Boise National Forest

Caton Lake Trail

The first part of this trail is the upper portion of Ditch Creek Trail. Approximately 0.7 miles from the trailhead, the unsigned 0.3 mile Rainbow Lake Trail splits off to the left. In another 1.8 miles, the trail junctions with the Caton Lake Trail. From the Ditch Creek/Caton Lake Trail junction to Caton Lake is 5 miles, and another 0.8 miles to the boundary of the Boise and Payette National Forests. The trail weaves in and out of trees, large open wet areas, and meadows. After climbing slightly, the trail drops gently for several miles. The trail then passes through Caton Meadows, climbs to a low saddle, and drops sharply to Caton Lake. From its intersection with Ditch Creek Trail, this trail has long rocky sections interrupted only by large wet areas. Approximately 1.5 miles before Caton Lake, the trail crosses a huge grassy meadow. Beyond the meadow, the trail sneaks back into the trees, running up a small rocky drainage to the top of a ridge. After descending the wooded ridge for approximately .75 mile, the trail begins to switchback down the side of the ridge. After several switchbacks, the trail splits. The left split drops quickly in steep, narrow switchbacks to the south end of the lake where there are no campsites. The right split gradually sidehills down to the north end of the lake where there are several campsites. Caton Lake is quite large and seemingly deep, and sits in a narrow canyon. From Caton Lake, the trail continues north to a crossing of Caton Creek which is the boundary of the Boise and Payette National Forests.