Things to do in Stanley, Idaho
You would have to stay a lifetime to do it all!
The Sawtooth Basin and Stanley, Idaho offer more recreation than you can do in a week, month, year and even a lifetime, but don’t feel overwhelmed! We have put together a list of our favorite must-see attractions and adventures to help you make the most of your time in Stanley, Idaho!
Redfish Lake Lodge
Redfish Lake Lodge– Is open Memorial Day through October and offers boat rentals, incredible dining and drinking, free summer concerts, a general store and souvenir shop, bike rentals and offers a hikers boat shuttle across the lake. Ask about our complementary shuttle to lodge!
Spring in Stanley and the Sawtooth Mountains holds its own special magic, making it an unforgettable experience as the Sawtooth Mountains awaken from their winter slumber.
Steelhead fishing is a popular sport in Stanley and surrounding areas as the Steelhead return, and new smolts are released March through April, depending on the year.
If you’re looking for breathtaking vistas, Spring in the Sawtooths can provide you with some dramatic landscapes as the icy peaks of the Sawtooths release runoff into lakes and rivers in the valley. Bold wildflowers blanket meadows, and wildlife sightings are common!
In the summer you can find activities like rafting, fishing, mountain biking, climbing, ATV’s and horse back riding, all right at your doorstep!
River Rafting / Fly Fishing
There are several river rafting companies based in Stanley for half or full-day trips down the famous Salmon River, or for multiple day trips down the Middle Fork of the Salmon. River rafting is an exciting way to explore other parts of the Idaho wilderness!
Day trips on the Salmon/ Fly Fishing
- The River Company
- Sawtooth Adventure Company
- White Cloud Rafting
- White Otter Outdoor Adventures
- Stanley Fly Shop
Hundreds of miles of trail in the Sawtooth and White Cloud Wilderness areas, including several interesting day hikes right from Redfish Lake Lodge. Check out our favorite hiking trails in Idaho and why this is one of the best ways to explore the Sawtooth Mountains.
Bike trails are abundant throughout the Sawtooth and White Cloud Wildernesses, as well as many spectacular family-friendly trails for riders of all ages. Check with our friends at Balance Bikeworks for bike rentals, repairs, and local trail knowledge!
The Redfish Corrals offer 1 1/2 hour, half day, and full day scenic rides. Ask about the “Alpine Ride” where you climb 3,000 feet to the Sawtooth Divide. Pack lunches, route planning, and guides are available.
This local pioneer museum features artifacts and photographs of historical significance to the settling of the Sawtooth Valley and the Stanley Basin. It is open through Labor Day and located 0.6 miles north of Stanley on the west side of Hwy. 75. Phone: 774-3517
Redfish Visitors Center
Located on the shores of Redfish Lake, this visitors’ center is filled with local wilderness information, features a beautiful gallery, has access to an interpretive nature boardwalk along Fishhook Creek, and provides regular programs for visitors to enjoy!
Sawtooth Fish Hatchery
Self-guided tours are available at this Fish Hatchery built to help restore salmon and steelhead to their traditional waters. It is located 5.8 miles south of Stanley on Hwy. 75 (about eight minutes) between mileposts 183 and 184. Phone: 774-3684
Visit Custer ghost town and museum to learn about mining history! Located there is the Boot Hill Cemetery where you can read the old tombstones and learn about yester-year’s history. You can also see the Yankee Fork Gold Dredge, a restored gold dredge on the site of its former operations. Custer is located 13 miles (about 30 minutes) north of Stanley on Hwy. 75, then north 5 miles on Yankee Fork Road between mileposts 202 and 203. It is open through Labor Day.
Check out more of the incredible ghost towns near Stanley here!
Every year is different, but we love that fall often offers many of the same summer activities. Bring a jacket, enjoy a peaceful beach day, and be prepared to fall in love with the Sawtooths at a different pace!
See the Fall Colors
Fall in the Sawtooths is a must-see, especially when the aspen groves start their yearly change! Bring your camera and and enjoy the peace and beauty of this season.
Enjoy the Sawtooths in an all-new way with completely different recreational offerings in the winter! You’ll be amazed at the transformation that takes place here from Summer to Winter.
Pack your gear and contact our friends at Sawtooth Mountain Guides to plan an epic ski adventure! Whether you’re looking for extreme terrain, powdered bowls, or simply avalanche education, these guides will help you enjoy skiing in Stanley, Idaho.
Cross Country Skiing
Take your cross country skis out to Redfish, Stanley, or Alturas Lake on groomed trails and enjoy these lakes to yourself! Learn more about trail systems made available through the Sawtooth Ski Club, at Alturas Lake or at Park Creek.
Enjoy some of the best snowmobiling you’ll find here in Stanley, Idaho! Powdered meadows, foothills, and even groomed trails make this and adventure for all. Check with Smiley Creek Lodge for guided trips and rentals, and Sawtooth Traxx for rentals.
Stanley and surrounding areas are known for the many hotsprings scattered through the area. Most are natural hotsprings, requiring visitors to practice proper etiquette and preservation of these wonderful areas for all. Once there, we promise you’ll love this experience! For a private soak, check with Mountain Village for a reservation.
Hike Into Redfish Lake
Although the road to Redfish isn’t plowed, it is regularly groomed, making for an enjoyable 4-mile roundtrip hike for anyone hoping to catch Redfish in her winter glory. Icy peaks towering over a frozen lake make the views worthy of the journey!