Kelly and I, along with our good friend and neighbor, Tom Tucker, hiked into Camp Sawtooth yesterday. The camp is located up in the Beartooths Southeast of Long Lake. We started from the Hauser Lake Trailhead about 9:30 and dropped down a steep rocky trail. After a mile or so we reached the grassy banks of Hauser Lake. Across the water loomed Sawtooth Mountain. Our objective. Continuing east we traveled through open meadows and patches of timber for two and a half miles when LoseKamp Lake came into view. High above us to the north rose Beartooth Pass. Here we headed south. Following a rushing stream, it was only ¾ of a mile to Stockade Lake. Nestled in the forest beside the trail were the ruins of a tiny cabin. A bit farther and the stream we had been following cascaded down into the lake. We had gone off trail to approach Stockade Lake so now had to climb a hill to the east to relocate our trail. Here our way became a little sketchy and we had to follow cairns. A little over a mile of steep rocky trail took us to the Dollar Lake Junction. The trail became steeper as we turned east to finish the last leg of our journey. We were only a short distance from Camp Sawtooth when we stood on the banks of a 25 foot wide, 2 foot deep stream. We were looking for a place to ford when I spotted an old bridge upstream. It was in complete ruin, but a line of boulders mixed with bridge debris offered a reasonably dry crossing. Ten minutes farther and we stood beside the ruins of the Sawtooth Lodge fireplace.
It is hard to believe this was a popular destination for tourists from the 1920’s thru 1960’s. At one time the large lodge was surrounded by several cabins. Saturday night dances were held here and its rumored Ernest Hemingway wrote two of his novels on this spot. Now all that remains are traces of foundations and the chimney.
As it was now 1 P.M. we ate our lunch then started the steep climb back out. Two and a half miles and we were walking past Lake Stockade. Another mile and we reached LoseKamp Lake. We stopped here to rest our weary legs. Two and a half more miles to Hauser Lake, then the remaining mile back to our car. It was 5:30 and we were tired but glad we had made the effort.