Enos Lake Idaho Sep 5 - 8, 2012

Darrell, Mark and I hiked to Enos Lake Basin September 5, 2012. Enos Lake is about 25 miles north east of McCall, Idaho. The route we took started at the Split Creek trailhead. We drove north east out of McCall on Lick Creek road about 20 miles. It is a fairly good, graded, gravel road. The Split Creek trail travels north for 6 miles until it Crosses Enos Creek. After that, there is a faint, unmaintained trail following the Enos Creek drainage up to the Lake. The Enos Lake trail is not on the map. We never actually found where the Enos Lake trail meets the Split Creek trail, but we are fairly sure it is on the north west side of Enos Creek. We turned off the Split Creek trail on the south east side of Enos Creek and spent a lot of time and effort looking for a trail. When the landscape finally forced us to cross over Enos Creek, that is when we found the trail to Enos Lake.
Here is a map from the gps showing roughly the trail we followed from Enos Lake back to the Split Creek trail - Enos Lake trail. We saw no other hikers or campers for the entire trip.

Here are a few good web sites.

The Road

The road to the trailhead is a fairly good, graded, gravel road. Take Lick Creek road north east from McCall about 25 miles to get to the trailhead. There is a parking lot and campground on the south side of the road. The trailhead leaves from the north side of the road.

The Trail

The Split Creek trail is fairly easy going for most of the 6 miles until it meets Enos Creek. It is somewhat maintained, but there are still many downed trees covering the trail. After that, the trail to Enos Lake is for experts only. We think there is an obvious turnoff from Split Creek trail to the Enos Lake trail, but we never found it. We were fortunate to find an unmaintaned, and little used trail on the north west side of Enos Creek (see this map). At times the trail becomes faint, but with some looking we usually found it again. The trail skirts the north side of the heart shaped lake below Enos Lake and traverses the steep north west approach to Enos Lake. The trail comes right into a campsite on the north east end of the lake. There are several other campsites along the north side of the Lake and one very nice campsite on the south west side of the lake, where I think another trail comes in from Hum Lake.

There is no trail to get to the other lakes in the area. But it is fairly easy to follow the landscape to get to them.

Fishing

Fishing in Enos Lake is excellent. We caught many cutthroat and rainbow trout. Many were 16 inch and bigger. We fished in the unnamed lake just to the west of Enos Lake. Though the trout were not as big as the ones in Enos Lake, the fishing was very exciting. Every single cast brought either a landed fish or four or five strikes. It was the best fishing I've ever had in a high mountain lake. It was simply loaded with hungry cutthroat trout.

Conclusion

This hike is for experts only. It is strenuous and difficult to reach, but the basin is beautiful and the fishing is excellent.

Useful links


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