Sawtooth Mountains: Pettit Lake

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Pettit Lake

Resting in the heart of the Sawtooth Mountains, Pettit Lake is one of several scenic alpine lakes located south of Stanley Idaho and north of Sun Valley.

  • To get to Pettit Lake from Stanley, Idaho, drive south 18 miles on State Road 75. Turn right at the sign for Pettit Lake.
  • Activities at Pettit Lake include camping, fishing and hiking.
  • There are several trails, which begin at the lake and take hikers Sawtooth Mountains Wilderness Area.

Overview

This small, pristine mountain lake is surrounded by dense forests and beautiful small mountain meadows. Scenic Pettit Lake lies at the edge of Sawtooth Wilderness Area. Pettit Lake offers water recreation opportunities, and the Tin Cup trailhead is a main access point for hikers and horseback riders entering the Sawtooth Wilderness.

Location & Information

From Stanley, Idaho, drive south 18 miles on State Road 75. Turn right at the sign for Pettit Lake.

  • Sawtooth National Recreation Area Phone: (208) 727-5013
  • Fees: Fees for parking at developed day use areas and camping areas overnight.

Camping - Pettit Lake Campground

Pettit Lake Campground has 12 sites located near the shore of Pettit Lake in central Idaho.

  • Fees:
    $14, single family campsite
    $28, double family campsite
    $5, extra vehicle
  • Reservations: First come, first served. No sites can be reserved at this campground.
  • Directions: From Stanley, Idaho, drive south 18 miles on State Road 75. Turn right at the sign for Pettit Lake and travel two more miles, taking a right at the T in the road.
  • Facilities: Accessible vault toilets, drinking water.
  • Nearby: Hike the 16-mile Tin Cup Trail. Boat or fish Pettit Lake, the ramp is a half-mile from the campground.

Fishing/Boating

In most streams and lakes of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area you'll find cutthroat, rainbow, brook and bull trout, grayling and whitefish. Whitefish are active winter feeders, thereby extending the fishing season. A sand boat ramp is available for watercraft launches.

Hiking - Tin Cup Trail

There are several trails, which begin at the lake and take hikers further in the Sawtooth Mountains. The most popular and well known hiking trail in the area is the Toxaway Loop – also known as the Tin Cup Trail. This trail is a stunning hike placing the hiker in the heart of the Sawtooths.

  • Distance – 18 miles round trip
  • Elevation gain – 2400 ft.
  • Hiking time – 8.5 hours
  • Trail type – loop
  • Difficulty - moderate

Although fast packers may make this loop in a long day, there are enough natural features to keep one entertained for two nights or even three.

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