Sawtooth Wilderness, ID - 8 Day Solo Hike August 2017 + Solar Eclipse

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In August 2017 I set out on an 8 day solo hike in the Sawtooth Wilderness of Idaho (link to my very detailed blog post with tons of pictures).

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I created a High Route that included several days of off trail hiking and some remote sections of the wilderness:

Click here to view on CalTopo
Here's a breakdown of the route I hiked:

Day 1 - Pettit Lake to Alice Lake
Day 2 - Alice Lake to Heart Lake
Day 3 - Heart Lake to Lower Cramer Lake
Day 4 - Lower Cramer Lake to Lower Baron Lake
Day 5 - Lower Baron Lake to Lower Bead Lake
Day 6 - Lower Bead Lake to Packrat Lake
Day 7 - Packrat Lake to Hanging Valley
Day 8 - Hanging Valley to Pettit Lake

I had already begin to plan this trip when I learned about the total solar eclipse that just so happened to be passing right through the exact area I was hiking. I had initially planned on viewing the eclipse from Reward Peak, but I realized there was no way I was going to reach it in the time I had allotted from Cramer Lakes. Instead I headed over to Baron Pass which I just barely made it to before the eclipse.

View a time lapse of the total solar eclipse here:

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Bob

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Backside the normal divide is the best......
 
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Enjoyed going through your report from your blog. I have yet to actually get into the Sawtooth Range, despite having hiked other areas in Idaho before...I did, with a lot of extensive study last year, plan a custom route through the range that's an interesting "thru-hike style" trip. Starting at one area of the range and packing about 60 miles to another point, some on trail and some off trail. My route is focused on exploration with peak-bagging along the way that gets out into some pretty remote country out there (sometimes in very unfrequented parts of the range). Planning my Sawtooth Range adventure for one of my big trips for 2018 (in addition to Gannett Peak in Wyoming); was originally going to do it this year but the exceptionally high snow levels of the 2016/2017 winter and other commitments later in the season prevented me from being able to follow my route (too many dangerous stream crossings with high water, etc.). For my trip I'd be starting at the Queens River TH and ending at the Redfish Lake TH/Parking area a week later, with 6 - 7 peaks aimed for along the way. A lot of planning to figure out that course just from topo maps and what scanty trip report data I could find along the way....Car shuttle's about 4-5 hours to set-up between the start and end points, but the interest and challenge of the route looks awesome. :)

Your trip seemed to have some similarities where you had to do a lot of route-finding along the way and planning without knowing the area firsthand; looks like it was a good time. :)
 
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I accidentally deleted the video I originally posted here in this trip report from youtube. The original video had no commentary, which apparently most people want(???), so I edited it again to include the commentary and re-uploaded it again...

Sawtooths Wilderness, ID Hiking - 8 Day Backpacking High Route:
Annotation 2019-01-10 154046.jpg


Enjoyed going through your report from your blog. I have yet to actually get into the Sawtooth Range, despite having hiked other areas in Idaho before...I did, with a lot of extensive study last year, plan a custom route through the range that's an interesting "thru-hike style" trip. Starting at one area of the range and packing about 60 miles to another point, some on trail and some off trail. My route is focused on exploration with peak-bagging along the way that gets out into some pretty remote country out there (sometimes in very unfrequented parts of the range). Planning my Sawtooth Range adventure for one of my big trips for 2018 (in addition to Gannett Peak in Wyoming); was originally going to do it this year but the exceptionally high snow levels of the 2016/2017 winter and other commitments later in the season prevented me from being able to follow my route (too many dangerous stream crossings with high water, etc.). For my trip I'd be starting at the Queens River TH and ending at the Redfish Lake TH/Parking area a week later, with 6 - 7 peaks aimed for along the way. A lot of planning to figure out that course just from topo maps and what scanty trip report data I could find along the way....Car shuttle's about 4-5 hours to set-up between the start and end points, but the interest and challenge of the route looks awesome. :)

Your trip seemed to have some similarities where you had to do a lot of route-finding along the way and planning without knowing the area firsthand; looks like it was a good time. :)
I was looking at the Queens River TH too but since I was alone and doing a loop, the Pettit Lake TH just worked better for my route. Your point to point style route would probably make life much easier. I had never hitchhiked before 2018 on the CDT, but now would consider doing that at the end of a point to point route to open up more options.

Also, I had this route planned (in case it's any help to you or anyone else) but ended up doing a bit shorter version. I'd still like to go for the route I created, especially in the northern section.

Click here to view on CalTopo
 

Wanderlust073

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Ahh I wondered why you uploaded it again. Didn’t realize the commentary was new (and do like it)
 
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Ahh I wondered why you uploaded it again. Didn’t realize the commentary was new (and do like it)
Yeah kind of a long story on that one. I accidentally deleted the original video from youtube a few weeks ago. I got a Chromecast for Christmas, and was playing the Sawtooths video on my TV. I didn't realize I was logged in to the account tied to my youtube channel. I was in the chromecast playlist queue on my phone and hit delete, thinking I was deleting the video from the playlist queue. Nope, permanently deleted from youtube! There was no message saying "Permanently delete?" or anything... it just said "delete, yes/no". Why would anyone ever want the ability to delete a video permanently from youtube while playing it in a playlist queue? I don't know, but I was pretty upset about that for a while. There's no way to contact youtube unless you're a big shot. I decided to add in the commentary (as this seems to be what people want to see on youtube) before I re-uploaded it again.

Going through that video again just makes me want to get back out to the Sawtooths again. That really was an awesome hike. I keep looking at the northern end of the route on the caltopo map two posts above, and how awesome it'd be to get up in there. Someday.
 

Wanderlust073

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I’ve been watching some of mine and getting fired up to get back out too, lol. Just hard to trade ski time for anything else. Need to invest in a touring setup and combine it with some winter backpacking.

Where are you based out of?
 
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I'm in Michigan, northern Lower Peninsula at the moment. Wrapping up some projects here and then going to start thinking about where to move out west in a couple months. Somewhere in the Rockies, I hope.

Just be glad you have snow to ski on. I've only skied on landfills and pathetically small hills here in Michigan. That's if we even get enough snow, or it stays long enough to ski at all. I can only imagine skiing on some of the mountains we climb in the summer!
 

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