Sawtooth Mountans: Bench Lakes

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Bench Lakes

The Bench Lakes are a group of four individual lakes in the Sawtooth Mountains, which are located near Stanley, Idaho. Read More

  • The Bench Lakes are 4 lakes located in the Wilderness area of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area.
  • The Lakes are only accessible via an 8 mile roundtrip hiking trail.
  • There are no campsites and long term camping is discouraged at Bench Lakes.


To reach the Bench Lakes it is necessary to take about an eight mile round trip hike, which winds up the mountainous area and travels beside Redfish Lake for a period of time. There are no developed campsites at the Bench Lakes, but it a perfect place to spend a wonderful day in the wilderness area of Idaho.

Location & Information

Sawtooth National Recreation Area Phone: (208) 727-5013

To find the trailhead which will lead you to the Bench Lakes in Idaho, go south on State Highway 75 from Stanley, Idaho to the Redfish Lake turnoff, and follow the signs to Redfish Lake Lodge. The trailhead to the Bench Lakes begins on the east side of Redfish Lake.


Developed campsites are available at Redfish Lake, but there are no campsites and any long term camping is discouraged at Bench Lakes.

However, the day long, eight-mile round trip hike, is well worth taking. The trail winds along Redfish Lake and then winds up Mount Heyburn. Mount Heyburn towers above all of the lakes at a height of 10,229 feet. The trail up to the Bench Lakes has some moderate to difficult sections and as always, any hiker needs to be ready for changes in the weather.