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Photos courtesy Nicole Musgrove
Josephine Lake is an emerald stunner. The hike is easy and family-friendly, with just under a mile to walk each way. Greeting you at the end of the hike is a beautiful 13-acre lake that hugs an impressive granite cirque capped with a view of the 8,286-foot Squaw Point.
Once at the lake, follow the footpath that leads around the shoreline and find several campsites and excellent spots to enjoy the view. If you felt like fishing, be sure to make a stop at Ridley’s Market before you leave town. Here you can pick up poles, tackle, and a fishing license in the store’s outdoor section. You don’t have to fish at Josephine Lake, but let’s face it, nothing beats the joy on a kid’s face after catching a fish with their Barbie or Batman pole.
Directions: Travel along Warren Wagon Road, passing nostalgic cabins on Payette Lake, beautiful North Beach, the North Fork of the Payette River, Upper Payette Lake, and Secesh Summit. Three miles after the summit, take a left on Forest Service Road 316, marked “Josephine Lake.” The road to the trailhead is a bit bumpy so a vehicle with good clearance is recommended.