Saturday, October 29, 2016

Elsie Lake, Shoshone County, Idaho

This lake is in a spectacular setting with high alpine mountains all around the lake. The boat launch into this lake is a primitive gravel launch which drops off quickly into the lake about 20 feet or less off the shore. No motors are allowed. The lake is home to rainbow and brook trout; the wilderness area is home to black bear, mountain lions, elk, deer, and a variety of foul. Make sure to keep all food contained as any food left open will be visited by bear, etc. Fee free camping areas surround the lake except on the east where there are a steep mountain and cliffs. There is an accessible restroom not far from the launch area. Hiking in this area is a must! Maps: View Google Map below... There is no exact address for this lake so once you see Kellogg on the map hit aerial view and follow the Directions given here. Directions: Elsie Lake is 12.6 miles from the I90 exit 54/Big Creek Exit. The road to this lake is paved for a short distance then the rest of the road is a nice gravel. The road was improved recently especially through the rock slide area. This road is not marked nor are there signs giving directions to the lake, however if you stay on the largest and smoothest road it will lead you to the lake. As mentioned there is a portion of the road that goes through a slide area that can potentially deposit large boulders/rocks on the road, so be careful. Best to travel on this road when it's drier at the beginning of summer versus spring. When you get close to the lake you will come to a saddle area between mountains and then you will take a deep descent to the lake that is less than a mile. Once near the lake there is a road that goes north to the restroom and primitive launch area. There is also a road that goes south to a turnaround area. (Click Here) Read this articles about my trip to Elsie Lake... I camped at and sailed on this lake.
Elsie Lake Primitive Launch (fairly hard packed gravel, dirty/sand, and mud mix). Maps: View interactive google map below or visit type in GPS coordinates 47.427598, -116.022882
ACCESSIBILITY: PARKING... Gravel/dirty/sand/mud combo parking area; PATHS/TRAILS... No developed paths/trails. Wide gravel/dirty/sand area to beach/launch area. Primitive single track trails allow hiking through the forest but are not wheelchair/wheeled mobility device accessible; RESTROOMS/FACILITIES/SHADE… Fully accessible restrooms. Shade via trees; DOCKS/LAUNCHES/PLATFORMS… No accessible docks/platforms. Single lane primitive /sand/gravel/dirt/mud combo launch at about 4% grade. Launch from bank/beach; DIRECT WATER ACCESS… No developed access for wheeled mobility devices; TRANSFER SYSTEMS... None; SENSORY... No sensory tactile markers for those with visual and other impairments; CAMPING... No/Accessible Tent and RV campsites, with/no hookups; O.T.H.E.R… Oddities/Barriers: Sand/mud/marine vegetation; Terrain: Level to 4% grades over lawn/sand/gravel/dirt surface, and steeper on non-wheelchair accessible trails; H2O/Water: Water clear/murky. Water temperature in the summer can be around 40 to 60 degrees. No Drinking water available; Environmental Conditions: Varies; Resources: Food, drinks, and gas in town of Osburn, ID.


  1. Jaydee, May 18, 2016 at 5:57 AM: Found that lake over 35 years ago and it's still our favorite. Your post brings back fond memories.

  2. PACK IT IN..... PACK IT OUT!!

    1. Absolutely... Or more accurately "Drive it in... Pack it out!"