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These Glacial Lakes In Idaho Still Have Ice Age Water In Them

Central Idaho’s rugged Sawtooth Mountains — while raw, untamed, and well-loved as a towering pinnacle of the Gem State’s beauty — are not the tallest range in the state. However, they have a special history that is far more recent than most people realize and ancient secrets that have yet to be discovered. The towering crags and jagged formations of the range are incredibly unique in comparison to the rest of the larger Rocky Mountain landscape because they are so relatively young, still eroding, shifting, and changing to this day.

Idahoans treasure these scenic mountains for hundreds of reasons, but in many ways, they represent the very identity of Idaho itself as a wilderness treasure in an increasingly urban American landscape. Over 200 mountain lakes dot the hidden recesses of the Sawtooths, some of which are so pristine and remote that few people have seen them in person, let alone dipped a toe in their frigid waters. Others are completely untouched and have never even heard the echo of human footsteps. These hidden, mirror-like lakes are a modern, ancient wonder; a beautiful, picturesque contradiction that many theorize still hold secrets of the last Ice Age hidden in their depths — and they’re right in the heart of Idaho.

While not everyone can visit each of these perfect alpine lakes, isn’t it incredible to know just how ancient and breathtaking our state’s natural geology truly is? The Sawtooth Wilderness offers hundreds of protected, scenic hiking trails and we definitely encourage everyone to take at least one glacial lake hike in their lifetime — just be sure to share your stories with us!

Jennifer
Super-rad musician, scholar, and cat enthusiast who digs Idaho sunsets and spontaneous nature walks. When not basking in Idaho's awesomeness for Only In Your State, you can find me lovingly concocting environmental goodness at TheBlueReview.org.