The Sawtooth Mountains which bump up against Stanley to the south and west hold some of the most aesthetic and radical ski terrain in the western United States. Little known, hewn from the granite of the central Idaho batholith, the Sawtooths are riddled with thousands of couloirs, drawing the eye to line after line proving that God was a geologist with a skier/snowboarder mindset. Cold, long winters are punctuated by massive storms with intermittent patterns of warm air and sun periodically pushing in from the south and west. During late spring and early summer, the range becomes even larger with long days and typically more stable conditions that allow for deeper exploration.
Accessible from the highway, day trips into the Sawtooths with Stanley as base camp offer an abundance of quality snow and a variety of killer terrain. Skiers and snowboarders also have the option of utilizing the Sawtooth Yurt System which brings backcountry travelers deep into the range for the full spectrum of experiences. From meadow skipping to intermediate glade skiing to full on avalanche chute hunting the Sawtooths are the real deal and one of the best kept secrets anywhere.
The Stanley Basin and neighboring Sun Valley are home to a passionate community of Nordic skiers for good reason. This area is ideally suited for kick and glide with some of the best terrain and conditions for Nordic anywhere. Stanley has two groomed Nordic trail systems with one at Alturas Lake 20 minutes south of Stanley on highway 75 and the other at Park Creek less than 10 minutes to the west on Highway 21. Approximately 32 kilometers total of groomed trails loop through the meadows and timber at the base of the Sawtooths in an incredible, picturesque amphitheater of mountains and snow draped stillness.
*We remind you that you are traveling in the backcountry and hazardous snow conditions can exist on all aspects and at all elevations all season. So take appropriate precautions and be safe out there!
Guidebooks and Maps
- Sawtooth/White Cloud, Idaho Trail Map and Guide by Adventure Maps, Inc.
- Sawtooth Avalanche Center Snow and Weather Report