Backpacking the Alice Toxaway Loopis one of the most popular routes in the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho. The main loop can be done in either direction and is 18 miles RT. Many people choose to do this in one day, others 2 nights, 3 days, or what we did - 5 nights, 6 days! There really are endless possibilities for however long you want to stay. This route passes through giant forests, tall, sharp peaks, steams, and of course, several lakes with the two most popular being Alice Lake and Toxaway Lake. Because we had a whole week, we not only did the main loop but also ventured over to Edna Lake and Imogene Lake plus bagged a small, unnamed peak.
Shelly Baldy Peak (11, 321 ft) is one of the many prominent peaks located in the Tushar Mountains within Fishlake National Forest. This one is for the peak baggers however, while Shelly Baldy Peak (SBP) isn't even in the top 5 for the tallest peaks in the Tushars, the easy North ridge approach at only 2 miles one way offers amazing 360 degree views. Follow the Mud Lake trail for 1 mile, then veer off trail and catch the ridge all the way for the last mile over unbalanced loose rock.
Blue Lake is located in the Tushar Mountains at the base of Mt.Belknap and Mt.Baldy. This turquoise blue lake has a flood control structure on the outlet, and is rimmed with downed trees. Most people haven't seen the lake full, yet the hike down it it offers amazing views of both peaks, as well as takes you through a variety of terrain - from forested sections to obvious avalanche paths, all while crossing streams.
Salt Creek Canyon Falls is a family-friendly hike in the Mt.Nebo Wilderness that even dogs can hike to! It's great for all ages, making this a popular hike in summer. You won't find solitude here, however, playing in the water is very refreshing! The trail is only 1.5 miles to reach the falls so it's a great quick hike if you're short on time; if you have all or half a day, then bring your backpacking chair, drinks, sunblock, and hang out for awhile! Be aware that ranchers do run their cattle up here randomly and therefore cow patties are often present. This trail does get hot, but if you plan to play in the water it's not that bad. Just bring plenty of water to drink.
Haystack Mountain (10,985 ft) is a long, prominent ridge in the High Uintas, easily accessed from the Crystal Lake Trailhead. Not to be confused with this Haystack Mountain in the LaSal Mountains near Moab, this one is much easier and shorter! The Haystack ridge extends for a full 3 miles and is one of the easiest peaks to bag in the Uintas - you follow a trail for the first two miles, then leave the trail for the last 1.75 miles. It's really easy cross-country hiking with very gently boulder hopping - a great intro to some of the harder Uintas peaks with bigger boulders. You get great views of the entire Washington/Trial Lakes area to the North, plus 360 views of the other surrounding areas.