This summertime retreat for outdoor adventures turns it up when the sun goes down.
Sights and Events
Hear the lilt of fiddles framed by stunning 10,000-foot peaks at the annual Sawtooth Valley Gathering, Aug. 5–8, 2021. Featuring a lineup of local, regional, and national bands, the camping festival draws families and music fans for four days of swaying in the mountain sunshine.
Stanley is located in the Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve, which boasts an international “Gold-Tier” designation for natural night- time darkness. The lack of light pollution means you’ll peep everything from planets to constellations and meteor showers, such as the Perseid, which produces around 60 meteors per hour at its peak on Aug. 11 and 12 of this year.
Fuel up for your morning adventures at Stanley Baking Company, a bustling log cabin café. A lacy, plate-sized sourdough pancake drenched in maple syrup will get you going for whatever lies ahead.
Need a pick-me-up? Peaks & Perks serves smooth Dawson Taylor coffee drinks from a roadside shack. A huckleberry ice cream cone makes for a frosty treat. No cell phones allowed; just scroll the sweeping valley vistas instead. Highway 21.
Cap off your evening at the Sawtooth Hotel, a rustic lodge serving refined comfort food. Standouts include pork belly lettuce wraps with chile-dusted peanuts and chipotle meatloaf with avocado tomatillo sauce. 755 Ace of Diamonds St.
River rats swarm Stanley in the summer to raft the Salmon River. Find suitable options for beginners and thrill seekers alike at The River Company—from peaceful two-hour floats through the Stanley Basin to adventures through Class IV smokers.
Stanley boasts an abundance of hiking trails that wind through the Sawtooth, White Cloud, and Salmon River Ranges. The popular Fishhook Creek Trail meanders past lodgepole pines and bubbling creeks, ending with a meadow view framed by snowy peaks.
After your hike, kick back on the white sand beach at Redfish Lake Lodge. Whether you splash around in the shallow cerulean waters or hire a pontoon boat for a cruise around the lake, the lodge has ample options for dining and entertainment. 401 Redfish Lodge Rd.
Looking to soak away your stressors? Make a reservation at the Mountain Village Resort. The resort’s hot spring has sliding barn doors that open to reveal thousands of stars sparkling above the Sawtooths. 3 Eva Falls Ave.
If you need gear for your mountain endeavors, head to Riverwear, which rents everything from wet suits and kayaks to stand-up paddleboards. The family-owned shop also sells Stanley-themed hats and hoodies. 300 Eva Falls Ave.
Whether you’re a beginner or a serious angler, Stanley Fly Shop will get you stocked up with rentals, recommendations, and top-notch tackle. 66 Niece Ave.