Redfish Cabin

Redfish Lake Road

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Overview

A stay at the historic Redfish Cabin is like having your own private Idaho! Nestled in the trees above the northern shore of Redfish Lake at an elevation of 6,570 feet, the historic (Civilian Conservation Corps 1930's era) cabin offers a perfect getaway for a small family or group of friends. The cabin is warm and cozy, the views are breathtaking, recreation opportunities abound and starry nights provide a gateway to heaven. And you can share it all with your canine family member.

The Sawtooth National Recreation Area was established in 1972 for its natural, scenic, historic, pastoral, and fish and wildlife values. Redfish Lake is by far the most popular location in the area; however, a fall or winter visit provides a totally different experience than the "Cony Island" atmosphere of summer. Available only in the fall and winter, this is a special time of year where few visitors come to enjoy the beauty and solitude of the lake and surrounding mountain peaks.

Recreation

The cabin provides easy access to a variety of recreation opportunities. In the fall, trailheads to Bench Lakes, Redfish Creek, Fishhook Creek, and Marshall Lake, all within half a mile of the cabin, offer access to fabulous hiking or horseback riding. Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing on un-groomed trails near the lake offer excellent opportunities for winter recreation. Quick access to the groomed Stanley to Smiley Creek snowmobile route affords motorized recreation opportunities. Whether its photography, bird watching, climbing a mountain or sitting by the fire with a book, there's an activity for all.

Facilities

Redfish cabin can accommodate three people on a log bunk bed/futon (single mattress above, double mattress below). More people can sleep on the floor in sleeping bags (bring your own bags and pads) for a maximum of six persons.

Winter access (after November 30) is a 2.25 mile snowmobile, snowshoe or ski along the gently climbing Forest Road 214.

The cabin is equipped with electric lights. The heat source is a gas fireplace in the living room and electric wall heaters. The kitchen features an electric stove, refrigerator, microwave, coffee pot, pots and pans, dishes and utensils. There is no running water. There is an outhouse 50 feet from the cabin. There are picnic tables and a fire ring at the cabin although these might be buried under the snow in the winter.

The front porch offers stunning views of the Sawtooth Wilderness and Redfish Lake.

Natural Features

Named for the brilliant sockeye salmon that return each year after a 900 mile journey from the sea, Redfish Lake is the largest lake in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. These fish were in such numbers that it's said the lake would shimmer red. Now endangered, most of the sockeye returning to the lake are bred in the nearby Sawtooth Fish Hatchery.

The 217,000 acre Sawtooth Wilderness provides the backdrop for this dramatic setting, including the peaks which frame the lake at its south end: Mount Heyburn at 10,229' (3,118 m) and Grand Mogul at 9,733' (2967 m). Known for clear air, clean water and classic alpine beauty, this wilderness is home to a diversity of wildlife including bald eagles, osprey, elk and deer, gray wolf, mountain goat, and the elusive wolverine.

Prehistoric hunters inhabited the Redfish Lake area as early as 9,500 years ago, using the Redfish rock shelter as cover while they hunted elk, deer, antelope, mammoth, bison and, later, fished for salmon.

Nearby Attractions

The nearby small town of Stanley (5 miles north) provides a rural western atmosphere with limited amenities including lodging, dining, fuel and groceries in winter. To the south, Smiley Creek Lodge (25 miles) offers a restaurant, lodging and snowmobile rentals. Popular activities in the Sawtooth Valley this time of year include hunting, hiking, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and hot springing along the Salmon River.

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Adventures Nearby

  • Hike to Thompson Peak

    The Sawtooths are known for its craggy shapes protruding from central Idaho. Although the hike to Thompson Peak isn't necessarily a rare or tremendously physical feat, it's a proud, boastful moment bagging the tallest peak in the range. Here's the...

    13 miles 4200 ft gain

  • Hike Fishhook Creek

    This easy hike starts off from the dirt parking lot near Redfish Lake Lodge. Two small footpaths lead away from the far end of the parking lot crossing the road to the lodge just down to the left. The right trail will take you straight to the Fis...

    5 miles 300 ft gain

  • Hike to Bench Lakes

    This hike is great for anyone wanting to experience a scenic trail and peaceful alpine lakes. The five Bench Lakes are a chain of lakes draining from Mt. Heyburn. Park in the dirt parking lot across from the Fishhook Creek Trailhead near Redfish L...

    8.2 miles