Summer is arriving in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area! Days are getting warmer and the lakes are beginning to look inviting for swimming.
It’s easy to forget that snow can still be found at higher elevations, and that trails may not be clear for hiking. Adventure abounds regardless, and there are plenty of opportunities for early-season fun around Stanley right now!
Many trails above 7,500 feet are still snow-covered, and creeks are flowing high with spring run-off, so seeking out lower elevation trails is advised. Around Stanley, a handful of trails are snow-free, including:
Fishhook Creek (4.4 miles roundtrip)
Bench Lakes (8 miles roundtrip)- the trail to the second lake is dry/clear!
Lilly Lake/waterfall (1.4 miles roundtrip from the boat shuttle drop-off)
Lady Face Falls (5 miles roundtrip)
Hell Roaring Lake (10.4 miles roundtrip)
Many other popular trails are still snow covered and require snowshoes to access.
If you are hoping to get on the water, now is a great time to explore our lakes and rivers! It’s prime time for whitewater rafting on the Salmon River. The class IV sections of the river are open, but as the water drops, trips will move away from that area of the river, so get out there while you can!
Early mornings are perfect for a quiet paddle on Redfish Lake. Paddleboards, kayaks, and canoes are available to rent from Redfish Lake Lodge, or you can bring your own (just make sure you have an invasive species sticker!).
As always, the Stanley Museum and the Redfish Visitors Center & Gallery are open daily. We love helping visitors plan fun activities. Come see us!