Best time to visit Idaho

Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho

This range of the Rocky Mountains boasts about 50 peaks over 3,000 m (10,000 ft) high

Best time: July–September

Sawtooth Mountains
Sawtooth Mountains
Sawtooth Mountains
Sawtooth Mountains

Part of the Rocky Mountains, the Sawtooth Range, is a paradise for all kinds of outdoor activities. The sharp, jagged mountains stretch for 1,756 sq. km (678 sq. miles) in Central Idaho, with the highest elevation at Thompson Peak, 3,277 m (10,751ft).

Altogether there are about 134 peaks in the range, all higher than 2,700 m (9,000 ft). The Sawtooth Wilderness, Sawtooth National Recreation Area, and Sawtooth National Forest are the most popular destinations in the state for hiking, mountain biking, backpacking, fishing, horseback riding, boating, and climbing. The best season for these activities is from July through to September.

The Sawtooth Mountains feature about 400 glacier lakes, many of which are located within Sawtooth Wilderness. All of the largest lakes—Redfish, Pettit, Alturas, Yellow Belly, Sawtooth, and Stanely Lakes—host campgrounds. The lakes and mountains are encompassed by over 40 trails that start from more than 20 trailheads. Goat Lake Hike, Marshall Ridge Hike, Fishhook Creek Hike, and Cramer Lakes Hike are among the most popular in the area.

Stanley Lake is located on the base of McGown Peak at an elevation of 1,985 m (6,513 ft). It is one of the largest and most popular lakes in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area in the vicinity of Stanely, Idaho. It can be reached from State Highway 21. The lake features a boat launch, which makes it an excellent destination for paddling and boating in the summer months. The lake also has three campgrounds and few trails for hikers.

Practical info

What is the best time to go to the Sawtooth Mountains?

You can best enjoy visiting Sawtooth Mountains during July through the end of September, which is during the peak season. The weather is mild and sunny, with temperatures averaging around 22°C (70°F). You may have to bear the chilly nights as the temperatures could go down to 7°C (45°F). You can engage in many outdoor activities during this time, including camping, hiking, and boating. Show more

How many peaks are located at Sawtooth Range?

The Sawtooth Range boasts about 134 peaks, and all of them have an elevation of over 2,700 m (9,000 ft). More than 50 of these peaks have heights over 3,000 m (10,000 ft). Thompson Peak stands as the highest peak in the range, at 3,277 m (10,751 ft). Explore the jagged and sharp appearance of the peaks for adventurous outdoor activities. Show more

What are the top things to do in Sawtooth Mountains?

You can enjoy various outdoor activities when visiting Sawtooth Mountains. The area features over 40 trails that you can hike or bike. The region offers fishing, boating, horseback riding, and climbing opportunities. Climbers can challenge themselves with Mount Heyburn or the Finger of Fate. Horseback riding and fishing are also beloved activities at the Sawtooth Mountains. Show more

What are the well-known Sawtooth Wilderness hiking trails?

If you are looking for a hiking trail located in the Sawtooth Wilderness region, there are over 40 trails to choose from. The Goat Lake Hike, Cramer Lakes Hike, Fishhook Creek Hike, and Marshall Ridge Hike are few of the most popular trails. The Goat Lake Hike's 8.8 km (5.5 miles) trail leads to a picturesque lake that is ideal to enjoy fishing and picnicking. Fishhook Creek Hike is a 6.5 km (4 miles) trail through shaded forests and serene greenery. Show more

What activities can you do at Stanley Lake, and where is it located?

Stanley Lake, placed at an elevation of 1,985 m (6,513 ft), is one of the largest lakes located in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. You can access the lake through State Highway 21. During summertime, you can enjoy various activities, including paddling and boating at Stanley Lake, as it has boat launch facilities. Furthermore, the lake provides three campgrounds for you to stay at and has several trails to take in the beautiful views of surrounding mountains. Show more

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