Sawtooths - Off Trail Route Plan


Jan 22, 2023
Hey all,

I'm new to this forum but figured I would inquire about a trip I'm currently planning in the Sawtooths this summer (dates still undecided). I'm new to the Sawtooths, but through playing around on Google Earth I found a decent looking off trail route, and I'm curious if anybody is familiar with the area. I'm looking to go from Goat Lake, up the drainage to the saddle next to Thompson Peak, over a ridge and down towards a few unnamed ponds as shown below:Screen Shot 2023-01-22 at 3.59.54 PM.png

From here, the route goes up the valley through Stevens Lakes and towards the obvious saddle, before going over the last ridge to Baron Lakes.

The rest of the route is on trail. Does anyone have familiarity with this route? I'm mainly concerned with the terrain around the high points around Thompson Peak shown in the map screenshot, as well as how bad these sections are with lingering snow, if we choose to go earlier in the season. Additionally, how bad is the bushwacking by Stevens Lakes? I would probably stay as high as possible through this area to avoid losing elevation.

I'd be interested in everyone's feedback on this as well. I've been looking at this routing for years and haven't ever actually done it.
I'd be interested in everyone's feedback on this as well. I've been looking at this routing for years and haven't ever actually done it.
Larryboy, my route would be a piece of cake for you....... It was a nice trip, I'd do it again.
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Here is a u tube slide show of that trip. Started at Iron Creek, goes by Goat Lk , Thompson Pass, Baron Lakes and trail is about 5:20.

Above Goat lk is asnowfield then scattered snow to below Thompson Pass. A Large steep drift at Thompson Pass, we shimmied up along the snow and the rock on the side.. Other side of Thompson all the way over to just above the large lake (Stephens) @ 4:13 at about 8900 feet is all loose talus. Stephens lk has fish. From there is scattered timber, rock with one small rocky pass to go over, then timber to the main trail.

@Bob I just watched your wonderful video. Such beautiful scenery and great weather - wow! The picture at 2:51 made it very clear why they're called the Sawtooths!

I like the way you created your slideshow with labels and occasionally changing the transition style from one photo to the next. I want to make a video for our friends after our recent Winds trip, and I got some good ideas from you. Thanks. :)
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I love that pic as well...Its on my Sawtooth photo book cover. Cant remeber the program I used.... itsolder, lke 15 years. May be something better now.
Just finished this trip this week. Incredible trip, really wild and definitely a little uncomfortable coming down from the high pass. Trip report to follow shortly
Post your route as well........ and plenty of pics
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