6 Reasons to Visit Stanley in the Fall


Imagine uninhabited trails, pristine rivers, local culture and scenery that will WOW you. It’s not hibernation season yet so get outdoors and enjoy fall in the Sawtooth Valley!

Your appreciation towards Mother Nature will escalate while hiking through the Sawtooth National Recreation Area (SNRA) in the autumn. The fall colors add a new dimension to the Sawtooth and White Cloud Mountains. Green hues of the summer vegetation are transformed into vivid colors of yellow, red and orange.

The trails are less crowded so you’ll see more wildlife than people. Hike to your favorite alpine lake or dare to hike to a new destination. There are hundreds of hiking trails in the SNRA waiting for you to explore. Take advantage of the solitude!

Fly Fishing
If you’re a serious angler or never held a rod, you’re going to fall in love with the Sawtooth Valley. Fishing is one of the premier recreational pastimes in the area. Native cutties, mountain whitefish and rainbow trout are waiting for you in the Salmon River, a high-mountain lake or a slow-flowing creek.

The rugged unspoiled landscape, gin-clear waters and uncrowded banks offer the angler an unrivaled experience. Your only competition may be an eagle dive-bombing into the river for fish.

McCoy’s Tackle and Gift Shop  in Stanley has all your fishing needs including licenses, rental equipment, flies and clothing. Stop in for some great advice on local fishing spots, conditions, tips and tools.

Scenic Drives
Leaf peepers can drive any of the three scenic byways that lead to Stanley. The Sawtooth, Salmon River and Ponderosa Pine scenic byways offer travelers stunning river and mountain views. Take a detour off the byway on a dirt road to explore the autumn colors sprinkled into the remarkable geographic diversity. Plan your route to Stanley!

The rugged mountain vistas are the ideal backdrop to any fall photo.

Although summer has ended, the music plays on. The  Mountain Village Saloon  and  Kasino Club  continue to bring entertainment to Stanley throughout the autumn. Play all day, unwind with a hearty dinner and dance the night away.

Jonathan Warren and the Billy Goats will be entertaining ballgoers at the Firefighter’s Ball on Saturday, September 23.

Stoney LaRue  will be playing at Mountain Village’s outdoor venue on Friday, September 22. An Oklahoman transplant from Texas, Stoney LaRue entertains fans with his red dirt country music. Check out the video, Oklahoma Breakdown, to get you pumped for the show!

Wildlife Viewing
Witness the wildlife in their natural habitat in the Sawtooth Valley. Stop at any meadow to listen to elk bugling, birds singing or coyotes yip-howling. Watch the Sandhill cranes take flight or the deer munching on vegetation. If you’re really lucky, the moose will be hiding in plain sight.

Mountain Biking
Fall is an invigorating time to ride the trails. Experience the cooler temperatures, fewer crowds and the expansive scenery during the shoulder season. Challenging singletrack to leisurely dirt roads can be found throughout the valley. Fisher Creek, Nip and Tuck Road, Boundary Creek and Elk Mountain Loop are a few of the local’s favorite riding trails.

Need an excuse to ride? People all over the world will participate in the 2nd Annual  Bike Your Park Day  on September 30. It encourages people to explore urban and rural parks and public lands by bicycle whether it’s on paved roads or trails. Tune up your bike and explore the mountain biking trails in Stanley!

Nature lovers to adventurers will find what they are looking for in the Sawtooth Valley. Before the snow flies, enjoy the beauty of the SNRA in all its fall glory.

Do. Sleep. Eat. Shop.

Blog written by Erica Cole