Birding · Fishing · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
The hike to these four lakes crosses a number of streams and passes through beautiful wildflower meadows. The lakes are nestled in beautiful alpine basins with impressive talus backdrops with mid-summer wildflowers along the trail.
From Ketchum, drive north on Highway 75 to the Baker Creek Road; turn left until the Norton Creek sign and drive right about 1.5 miles to the trailhead. Cross Norton Creek on a newly-built bridge and head right up the steep trail. The trail is above a deep gorge of Norton Creek and on the right is a high ridge. With luck, mountain goats can be viewed here.
There are three small creek crossings along the trail to the lower Norton Lake. Along the route, there are switchbacks, long sloping meadows with wildflowers and wonderful views of the high canyon walls. The trail from the Lower Lake follows the creek for 200 feet to Upper Norton Lake.
To start the loop towards Big Lost Lake, hike up a steep scree slope on the north side of Lower Norton Lake to a saddle and then hike down to Big Lost Lake. The trail moves along the lake to a rocky ledge with spectacular views. Then hike down to Smoky Lake, a wonderful spot to stop for lunch.
The trail continues down from Smoky Lake along a stream, traverses downhill with switchbacks and dense forest before rejoining the Norton Lake Trail back to the trailhead.
Flora & Fauna
Wildflowers are abundant during July and August - Mariposa Lily, Lupine, Larkspur, Idaho bluebell, Scarlet Paintbrush, Western Columbine
With luck, Mountain Goats can be seen at the beginning of the hike on the rocky slopes on the right of the trail.
Shared By: Josh Kleinman