Shhh it is a local secret. Vinyard Lake is hidden away in the Snake River Canyon. On a hot day, there is no better place to be than swimming in this lake! Experienced climbers can free climb the rock walls and jump off into the water below. Hikers can make their way up the Box Canyon outlet and view the gorgeous oasis. Relaxers can spread out their beach towel and read a book next to the stream. Although the lake sounds peaceful, be prepared with water, snacks, and hiking gear. The only way here is through a field, down the canyon, and over crumbled rocks. It is a demanding adventure.
Vinyard is located on back roads just west of the Hansen Bridge. To get here, be on the lookout for the small path leading west from the S 950 E road. The dirt road has room for parking to the side. From there, follow the path through a cow pasture and to the top of the canyon. Leave no trace when visiting here. This is a local farmer’s pasture, and they have every right to not allow people in. If visitors keep the pasture clean, the lake access will stay open. Arriving at the top of the canyon visible, in the distance, is Vinyard Lake. Because the path winds down caved in rocks and through brush, be mindful of snakes on and off the trails. Bull and Rattle Snakes have been spotted. Carefully step over rocks to reach the final destination. The total hike takes on average one hour.
The lake is chilly due to the outlet of one of the Box Canyon springs. There are many units of Box Canyon springs, and all hold vibrant blue colored water. There is a small waterfall that dumps the blue water into the lake. For upper level swimmers only, there is a larger waterfall on the opposite side of the lake. The waterfall is about 30 ft high! The swim takes about 5-10 minutes from the beach area to the waterfall. There is also a small plank to walk across to the waterfall, but we do not advise taking this route because it is not safe. Cooling off by swimming across the lake is an adventure in itself! Always be mindful of surroundings when swimming and be sure to only attempt if you are an experienced swimmers.
Hauling a floaty or kayak down the canyon would make for an incredible experience on the lake. It is not too large in diameter, but paddling calmly in a kayak down there is epic! The views are gorgeous all around.