Idaho Attractions January 28, 2018
This One Small Idaho Town Has More Outdoor Attractions Than Any Other Place In The State
It may be the middle of winter, but that’s never stopped Idahoans from getting out and enjoying our great outdoors. There is certainly no shortage of awesome outdoor activities. It seems that wherever you turn, there is always something exciting to be explored. However, the small town featured here is popular among Idahoans for its close proximity to so many outdoor attractions. The town is nestled in the perfect location that gives you easy access to some of Idaho’s most pristine natural wonders. Next time you’re planning an adventure, you’re going to want to keep this town in mind.
The small town of Stanley acts as a gateway to some of Idaho's most incredible wilderness areas. It's a popular place for outdoorsmen to spend the night after a long day spent adventuring out in the beautiful recreation areas. This eclectic town is home to just 63 people, but it's definitely not your average small town. Tucked away at the bottom of the Sawtooth Mountains and right next to the mighty Salmon River, there are all sorts of adventures waiting for you here.
1. Fishing the Salmon River.
The Salmon River runs literally right beside the town. This makes the town a popular place for anglers looking to experience some world class fishing. The Middle Fork and Upper Main Salmon Rivers are most easily accessible from the town, and offer the opportunity to catch a variety of species including rainbow, hybrid rainbow-cutthroat, brook, bull trout, mountain whitefish, and Chinook salmon.
2. Rafting "The River of No Return"
The Salmon River is also often referred to as "The River of No Return" and is one of the most rafted rivers in the entire state. Despite the intimidating name, the river is perfect for rafters of all skill levels. Stanley offers a plethora of professional river guides who will lead you on a rafting trip you'll always remember. The South Fork of the Payette River is also located nearby, just 30 miles away from town, and also offers fantastic whitewater rafting.
3. Soak in Kirkham Hot Springs.
Stanley is totally surrounded by the most breathtaking natural hot springs. Under an hour away are the magnificent Kirkham Hot Springs which are perfect for soaking in on a beautiful winter day. Surrounded by snowy pine trees and steaming waterfalls, you really couldn't ask for a more scenic location.
4. Backcountry skiing in the Sawtooth Mountains.
Ski resorts are great but there's truly nothing like backcountry skiing in Idaho's most beautiful mountain range. The Sawtooth Mountains loom over Stanley, and in the winter time are a popular destination for skiiers looking for a remote location to hit the slopes. Stanley acts as the perfect base camp for ski and snowboarding trips, or you can take advantage of the Sawtooth Yurt System by staying in one of the handy mountain yurts for the ultimate skiing experience.
5. Hike to an alpine lake.
Nestled within the Sawtooth Mountains are numerous alpine lakes that make for the perfect hiking destination. Alice Lake is by far one of the most popular lakes in the vicinity. The largest lake in the Sawtooths, the trail is best for experienced hikers because it is quite steep and rugged. However, both Sawtooth Lake and Alturas Lake have moderate hiking options and boast pristine surroundings.
6. Spend the day playing at Redfish Lake.
Redfish Lake is just 10 minutes from Stanley and one of the most popular lakes in the entire state. The lake offers several nearby lodging options, breathtaking views of the Sawtooths, and plenty of camping sites. It's one of Idaho's most beloved lake getaways for a reason. Spend a hot day boating or splashing around the lake. It's almost a requirement for every Idahoan!
7. Plan a getaway at a wilderness ranch.
Where you sleep is just as much of an experience as where you play in Stanley. In the area are several lodges and guest ranches that are perfect for your next staycation. The nearby Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch is one of the most premiere lodging experiences in the state. The ranch provides a rustic, Western experience all while making sure their guests feel pampered. It's the perfect way of experiencing the beautiful Idaho wilderness while maintaining all the comforts of home.
Have you been to Stanley? Don’t forget to check out our list of the
15 Outdoorsy Things To Do In Idaho Before You Die.