The Sawtooth Mountains in central Idaho are one of the mountain ranges in the Rocky Mountains. With mountain peaks, alpine lakes, hiking trails, rivers, resorts, and hot springs, there’s no shortage of fun outdoor activities in the area. Keep on reading for some of the best things to do in the Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho.
Head out for a hike in the Sawtooth Mountains and find yourself at an alpine lake, on a mountain top, next to a creek, at a backcountry cabin, or somewhere else amazing. With miles and miles of trails and no shortage of things to see, you can hike for days. The Sawtooth Wilderness alone boasts 40 trails from 23 trailheads with almost 250 miles of trails for hikers, backpackers, and horseback riders and beyond the wilderness boundaries are even more trails. The Sawtooth National Recreation Area has over 700 miles of trails, so get out there and have some fun!
Some of our favorites are:
Alice Lake, Twin Lake, Edith Lake Loop: 21.3 miles, hard
Sawtooth Lake via Iron Creek Stanley Lake: 10 miles, moderate
Bench Lakes: 7.8 miles, moderate
Fishhook Creek: 4.4 miles, easy
Proctor Mountain: 3.5 miles, moderate
Pioneer Cabin: 8 miles, hard
Fourth of July Lake: 5.5 miles, moderate
Baker Lake: 3.6 miles, easy
Alpine Creek: 7.3 miles, easy
Another great thing to do in the area is soak in some of the amazing hot springs. From springs at a resort, to springs only accessible by hike, there’s something for anyone. Always be sure to Leave No Trace when you hike or visit places like these. Keeping them in pristine condition for the next people is the only way they’ll stay open!
Pine Flats Hot Spring: 0.6 miles, easy
Skillern Hot Springs: 6 miles, moderate
Bridge (Elk Flat) Hot Springs: 1.3 miles, easy
Slate Creek (Hoodoo) Hot Spring: 0.3 miles, easy
Take a paddle board out on a local river or lake and experience the area’s beauty from the water. Local companies offer paddle board classes and tours if you’ve never been on one before. If you’d rather head out on a kayak, you can find rentals around for that too! These are all great activities for adults or for a family who want to spend a day, or just a few hours, out on the water.
If you want something a bit more adventurous, you can go rafting in Class IV rapids. It’s a fun activity for older teens and adults, and the memories will stay with you forever. Local adventure companies offer rafting tours on the Upper Salmon River in the Sawtooth area. If you’ve got younger kids, they also offer calmer rafting trips that will still reward you with scenery without as much motion and spray.
You may have heard of Sun Valley, Idaho’s famous resort town. It’s got lodges, restaurants, ski lifts, golf courses, and so much more. It has two great mountains, with over 2,500 acres and more than 3,400 vertical feet. Visit the area in the winter for world-class skiing without long lift lines, and when you’re done on the slopes, enjoy all that the town of Sun Valley has to offer!
No matter where you end up going in the Sawtooth Mountains, there’s tons to do. You can even do it all if you’ve got enough time! Be sure to tag AdventureTripr in your photos if you go so we can see your adventures and live vicariously through you!
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