The Inspiration of the Sawtooths


Walking through the trails in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area gives me such an amazing feeling. It is like I am floating in the clouds, but I am on a rugged, partially maintained, narrow trail. I have dirt under my nails, fresh mountain water in my Nalgene, and a mind that is finally at rest. My only thoughts are, “How far can I push myself today?” The bright blue skies matched with the clear blue waters inspires me to go to places I have never been before. However, this inspiration is not only for me, but it is for all of us who travel far and wide, just to have a piece of the Sawtooths.

snowy mountains Stanley, ID | Stanley chamber

Inspiration is not a resource that is lacking around here. Everywhere you go, something new and exciting is happening. We are all getting excited for the winter right now, prepping our skis, making sure we have enough wood for the fire, talking with our friends as the snow drifts around us. There are people who have lived in this valley for generations. Go ahead, go ask them if they are ever bored here, or if they ever get tired of looking at the same mountains day in and day out. I can guarantee you that we will all answer the same way. The mountains are always changing, who would get bored of this?

mountain lake | Stanley chamber

Musicians, poets, artists… people from all different backgrounds find their way into this jagged landscape. There are countless songs about this area, poems that resonate through our valleys, and paintings that show the tranquility in the creeks. These are not the only people who are here, though. There are business people, educators, dreamers, and so much more.

The Sawtooths have been my inspiration for the past 4 years, and now for many more to come. I moved here when I was 20, still in college, terrified that I was not in the right field of study, and far away from friends and family. Living here has inspired me to push forward with new endeavors. I now trust myself to be able to reach for the stars, but shoot further than that. The backcountry has offered me the tranquility to be able to listen to my mind again, and the front country has offered me a new set of friends and family.

sunshine over mountain lake | Stanley chamber

The Sawtooth National Recreation Area inspires me every day. What does it do for you?

-Sarah Cawley