Independence Lakes, Idaho, USA

Independence Lakes in Idaho’s Sawtooth National Forest are at the end of one of south central Idaho’s most popular hiking trails in the Albion Mountains. The four tiny alpine lakes require a three-mile hike to reach, but the trail is only moderately difficult and suitable for families with pre-teen children. The trailhead is located not far from a climber’s delight, City of Rocks, and offers the possibility of a trout – READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Independence Lakes! Article topics include:

Looking for Independence Lakes cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Independence Lakes! Article topics include:

Looking for Independence Lakes cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

All About Independence Lakes

Lake Locations: USA - West - Idaho - South Central -

Independence Lakes in Idaho’s Sawtooth National Forest are at the end of one of south central Idaho’s most popular hiking trails in the Albion Mountains. The four tiny alpine lakes require a three-mile hike to reach, but the trail is only moderately difficult and suitable for families with pre-teen children. The trailhead is located not far from a climber’s delight, City of Rocks, and offers the possibility of a trout or Arctic grayling as entree to the usual backpacker’s fare.

The largest lake has about a half-mile of shoreline, and the others are considerably smaller. This unnamed lake, usually referred to as the second lake, receives the benefit of regular stocking by Idaho Fish and Game. Arctic grayling, cutthroat trout and California golden trout have been stocked, but anglers say the lake also contains rainbow trout, largemouth bass and bluegills. The first, or lowest elevation lake, is also reported to hold fish, while the two highest are said to be unproductive for fishermen. Although there are no official statistics for the lakes, depths are reported to vary from 10 to 60 feet.

A small primitive campground at the Independence Lakes trailhead is accessible by car. The campground can be reached most years between July and October and contains pit toilets, picnic tables, grills and livestock corrals. There is no drinking water available. Horse camping is encouraged, but any hay brought in must be certified weed-free to avoid invasive species contamination of the area. As the campsites are handicapped accessible, this is one of a few areas where disabled persons can get off the main highways and enjoy nature. Some hardy backpackers may choose to climb the trail and camp near the lakes themselves but due to rocky terrain and slopes, there are few spots for pitching a tent near the lakes. The trailhead camping area is at about 8000 feet above sea level, and the lakes range in elevation from about 8890 feet to 9200 feet.

From the trailhead, hikers can choose to take the trail in two different directions. One leads to Independence Lakes where confident hikers may climb above the lakes to a ridge and see all four lakes from that vantage point. Most casual hikers go only as far as the larger second lake. If hikers choose to take the Rangers Trail, which branches from the Independence Lakes Trail, they can bear south over a series of switchbacks to the saddle between Green and Grape Creeks, a length of 11 miles. The beginning portion of Rangers Trail is open to motorized vehicles but is too narrow for ATVs. The Independence Lakes Trail is closed to motorized traffic. Both trails are scenic with views of nearby peaks in the Albion Mountain Range.

Visiting Independence Lakes is often part of a longer excursion to nearby City of Rocks National Reserve. This well-known climbers’ destination is actually a historic part of the 1840s Oregon and California trails. Future gold miners were impressed with the extensive spires of rocks in the Circle Creek valley and called them the City of Rocks. The area was a local tourism attraction for many years and became a popular spot for photography and rock climbing. In 1988, City of Rocks was incorporated into the National Parks system. More recently, another group of granite rock spires became a state park five miles to the north of City of Rocks. Known as Castle Rocks, the spires are a prominent feature of the valleys of Little Cove and Almo Creeks. Castle Rocks State Park offers camping facilities, ranger services and facilities for horse camping.

The largest city near Independence Lakes is Burley, Idaho, about 25 miles to the north. The area near Burley and Independence Lakes can form the basis of a complete vacation featuring fishing and watersports on the Snake River, soaking in one of the many family-friendly hot springs or spas, downhill skiing in the Sawtooth Mountains, and hiking on more trails than any trekker could ever hope to traverse. A favorite of bird watchers is the Minidoka National Wildlife Refuge at nearby Lake Walcott, northeast of Burley, where over 40 breeding pairs of white pelicans can be seen. Burley itself offers all amenities: golf courses, movies, eating establishments, outdoor stores and outfitters. and guest facilities. The city holds several parks, including Storybook Park and a skate park. Mountain biking trails are also available in the area.

Campgrounds, guest ranches, private cottages, and small motels in the area cater to tourists. A few bed-and-breakfasts are available. Independence Lakes awaits your fly presentation, so bring your rod and tackle and try to snag one of the Arctic grayling or trout lurking beneath the rocks. Whether you catch anything or not, this will be one of the most scenic vacations of your lifetime. Make sure you bring the camera. There are bound to be so

*All statistics are based on available estimates.

Things to Do at Independence Lakes

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Rock Climbing
  • Biking
  • Downhill Skiing
  • Horseback Riding
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • National Wildlife Refuge
  • State Park
  • National Park
  • National Forest

Fish Species Found at Independence Lakes

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Cutthroat Trout
  • Golden Trout
  • Grayling
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Trout

All About Independence Lakes

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Independence Lakes

The Independence Lakes map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.


More Ways to Book a Independence Lakes Vacation

While our interactive map above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME rental homes (with VRBO) and nearby hotels (with Booking.com), there might be times when you need to expand your search with a different type of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you might want to explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our full disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Independence Lakes Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Independence Lakes Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


Recommended Sites to Book a Independence Lakes Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Independence Lakes lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.
ALL TRAVEL RESOURCES

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 8,880 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 9,180 feet

Average Depth: 10 feet

Maximum Depth: 60 feet

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

More Independence Lakes news from LakeLubbers.com

  • Advertise your vacation rental property or local business: DETAILS HERE
  • The Independence Lakes forum has been discontinued: HERE’S WHY
  • New Independence Lakes photos coming soon!
  • You’re invited to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!
  • Share this Independence Lakes article with your fellow LakeLubbers:

Do you have a vacation rental property at Independence Lakes? Coming in 2022, LakeLubbers will have an opportunity for you to showcase your listing and put it in front of thousands of lake lovers searching our site for homes, condos or townhomes to rent for their upcoming lake trip this season.

Please get in touch with our advertising team HERE and we’ll provide you more details on this upcoming advertising opportunity.

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Looking for the Independence Lakes forum?

LakeLubbers previously offered visitors the ability to create accounts and participate in lake forums. When we overhauled the site’s content management system in 2021 we had to disable those features. We’re evaluating options and welcome your comments and feedback here.

We also encourage you to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!

Click here to advertise your Independence Lakes vacation rental or local business.

The former Independence Lakes forum is closed. Find out why here.

New Independence Lakes photo gallery is coming soon.

Please share this article with your fellow lake lovers!

Spread the word! Share our Independence Lakes article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!

Explore local Independence Lakes vacation rentals and hotel accommodations using our interactive map. Clicking on listings below will allow you to compare nearby properties, best rates and availability for your dates.

Looking for the old Independence Lakes forum group? Click Here

New Independence Lakes photos coming soon!

Vacation Home Name

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  • 2 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • hot tub
  • wifi