Idaho is what America was!

Snowshoe or Hike To The Langer Lake Complex!

This is a sensational hike with relatively easy access, a long daytrip and perfect for a weekend back packing trip. There are 4 or 5 lakes with tons of great camp sites. The fishing is great with some of the lakes holding numerous 8-10 inch trout and others with some real lunkers. At least two of the lakes have fish in the 20 inch range. This shot was taken on memorial day weekend in a low snow year in about 2007. I thought we would be able to easily hike in but there ended up being 3 feet of snow most of the way. We were able to hike on top of it and made it but only found 2 small spots that were snow free for camping! Needless to say the fishing was not great that early, but Noah and I took turns reading Harry Potter  aloud to each other and had a great time. This lake is Island Lake with Roughneck Peak in the back ground. There is a great day hike to the lookout on top of Roughneck peak. You can do a through hike and come out at Dagger Falls. That requires 2 vehicles and a lot more vertical, but takes you down the upper Middle Fork of the Salmon which is a trip in and of itself.

The Hike

About 3-4 miles depending on which lake you end up choosing, one way. The trail starts out climbing 800 feet in the first mile and a half. It then flattens out and is rolly polly for the last couple of miles. At about 2.5-3 miles you can leave trail and cut right to Rocky Lake, or continue on for 1/2 mile to Langer Lake. The cliff camp spot around the left side of Langer is the best spot on Langer to camp. Continue on for 1/2 mile past frog pond to Island Lake. There is a great camp spot where the Roughneck Peak photo was taken. There is another small lake on down and another up the trail to the look out, but it is pretty desolate and rocky from a camping perspective.

Getting There

Take Highway 21 like you are headed to Stanley. Over Banner summit, past turn to Bear Valley about 3 miles, turn left on the Seafoam/Capehorn road. Take first right and cross Marsh Creek bridge. Then take immediate left on Seafoam road. (This road is one of Idaho's true backcountry byways, if you have the gas and the tires you can traverse the edge of the Frank Church Wilderness and find pavement again at the mouth of the Yankee Fork 25 miles from Stanley.  If you go right you will eventually climb up and over Pinyon peak and drop down into the headwaters of Loon Creek, up to Yankee Fork and eventually end up in either Stanley or Challis for gas.) We are going left at approximately 4 miles, follow signs to Seafoam and Josephine lakes. Travel another distance which I am guessing is about 5 miles. Right where the road switches back and really starts to climb is the trailhead with a small parking area including a memorial to Langer and others that perished here in WWII air plane crash. Have fun, be safe, feel free to call if you have questions. 208-284-9905

Posted by Mike and Erica Carr on
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