The Sawtooth Range, Just Outside Of Boise, Is Pure Summer Distilled

05.09.19 2 months ago

Erin Rose Belair

When I think “summer,” I think of open road, car camping, swimming on a whim, cold ice tea, and days so long that they seem to stretch out to the horizon. And as I search for these touchstones, few places can hold a candle to the magical lands of… Idaho. I know it’s unexpected, but hear me out: Idaho’s wild spaces, particularly those found in the Sawtooth mountain range provide the kind of summer adventure you could spend a lifetime searching for — huckleberry ice cream, hot springs, and ribbons of stars streaking the night sky.

If you need an escape from Boise, the Sawtooth Wilderness — with a focus on Red Fish Lake and the nearby town of Stanley — is summer distilled. Located just three hours north of the city, it’ll give you everything you want in an adventure destination and a whole lot of what you need. Here’s how to get there, what to see, and where to eat for an idyllic getaway.

Getting There:

Erin Rose Belair

To access the Sawtooths from Boise, drive to Stanley, Idaho. There are two routes out of the city: west and east. The eastern route is a little longer but will take you through Idaho City. A quick stop to soak in a nearby hot springs makes the extra time in the car worth it. The two routes link up eventually anyway, arriving at the same place.

Plan to take your time — initiating yourself into a slower way of life.

Hot tip: About an hour before you reach Stanley (if you’re coming in on the 21) Kirkham Hot Springs is right along the side of the river — you’ll see it from the highway. This is a must stop destination.

What to bring:

Erin Rose Belair

A swimsuit, a few sweatshirts for evenings, and warm clothes for nighttime. Plus all your camping gear and a cooler if you want to camp. (Camping is going to save you a bunch of money, and is, in my opinion, the whole point of going to the Sawtooths.)

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