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Norton-Big Lost Lakes Loop

Intermediate/Difficult
 5.0 (3) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Four major lakes on a loop up Norton Creek.


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Map Key

4.9

Miles

8.0

KM

67%

Runnable

9,246' 2,818 m

High

7,665' 2,336 m

Low

1,596' 486 m

Up

1,596' 487 m

Down

12%

Avg Grade (7°)

32%

Max Grade (17°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Fishing · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

The run to these four lakes crosses a number of streams and passes through beautiful wildflower meadows. The lakes are nestled in beautiful alpine basins with impressive talus backdrops with mid-summer wildflowers along the trail.

Description

From Ketchum, drive north on Highway 75 to the Baker Creek Road; turn left until the Norton Creek sign and drive right about 1.5 miles to the trailhead. Cross Norton Creek on a newly-built bridge and head right up the steep trail. The trail is above a deep gorge of Norton Creek and on the right is a high ridge. With luck, mountain goats can be viewed here.

There are three small creek crossings along the trail to the lower Norton Lake. Along the route, there are switchbacks, long sloping meadows with wildflowers and wonderful views of the high canyon walls. The trail from the Lower Lake follows the creek for 200 feet to Upper Norton Lake.

To start the loop towards Big Lost Lake, run up a steep scree slope on the north side of Lower Norton Lake to a saddle and then run down to Big Lost Lake. The trail moves along the lake to a rocky ledge with spectacular views. Then run down to Smoky Lake, a wonderful spot to stop for lunch.

The trail continues down from Smoky Lake along a stream, traverses downhill with switchbacks and dense forest before rejoining the Norton Lake Trail back to the trailhead.

Flora & Fauna

Wildflowers are abundant during July and August - Mariposa Lily, Lupine, Larkspur, Idaho bluebell, Scarlet Paintbrush, Western Columbine

With luck, Mountain Goats can be seen at the beginning of the run on the rocky slopes on the right of the trail.

Contacts

Shared By:

Josh Kleinman

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 3 votes

#1

in Norton

#829

Overall
  5.0 from 3 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#1

in Norton

#7

in Idaho

#829

Overall
93 Views Last Month
2,890 Since Dec 4, 2019
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Meadow
Jul 26, 2020 near Sun Valley, ID
Lower Norton Lake & Scree trail up to Big Lost Lake
Dec 11, 2019 near Sun Valley, ID
First lake if going clockwise.
Jul 26, 2020 near Sun Valley, ID
Scarlet Paintbrush
Dec 11, 2019 near Sun Valley, ID
Hiking up Talus slope to Big Lost lake
Dec 11, 2019 near Sun Valley, ID
Smoky Lake & Wildflowers
Dec 11, 2019 near Sun Valley, ID

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