Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Coffin Lakes Trail

Today we set out on a day hiking adventure with the dogs.  Coffin Lakes Trail is a 12 mile out and back trail located near Henry's Lake State Park, ID.  To get to the trailhead we drove east on US-20 about 7 miles then turned onto Denny Creek Road which eventually turned to forest service gravel road for the last 10 miles.

The trail begins in a fairly open meadow near Hebgen Lake.  When we arrived there were quite a few open range cattle hanging around the trailhead parking area.  They seemed pretty interested in watching us pack up our gear for the hike. 
Curious cattle

Frankie keeping the cows at bay

The beginning of the hike is a gentle upward climb on easy to follow path through sagebrush meadows and fir and pine forest.  

A few miles in the trail climbs further into the mountains becoming thick forest and a calf-burning elevation gain of 1900 ft. begins.  We crossed several tiny streams and at one point the trees parted to reveal an impressive cliff ridge line.

The hike ends at 6 miles by popping out of the trees at a beautiful clear mountain lake set against the backdrop of high mountain cliff ridges.  Right away we spotted several cutthroat trout milling around in the cold clear water.  A good sign!

We hiked up a steep little incline to get a better view and sat to enjoyed our lunch on a large rock overlooking Lower Coffin Lake.

A perfect spot for lunch

Lilly was slightly disappointed by my snack choice of wasabi almonds
After lunch it was time for both dogs to do a little swimming and for Jason to try and catch one of those pretty trout we could see swimming around in the lake.


  1. This Coffin Lakes trail looks really nice. Love your descriptions. Really helpful and interesting. I'd love to do this, but not sure about the 1900 ft calls burning Elv gain. How many hours did it take?

  2. All together the hike took us about 7 hours, three hours to get 6 miles up the hill. It was a climb, but not too bad. There are a lot of switchbacks and we took some short breaks to catch our breath going up.