Thompson Peak is the highest summit in the Sawtooth Range, and can clearly be seen from ID 21 and ID 75. Although it is visible it is still fairly remote compared to other peaks in the vicinity. There are 4 routes to the top of Thompson Peak with the easiest being class 3. Thompson peak can be fairly busy for Idaho Standards, but you will still likely find it free from crowds. It is an extremely aesthetic climb with amazing views from the summit. From the Redfish trailhead it is ~6.5 miles to the summit with a gain of ~ 4200 ft.
South Couloir - Class 3
Southwest Couloir - 5.2
Northeast Face - 5.8
West Crack - 5.2
The following approach from the Redfish lake trailhead/parking area (see 'Getting There') can be used for all climbs:
From the trailhead at the backpackers parking lot cross the road and follow the fish hook creek trail for about .8 miles to a signed junction (the sign will indicate Marshall lake) From hear head north through a grove of aspen trees to the ridge top. Once on the ridge top follow it northwest towards Williams peak. Along the way you will pass the wilderness boundary sign. Continue on until you see a split in the trail. Follow the climbers trail to the left, which takes you around the southern base of Williamson. Follow this trail until it ends at a hanging meadow in the basin surounded by Williamson to your right, and Thompson in front. Continue up the meadow until you reach the beautiful high alpine lake at ~ 9000 ft which sits at the base of Thompson and Mickey Spire (to the left). From the lake keep heading up towards the headwall at the Saddle between Thompson and Williamson. This approach is aprox 5 miles.
From Boise take ID 21 into Stanley and turn right onto ID 75. Take this about 5 miles south of town, and take a right at the signed road for Redfish lake. Drive up this paved road for about 2 miles to where their is a Y in the road. At this point there is a large backpackers parking lot. This is the trailhead.
(Note: During winter, depending on snow volumes a portion of ID 21 will likely be closed - be sure to check this before taking this route.)
From Sun Valley area take Idaho 75 North towards Stanley, and turn left onto Redfish lake and follow the directions above.
- To park in the parking lot you will need a Sawtooth National forest pass
, or you can risk getting a ticket for the fee program. Golden eagle passes are also accepted.
- When you hike in towards Thompson you will need to fill out a self issuing wilderness permit (free).
- Redfish lake road closes during winter months
When To Climb
July and August are probably your best bet for good weather, and the least amount of snow.
Camping is allowed on the mountain. Be sure to practice Leave no trace. There are many campgrounds in the vicinity of the trailhead.
On redfish lake the following campgrounds require reservations
: Point, Glacier View, Outlet
Heyburn and Sockey campgrounds are first come first serve.
There are two campgrounds near little Redfish just off of ID 75 on Redfish lake Rd: Mountain View and Chinook Bay.
On ID 75 coming from Stanley just before you get to Redfish lake road there is also Sunny Gulch Campground.
by Dave Pinney in Stanley ID. which is point in the direction of Thompson Peak. It also displays Stanley's current weather conditions.
Current Conditions Page on the National Forest Web Site
Sawtooth National Forest
2647 Kimberly Rd. E.
Twin Falls, ID. 83301