Trail Length: 6.31 miles (roundtrip)
Trailhead Elevation: 5,964’
Snowslide Lake: 7,247′
Pass Elevation: 7,918′
Elevation Gain: +2,040’
Trailhead Location: From downtown McCall, take Park Street to Davis Street to Forest Road (FR) 48 (Lick Creek Road). From downtown McCall, it is about 15 miles to the Snowslide Lake trailhead. The road can be rough, but it’s generally passable for any vehicle.
I had the opportunity to spend a few days in the McCall, Idaho area recently visiting a good friend and his family and doing several hikes in the area. I always enjoy hiking in new areas and seeing different mountains other than the Colorado Rockies. Only days before I arrived in Idaho, there were some forest fires quite near to McCall and much of the surrounding forest lands had been closed due to fire danger. However, they received quite a bit of rain on the Thursday before I arrived and on my first day there, Saturday, it rained the entire day which was good news for the fires. It certainly helped put out the fires and clear the smoke from the area. We awoke Sunday morning to the clouds clearing over Payette Lake, a dusting of snow on the peaks, and the sun peaking out. It was looking like it was going to be a good day for hiking!
Our first hike took us to Snowslide Lake in the Lick Creek Mountains. The Lick Creek range is a subrange of the Salmon River Mountains in Payette National Forest. The plan was to hike to Snowslide Lake and then continue up to a ridge and head on up to the summit of Snowslide Peak. We drove to the trailhead and headed up the trail. The trail climbed steeply from Lake Fork Creek up a rocky trail.
The clouds continued to clear and the views soon opened up the higher we climbed.
As we continued up, there was actually an inch of two of snow on the trail.
After 1.5 miles of climbing, we came to the lake.
We continued up from the lake, hiking up a steep and snowy slope. We had great views looking back down on Snowslide Lake.
A shot of my friend Brian (whom I hadn’t seen in over 8 years) and I with Snowslide Lake in the background.
A view over to the route we would have come down from Snowslide Peak (we ended up deciding not to hike all the way to the top of Snowslide Peak because of the amount of snow).
We arrived at Snowslide Pass and had great views including the rugged canyon of the East Fork of Lake Fork Creek as well as many 8,000-foot peaks across the horizon.
A view of Fitsum Peak (8.737’) Brian told me they always call this peak Mt. Horrendous because it’s such a god-awful long hike to get there. Another friend of his also called it Mt. Horrendous as they remember hiking through a boulder field with rocks the size of VW bugs to get to the summit!
After having lunch and taking in the views from Snowslide Pass, we decided to make our way back down the steep and slippery trail.
Another shot of Snowslide Lake.
The map of our route to Snowslide Lake and Snowslide Pass.
It was a great hike and the snow added to the beauty!