I have been to quite a few places in the Sawtooths and every time I go I fall even more in love with them. The rugged beauty of the mountains and the abundance of lakes as well as the absence of people depending on where you go.
Arctic Grayling Honey Hole
This was one of those last minute trips that seemed to work out pretty well. I have been wanting to check out the Alpine Creek Lakes drainage since I saw a picture of them in Backpacker Magazine a few years ago. What I have read on them was that not many people go to them since they don't have a well-maintained trail to them, unlike the rest of the Sawtooths.
Alpine Creek Lakes drainage is split into two different drainages, left and right. We decided on the right drainage for the time being. Looking at the right drainage from a distance there are 4 prominent lakes; Alpine Creek Lake #14, #15, #13 and #11. But as you look closer the whole drainage is peppered with smaller lakes/ponds making the lake count up into the 20s. Idaho Fish and Game have stocked many of these lakes in the past 10-15 years with Golden, Rainbow, Cutthroat and Arctic Grayling. However, we only came across Arctic Grayling and a few Rainbow/Cutthroat Hybrids.
Left Drainage of Alpine Creek Lakes
We just did an overnight trip since we had to work the following day but we were able to hit 15 lakes, catch numerous Grayling ranging from 10 to 14 inches from the lakes as well as the streams and eventually peaking out to some amazing views of Sawtooths with lakes scattered everywhere. Even with a handful of backpacking and overnight trips into the Sawtooths, I feel like I have only scratched the surface.