Boise National Forest

Clear Creek Summit Trail

This popular non-motorized trail provides access to the heart of the Red Mountain recommended wilderness area and many alpine lakes. After leaving the trailhead, the trail follows the old Clear Creek Road for an easy ascent through spruce bottomlands. The trail leaves the creek at a bridge crossing Rough Creek and begins a steep climb into a Douglas-fir forest with meadow openings of bunchgrasses and wildflowers. At 7500 feet in elevation, the Red Mountain Trail takes off to the north on an open hillside. Continuing up the trail, the forest becomes mostly lodgepole pine along the final easy stretch to the trail end at the Kirkham Ridge Trail junction. From this point there are not designated trails to the Red Mountain Lakes. However, two "Lake Access" signs are posted to help users navigate into the lakes on non-maintained trails. These signs are posted at the Clear Creek Trail/Kirkham Ridge Trails junction and .75 miles northeast of the junction on the left side (north) of the Kirkham Ridge Trail. A portion of the Red Mountain Lakes and most of the Cat Lakes area was burned in the 2006 Red Mountain Fire. If you plan an overnight stay in the backcountry, please practice Leave No Trace backcountry camping techniques. The Red Mountain Trailhead/Transfer Camp also provides a primitive camping spot with a restroom, picnic tables, fire pits and hitching posts. The trail is maintained annually by the Lowman Ranger District Trail Crew.