When planning the perfect pack trip for a specific group, one of the first questions we always ask is “how much time do you have?”. The next question typically centers around what the group is most interested in doing while in the back country, fishing, hiking, riding, ect. For a family or group of friends that are looking to do a four day trip that encompasses all of the above, you really can’t go wrong with a pack trip to Toxaway Lake.
Toxaway Lake is a large glacial lake located nine miles from the Tin Cup Trail Head. This large crystal blue body of water fills the valley and leaves spectators in awe. BUT, the view of Toxaway is not the best part! Toxaway is situated beneath two passes. The trail that cuts up and to the north leads you to the top of Sand Mountain pass. The views will absolutely take your breath away. The trail winds down the other side to Edna, Vernon and Virginia Lake. These lakes boast some of the best fishing in Sawtooth Mountains with all sorts of gorgeous trout just waiting to hit the end of your line! The trail that wraps around the inlet of Toxaway Lake and to the south takes you up to Snowy Side Pass. Snowy Side never disappoints as you gaze down at Twin Lakes and if you continue further down the trail you will find scenic Alice Lake.
Day one you meet the Mystic crew at the Tin Cup Trail Head. The guides and packers will introduce themselves and begin packing up your gear and camp onto the sturdy pack horses. MSR staff spend all year looking forward to riding and guiding in this amazing country and their excitement at the start of each trip is tangible. Once you’re ready, you will saddle up and ride out with your experience guide. Midday you will crest over Farley Lake and take a break from riding to enjoy a hearty lunch while sitting above the lake and enjoying the fresh mountain air. The ride to Toxaway varies from open slopes to wooded trails to majestic rocky views. After you arrive at camp and unpack, the evening is yours to hike, fish or just relax. The guides take care of all the stock and cooking so you can simply enjoy your time at camp.
Day two and three you rise from your tent that is nestled on a high alpine meadow and make your way to the kitchen area where your guides will have hot coffee, tea and coco ready. After a delicious breakfast you will pack a lunch and the saddle up for the next adventure. Toxaway’s central location is perfect for day rides over the passes to Edna and Twin Lakes. Each day ride offers phenomenal views and fishing opportunities. For those less inclined to ride, these days can be used to hike around Toxaway Lake towards the inlet waterfall or just relax with a good book lakeside. Either way, your guides will cater to your needs.
The last day at camp you will have time to enjoy a large breakfast and time at Toxaway Lake before packing up and riding back home. The ride out will seem to fly by and before you know it, you will be back in civilization. The jagged mountain tops and clear water will stay with you as you head home and you may find, like we do, that you spend the rest of the year dreaming about when you can get back into the Sawtooth Mountains again.
For a first hand account of a trip to Toxaway Lake and more pictures, please read a blog posted by one of our guests, HERE!.