Blue Lake Trail

West Mountain Trail near Blue Lake

Blue Lake Trail is a short but steep hike to Blue Lake, offering beautiful panoramic views, of Long Valley, Lake Cascade and the lake, from the road before you get to the trailhead.  The trail provides approximately 1.3 miles of easy to moderate hiking.  The tread is singletrack with a vertical gain and loss of 549 feet. The lake offers easy shore access for easy access to fishing. From the trailhead, the hike is 1.3 miles to the lake.  When you arrive at the lake, you may want to continue along the trail around the lake for about 3 miles. Part way around the lake is a beautiful little waterfall. The cirque basin shows off spring wildflowers and the trail is open to non-motorized travel only.

The road to Blue Lake opens on June 1, but the trail will likely still be covered with snow until mid-June.  

There is a parking area and bathroom at the trailhead and it is about a 1 mile hike downhill to the lake, which can be seen from the start point.  The hike is fifteen minutes to the lake and about 45 minutes back as it is a drop/rise of close to 1600 feet in elevation.

Blue Lake Trail is only a trail not a campground. No reservations are possible, and please be aware there is no bathroom facilities at the lake.  The trail is one of the most popular destinations within the Cascade Ranger District and sees very heavy traffic during the entire summer. Expect lots of other people hiking with you. 

Potters Pond is located right across the dirt road from the trailhead and has a few very popular camping sites. There is access to the bathroom. Again no reservations.  


At a Glance

Current Conditions: The Blue Lake Trail and Snowbank Road #446 gate normally opens June 1.  Gate is locked November 16.
Operational Hours: Gate normally opens June 1.
Closest Towns: Cascade, Idaho

General Information

General Notes:

The Blue lake Trailhead is a two-acre site with restroom and hitching racks.


From Cascade, Idaho: Travel Cabarton Road 6.3 miles (to a big red barn) where Cabarton Road intersects with Forest Service (FS) Road 446, also called Snowbank Road.

Turn right. Proceed along FS Road 446 about 10 miles up the gravel road toward the Federal Radar site. You will see a small pond on the right. The trailhead parking is on the left.

Check with the Cascade Ranger District for dates in spring when the gate is opened. 208-382-7400.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Day Hiking

A great day hike with beautiful views.

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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