Check Out Our Favorite May Adventures in the Sawtooth Mountains!
May is a wonderful time of year in the Sawtooth Mountains. There are secrets to making May just as enjoyable as any other month in the Sawtooths! True, May in Stanley, Idaho can present you with you some interesting challenges! Even though many of the typical Sawtooth Mountain summer adventures such as mountain biking, hiking, backpacking, rafting, and horseback riding are still unavailable due to snow in the higher elevations, you can still immerse yourself in the incredible scenic and off-road wonders of the Sawtooth Mountain Range and Sawtooth Valley.
Three May Activities in the Sawtooth Mountains
Drive to the Four Main Lakes in the Sawtooths in one day (Pettit, Alturas, Redfish, Stanley)
Be sure to check the conditions of the roads before beginning your adventure! We are happy to help at 208-774-7000. The roads leading to these lakes will all be open starting the 1st of May. Each year is different, and there is a possibility that you may still see ice on some of the lakes! Each lake surface freezes over solid each year. Start at the south end of the valley by driving to Alturas Lake. The lake is 21 miles south of Stanley on Highway 75. Alturas is one of the largest lakes in the Sawtooths and is a popular lake for boaters in the summer months, but in May it is very likely that you will have it all to yourself. Next, head north to Pettit Lake which lies about 16 miles south of Stanley on Highway 75. Check out the day use area that has several picnic tables available right on the lake. Next stop is the crown jewel of the Gem State- Redfish Lake! The lodge opens on Memorial Day Weekend with its annual 5K, 10K and Half Marathon. Be sure to check out the Redfish Marina and drive around the campgrounds for incredible scenic views along the way. The last stop of the day will take you 7 miles west of Stanley on Highway 21 to Stanley Lake. The lake also has several picnic areas, and incredible views!
Fat Tire Bike Ride or Hike on the Nip ‘N Tuck Loop!
In the summertime, the Nip ‘N Tuck dirt roads are home to off-the-grid campers and recreationalists, but in May, you will have this gorgeous zone to yourself! If you are interested in riding a fat bike, see our friends at Triangle C Cabins for rental information and pricing. Fat bikes allow you to have more control in mud and leftover snow from the winter, and are a ton of fun! You can start this ride right from your room from any of the Redfish Lake Lodge Stanley properties . Head out to the Stanley Lake turnoff on Highway 21 and take the dirt road leading in the opposite direction of Stanley Lake (right off of the highway). Take a right at your next intersection, and from there the dirt roads will give you some of the best views of the Sawtooths around! Don’t forget to swing in to The Lower Stanley Country Store for a tasty treat, and then ride the last mile on Highway 75 back to your room. The loop is about 12 miles long, and makes for a great spring hike. There is a parking spot along Highway 21 to shorten the hike and take out the highway section of the loop.
Take a Scenic Drive to Sun Valley, Idaho
Sun Valley, Idaho is the home of America’s first ski resort! In May, the beautiful mountain town settles down and is the perfect place for an evening stroll around the city of Ketchum or a visit to the Sun Valley Lodge. There are too many great restaurants to count in this lovely town, so ask a local for some of their favorite suggestions! Check out the local shops for great sales on winter clothing items and skis at this time of year!
After your adventure you will be able to enjoy a perfect evening at the Stanley High Country Inn. May has its own special magic in Stanley, Idaho and the Sawtooth Mountains! It’s certainly worth exploring to experience the Sawtooth Mountains waking from their winter slumber.