Packing Tips for a Fall Getaway to Stanley


Stanley is the ideal escape for a fall weekend mountain getaway. It’s time to leave all your worries behind and have fun exploring the Sawtooth Valley. We don’t want you to stress over packing for your short trip so here’s some advice from a Stanley local.

Check the weather forecast.
Fall is unpredictable in Stanley and that’s why we love it! It’s not uncommon to have 30+ degree temperature changes in a single day. Typically, the mornings are crisp and cool (below freezing) while the days are sunny and warm (50 – 60°). And as the sun sets behind the Sawtooth Mountains, the dramatic drop in temp will have you scrambling for warmer clothes. That’s quite a range in temperature, but don’t fret.

As the temperature fluctuates throughout the day, dress in layers that you can easily shed. Pack base layers, pants, t-shirts, long sleeve shirts, fleece jackets, gloves and a jacket. Keep your noggin warm by packing your favorite beanie.

Pack at least two pairs of shoes.
Leave the stilettos at home, ladies! Trade them in for hiking shoes and a warm pair of winter boots. Hey, this getaway may be the excuse you need to buy those red Uggs you always wanted. Who cares if they don’t match your outfit? In Stanley, you are your own fashion police.

Whether you’re hiking the trails or driving the dirt roads, make sure your feet are happy in comfortable footwear. And don’t leave home without your camera, memory card and charger or you’ll miss capturing the fall beauty during your traveling adventures.

The Essentials
Did you know the sun’s rays are more intense at higher elevations? This is true in all seasons. Since Stanley’s elevation is at 6,253’, make room in your suitcase for these essentials:

  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm with sunscreen

What activities are you planning?
There are many autumn activities to enjoy in the Stanley Basin. If you require specific gear, rent it in Stanley.

Toss your swimsuit into the suitcase if you’re staying at the  Mountain Village Resort  and plan on soaking in their private hot springs or in any of the other area hot springs.

Mountain Village Hot Springs | Stanley chamber

Mountain Village Hot Springs – Photo by Kat Cannell Photography

A night out in downtown Stanley is a must-do activity! Dine at any one of the eclectic eateries in town then check out the local watering holes featuring live music. Swing dance, play pool, meet new people or sit and visit with your traveling partner. No need to get gussied up, you’ll fit right in with the locals in jeans and flannel.

Packing List
Now let’s simplify your getaway suitcase into one easy list.

  • Base layer (top and bottom)
  • Pants (hiking pants, Carhartts or jeans)
  • T-shirts
  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Fleece jacket or flannel shirt
  • Gloves
  • Jacket (to protect from rain, snow and wind)
  • Beanie
  • Hiking shoes
  • Winter boots
  • Socks and undergarments
  • Toiletries
  • Backpack
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Camera, memory card and charger
  • Swimsuit
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm with sunscreen

Lay out everything before stuffing your suitcase beyond capacity. Ditch it if it’s not versatile, comfortable or suitable for the Stanley climate. Leave behind items that don’t pack compactly or coordinate with other clothing. Remember to roll your clothes to save space and put your toiletries in ziplock bags. And heaven forbid, if you have to sit on your luggage to zip it, you may need to rethink the flat iron and hair dryer.

We hope these helpful tips will ease your packing stress so you can enjoy your fall weekend mountain getaway in Stanley!

Do. Sleep. Eat. Shop.

Blog written by Erica Cole

Yellow trees in the mountain forest | Stanley chamber

Photo Credit: Ellen Libertine