Lakes all have many fish. Alice Lake has the largest which are best caught in early to late evening. Afternoon fishing in Alice Lake is sometimes non-existent. Twin Lake Brookes are abundant and can be caught around the clock on some occasions. The lower lake fishing is best in the early morning and evening, however, afternoon fishing is also possible. Small woolly worm, streamer, and nymph patterns are deadly. Mayfly (Adams), renegade, and midge patterns size 20 thru 16 for the surface also work well. Climbing opportunities of El Capitan, Snowyside, and Perfect Peaks are also possible from this drainage. Snowyside’s summit is probably better climbed from the Alturas Alpine Lake drainage however an airy assent from Alice Lake side is often made. For those who want to ski off Snowyside’s summit, the Alturas Alpine Lake drainage is your best bet. Waterfalls in the glacial canyon are plentiful early season and give the cliffs an occasional glance for Mountain Goats.

Map Key

Interactive Map

Elevation Map

Directions to Trailhead