Hell Roaring to Imogene Lake – Braving the Rain and the Road

Imogene Lake – this looked like one of the primer camping spots in the Sawtooths. Not only stunningly beautiful, but also not nearly as crowded as nearby Alice Lake. Just an overnight trip, we were looking do our usual escape of Boise and head to the mountains. However, waking up on Saturday morning revealed a rainy forecast, but we decided to make the trek as it was supposed to end before sunset. We arrived in Stanley to scattered storms, braved the art festival traffic, and set off on our hike to Imogene just as the rain began. We passed Hell Roaring Lake and admired the famous finger of fate shrouded among rain clouds. Just as we arrived to our destination, the rain ended and the clouds parted bathing the wilderness in glorious golden light.

Note: We visited Imogene and the Hell Roaring and Imogene Lake area several more times over the years, and have added more photos below.

Arriving to the lake just after a storm made for crisp, clear light filtering through the forest.
Arriving to the lake just after a storm made for crisp, clear light filtering through the forest.
Beautiful rock bluffs lined the side of the lake we decided to call home for the night.
Beautiful rock bluffs lined the side of the lake we decided to call home for the night.
Payette Peak at 10,211′ towers over Imogene Lake.
Payette Peak at 10,211′ towers over Imogene Lake.
Peak 9955 in the center and Payette Peak on the right.
Peak 9955 in the center and Payette Peak on the right.
Imogene Lake, Sawtooth Wilderness, Idaho, mountains
July light at Imogene Lake in the Sawtooth Wilderness.
Imogene Lake, shoreline, summer, backpacking, Sawtooth Wilderness, Idaho
Summer light on the shore of Imogene.
Evening fog rolling through one of the many beautiful valleys in the Sawtooth Wilderness.
Evening fog rolling through one of the many beautiful valleys in the Sawtooth Wilderness.
Crisp light illuminates the grass and old trees at the lake's outflow.
Crisp light illuminates the grass and old trees at the lake’s outflow.
Peak 9955 reflecting its beauty onto Imogene.
Peak 9955 reflecting its beauty onto Imogene.

Payette Morning

Morning hammock session by the shore.
Morning hammock session by the shore.
Fog rises above the trail over the lakes’ outflow.
Fog rises above the trail over the lakes’ outflow.
Payette Peak reflected on a summer morning.
Payette Peak reflected on a summer morning.
A beam of sunlight illuminates a boquet of Jerusalem artichoke covered in morning dew.
A beam of sunlight illuminates a boquet of Jerusalem artichoke covered in morning dew.
Hiking out of Imogene Lake.
Hiking out of Imogene Lake.
Taking one last look at the alpine structure of the Sawtooth Mountains.
Taking one last look at the alpine structure of the Sawtooth Mountains.
Hiking towards Hell Roaring Lake.
Hiking towards Hell Roaring Lake.
An island in Imogene Lake is illuminated before sunset.
An island in Imogene Lake is illuminated before sunset.
Rocky beaches make for great swimming spots.
Rocky beaches make for great swimming spots.
Payette Peak, Imogene Lake backpacking, Sawtooth Wilderness, Idaho
Payette Peak (10,221′) in the Sawtooth Wilderness.
Hiking buddies.
Hiking buddies.
Imogene Lake Waterfall, Sawtooth Wilderness, backpacking, Idaho
A waterfall near the inlet of Imogene Lake in the Sawtooths.
Who wouldn't want to swim in the waterfall?
Who wouldn’t want to swim in the waterfall?
Traversing the lake inlet.
Traversing the lake inlet.
Backpacking over the waterfall coming from Imogene Lake.
The trail surrounds Imogene Lake.
The trail surrounds Imogene Lake.
Driving down from Hell Roaring Lake.
Driving down from Hell Roaring Lake.

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