Twenty Mile Lakes Basin Idaho Sep 1 - 4 2010

A few friends and I went into the the Twenty Mile Lakes Basin just east of Upper Payette Lake, north of McCall Idaho.

Here are a few good web sites.

  • Picasa Web Album with a few pictures taken during the week. Zoom in a little and drag your mouse around the map. I like this map because you can link the pictures at the location where they were taken.
  • US Forest Service Payette National Forest site. Forest service info.
  • google earth image shows the hike we wanted to do (yellow) and the hike we actually did (blue). I underestimated the difficulty of bushwhacking without a trail and the steepness. We did hike to the seldon visited Storm Peak Lake and enjoyed the views from the top of Storm Peak.
  • topo of the basin (medium sized).
  • another topo of the basin (medium sized).
  • topo of the whole area (very large).

    On thing we noticed about the USGS topo trail to the basin is that the main trail does not end at Long Lake, rather it ends at North Lake. There is one nice camp site right at the end of the trail and another site on the north east side of the lake. The north east site is more secluded, bigger, and shadier. We were actually happy to be in the sun.

    Here are annotated pictures and videos from the hike.

    The trail head is right off the main Warren Wagon Road just east of Upper Payette Lake. The trail is practically flat for the first three miles. The turnoff to the basin is well marked and from there ascends steeply through areas of dense brush and recovering burned areas.

    The fishing was excellent in all the basin lakes, except North Lake, the one where we camped. We were catching many healthy rainbows, cutthroat, and hybrids ranging in sizes from 12in to 18in. Only Darrell fished in Storm Peak Lake and he said it was the best fishing he has had in any high mountain lake.

    The ground squirrels were friendly and even aggressive. One got in Darrell's coat and inside the liner and became trapped in the insulation. It generated a lot excitement in camp. No animal was harmed in the rescue operation.

    Useful links

    Leave No Trace.