Made for a long outing from Stanley Lake - around 16 miles RT. Google Earth reports around 3500' of gain but since there's very little elevation lost over the course of the trail, I think that and the Summitpost description are quite high and would estimate it more as 2700'. Two river crossings were mid-calf to knee-high and a little tricky (thankful for water shoes and sandals!). Lots of snow past the first set of switchbacks on the side trail, lost the trail a lot and were postholing a fair bit, but still made it up. Phenomenal views and some fun glissading on the way down!
River crossings were freezing chest high death pools. Only one was actually high but it was very cold, worst river crossing I've done. Besides that is was an awesome hike with a pretty good view. Lost the trail a the top due to snow and just went up the side through a dry patch. Couldn't find the trail up or down from just after the last river crossing but wasn't too difficult to make it up!
Found a huge scattered box of colorful unused tampons just off trail
Long day spent with little bro on his 1st peak ascent. Great hike, but a little windy on top.
Mountain biked in 4 miles on Stanley Lake trail, then hiked up the rest of the way. Nice little summit with good views of the Sawtooths.
Very rewarding once you reach the top.
A short video of some of the features on this hike:
Class 1 walk-up and a great side-trip if you are backpacking on the Sawtooths. Definitely worth it! Hiked up again from Stanley Lake in Oct 2012 (16.6 miles round-trip). Views were hazy from wild fires still smoldering, but weather was beautiful after a cold start.
A friend and I hiked up as a sidetrip while backpacking from Grandjean to Sawtooth Lake. The view is well worth the hike.
Walked up from Grandjean. It was longer than I expected, but obviously worth it.
I've hiked up Observation Peak twice. The first was on July 12, 2002 as a day hike from Stanley Lake trailhead. The second was on September 4, 2005 during a backpacking loop in the Sawtooths.
This is a great intro peak to the range, or good hike with the family.