Accessing the grand Sawtooth National Forest

Idaho Sawtooth Mountains

Just up the road from many Idaho communities there is more variety than most people can even imagine. There are modern cities, quaint towns, bustling highways, meandering dirt roads, mountains, valleys, lakes and rivers. And -- there are the Sawtooths; an area that offers all of these aspects, and more.

The Sawtooth National Forest (SNF) is a very unique and special part within the heart of Idaho. It was created on May 29, 1905 through a proclamation by President Theodore Roosevelt.

The Sawtooths offer something for every outdoor enthusiast, from the extreme adventurer to the casual observer. An amazing variety of recreational opportunities has given the Sawtooths their designation as “A Forest For All Seasons.”
  • You can find campgrounds and cabins to rent in campsites ranging from highly developed to very primitive.
  • The possible winter sports include downhill skiing, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling on some of the country’s best snow. There are groomed and ungroomed trails and warming huts.
  • For hiking, picnicking, bicycling and just walking or driving through the area, you will be treated to breath-taking vistas of rushing streams, meadows filled with an abundance of wildflowers, and snow-capped mountain peaks reaching toward the clouds.
  • For the water enthusiast, there are beaches and dunes, there is rafting – and there is fishing. Some of the country’s best fishing is found in the Sawtooths.
  • You can ride horses; you can climb mountains; you can study rocks and minerals; you can hunt.
  • All of this – the scenery, the animals, the wildflowers, the rivers – are a dream-come-true for both the professional and the amateur photographer.
  • Learning about nature and the unique environment of the Sawtooths is an important part of the mission of the SNA. In conjunction with a national network of areas set aside for education and research, Research Natural Areas (RNAs) were created. There are seven RNAs within the Sawtooths dedicated to the maintenance of the unique biological diversity found only in the Sawtooth area.

Camping OutThe Sawtooths area is not only an incredible place to visit and recreate, it is an amazing place to live. There are more than 20,000 acres of privately owned land within the 756,000 acres of Sawtooth National Recreation Area. Most of the private land is near the town of Stanley, in the Stanley Basin and the Sawtooth Valley.

Many people have found the Sawtooths to be a spectacular destination. President Roosevelt was so impressed he proclaimed it a national treasure. Ernest Hemingway was inspired by the beauty of the Sawtooth wilderness. And National Geographic included the area in their “Drives of a Lifetime Series,” The Sawtooths.

Only a three hour drive from Boise, you owe it to yourself to visit The Sawtooths and see what the area has to offer for you.

Kevin Hughes

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