Hidden in Big Hole Mountains near Driggs, Idaho, Packsaddle Lake is a great spot to cool off in the summer. My roommates and I went near the end of July, and while the hike was hot, the water was cold. That didn’t stop us or the twenty other people from jumping in, though. If you park at Packsaddle Lake Road, the hike takes about an hour. There is also a paved road that comes much closer. You can choose whether you want to spend most of your time enjoying the water or the hike.
We chose the hike. Along the way, we paused to pick huckleberries for pancakes later. As we hiked, we could hear a cow in the distance that seemed to be following us. We named him Stu. We also debated naming him Patty, Fil (not Phil) or Filet Mignon. We stuck with Stu. There are camp spots along the way as well, and I have passed a few families taking advantage of that.
The hike is a little strenuous, but with some breaks it’s doable. People bring small children up all the time. As well, many locals bring ATVs and motorcycles. Take a crack at the rope swing or wade in, but be careful because the water is shallow by the swing. It might be smart to bring water shoes as well because of the rocks on the bottom of the lake.
Rexburgfun has some very specific directions for the hike. Only take this road in a jeep, truck or something that can handle a lot of ruts and a creek flowing over the road. Great Outdoor Stories has great directions for the paved road (4000 N). Check them out.