Albion Range Area Hikes

Independence Lakes
Distance: 4.4 miles roundtrip
Climb: moderate
Difficulty: moderate
Usage: moderate
Location: From Burley, drive 20 miles south on State Highway 27 to Oakley’s Main Street. Bear left onto 2000 South and follow the county road 11 miles to Elba Pass. At the pass, proceed on the right fork and drive to another road junction in 1 mile. Follow the right fork to Potholes Junction and bear left. Travel along this road to its end at Dry Creek and the Independence Lakes Trailhead. After parking, enter the gated picnic area, cross Dry Creek, and proceed through the picnic area to the trail.

Set amidst granite boulders and white quartzite, four subalpine lakes await hikers on this trail as well as magnificent views of the Jim Sage Mountains, Elba Basin, and Mount Harrison sprawling in the distance. The trail begins gently climbing through forests and wildflower meadows to a trail junction at the 1.2-mile mark. Ignoring the Ranger Trail, keep right to climb towards the lakes. The first lake, set in a cirque directly below Independence Peak, is reached at the 2-mile mark. While this lake is home to a few small fish, the second and much larger lake is renowned for its sizeable trout. From the first lake, hike 0.2 miles further to the second lake. The maintained trail ends at this point, but hikers can scramble over boulders to reach the shallow, clear blue waters of the two upper lakes. Best months for hiking are mid-July through August.

Optional Hikes: At the first lake, climb up the steep cirque wall to the top of Mount Independence situated at 9,950 feet. At the summit, hikers are rewarded with views of southern Idaho’s mountains and valleys, the Silent City of Rocks National Reserve, and Utah’s Raft River Range. This hike is difficult, and best months for hiking are late July through August.

Silent City of Rocks
Distance: Numerous short hikes and loops ranging up to 1.5 miles long
Climb: gentle to moderate in places
Difficulty: easy to moderate
Usage: heavy
Location: At Malta, exit off Interstate 84 and merge onto State Highway 77. Bearing left at Conner Junction, proceed to Almo. Drive south out of town 4.6 miles and turn right at the junction. Continue 1.3 miles to several trails leaving from Bath Rock on the road’s left side.

Strangely shaped granite formations characterize this unique area, as well as several small meadows, aspen trees, and prickly pear cactus. Hikers can choose from a variety of short hiking trails leading through huge boulders that have become popular rock climbing spots. Best months for hiking are late May through September.

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