The Sawtooth Mountains are famous for their majestic craggy peaks,
alpine lakes, winding Salmon River, and extensive trail system, and boast
some of the best outdoor recreation in the world.
Among the activities to fill your days are hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, fishing, whitewater rafting, and swimming in the natural hot springs pool. Guests are free to create their own adventures, assisted by our knowledgeable staff. Explore the Ranch and area on your own, or take advantage of a broad array of locally-offered guided activities. Set your own agenda and pace for a truly custom vacation. There's also plenty of relaxation available, from taking in the Sawtooth Mountains from our famous front porch, reading by the fire, playing games with family and friends to stargazing and soaking in our natural hot springs pool.
The Ranch offers an excellent riding program. We cater specifically to
Ranch guests and feature small, quality trail rides into the White Cloud
or Sawtooth Mountains originating on the Ranch. Guided rides are full-day,
half-day or one-and-a-half hours. Special moonlight, sunrise or custom
rides can also be arranged. Some trail rides include fishing opportunities
for those interested. Children six and over are welcome to join trail
rides, and pony rides can be arranged for young aspiring cowboys and cowgirls! The stables are on the property. An hour and a half on-Ranch ride is included if you stay with us 4 nights. Cost of rides if you've chosen a shorter visit, or for additional rides you book, is easily charged to your room.
Some of the popular trails include: Chamberlain Lakes,
a full day ride that travels past Fourth of July and Washington Lakes
and provides views of Castle Peak; Horton Peak, one of the highest places
in the Stanley Basin accessible on horseback; and, shorter rides originating Gold Creek, and the Salmon River trail.
on the Ranch along Williams Creek,
For those of you who would like an overnight hiking/camping adventure, Ranch outfitter Devan Jackson at Pioneer Outfitters can do a spot-pack for you, packing your gear into and out of your campsite, easing your load. You also can book a multi-day guided pack trip riding into one of Devan’s several base camps, for “real camping”, with spectacular scenic views and hiking and fishing opportunities. With of course, a stay at the Ranch before and after these adventures! Visit our blog, the May 2012 posting, for photos and a fun account of a pack trip.
In the heart of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area (SNRA), surrounded
by more wilderness than anywhere in the continental United States, opportunities
abound for hikers and walkers at all ability levels. There are over 200
hiking trails winding through the Sawtooth and White Cloud Mountain Ranges
surrounding the Ranch. Enjoy a four-mile walk along Fishhook Creek or
venture up 1700 feet to sparkling Sawtooth Lake, the “crown jewel”
of the Valley. In July, the wildflowers are at their peak, and you can
find lupine, sego lilies, Indian paintbrush, shooting stars, blue penstemon
and many others. Many of the local alpine lakes are stocked with fish
annually for those wishing to drop in a line. The Ranch has a stocked
reference library, detailed maps and descriptions, and lots of seasoned
hikers on staff to help you choose from the almost limitless trails available.
The Sawtooth Valley has a reputation for exhilarating, extreme and epic mountain biking trails, without the crowds. Whether you are looking for a heart pumping, single-track trek over high mountain passes or a gentle cruise alongside a creek on an old fire road, the options are plentiful. Several beginner trails start right on the ranch or you can venture out on any one of the many spectacular rides just a few minutes' drive from the ranch.
For our guests’ use, the Ranch provides 8 – 10 Specialized Rockhopper bikes ranging in size from 13”–21” and bike helmets in various sizes. Each bike has pad brakes (not disc), front shocks, platform pedals and comes equipped with a pump, extra tube and tube repair kit. To get you started, we offer a free weekly bike clinic with an on-ranch initiation ride.
Click here for an overview on some mountain biking trails in the Sawtooth Valley
The Sawtooth Valley and Upper Salmon River area have an abundance of great
fishing opportunities. The Ranch is located within the Sawtooth National
Recreation Area (SNRA) where four major rivers have their headwaters.
The area also offers five large valley lakes, hundreds of smaller streams
and creeks as well as hundreds of mountain lakes, some that are accessible
by vehicle and many that are enjoyed with a short or long hike.
On the Ranch, enjoy fishing in the portion of the Salmon
River that runs through the property and in our stocked, catch & release
pond. Many people fish the Main Salmon River above and below the nearby
town of Stanley for “hatchery released” rainbow trout, mountain
whitefish, and the occasional cutthroat or brook trout. The upper Middle
Fork of the Salmon and its tributary streams hold this same broad variety
of fish. Valley and high alpine lakes offer yet another option. For new
enthusiasts, there is a weekly fly fishing clinic offered on the front
lawn to get you started.
Local fishing shops dispense fishing equipment,
and can provide a wealth of information about fishing the local waters.
A variety of outfitters offer guides for wading or floating
in the areas around the Ranch. Our staff can help arrange these guided fishing
outings, and give you additional local fishing tips.
Natural Hot Springs Pool
The Ranch location was chosen in the 1920s largely because of an active
natural hot springs which could be fed directly into a swimming pool,
providing a soothing, "therapeutic" swim and soak experience. Today,
this authentic natural hot spring-fed pool is as it was when it was
originally built. The swimming pool, with decking area and lounge
chairs, is a perfect place to pass the many sunny afternoons at the
Ranch, or refresh after an invigorating hike or bike, and it provides an
incomparable moon rise and star gazing experience
Within a short distance of the ranch there is an exciting variety of rafting
trips on the Salmon River, which we can arrange for you. You might take
the entire family on a mild float trip or choose to spend the day paddling
exhilarating rapids. Contact our office if you would like to arrange
a raft trip in advance of your stay. Other water sports including canoeing,
windsurfing, and kayaking are available at nearby Redfish Lake and elsewhere.
There are a wide variety of activities for children
at the Ranch and in the surrounding area. And children always enjoy the freedom
the Ranch. We’ll help you choose the activities most suitable for your
family and children’s ages from the many available.
Three nights a week, staff organizes front lawn games, crafts and story hour during the adult dinner hours. Children can eat from 5-6 all fine dining nights.
Popular children activities include: Fishing for trout in our well-stocked pond and just paddling around in our paddle boat; pony rides for very young children; part or full-day trail rides; hikes to lakes or along streams; swimming and soaking in our natural hot springs pool - no chills here - ; exploring nearby Custer and Bonanza ghost towns, deserted after the Gold Miners left the area in the early 1900’s; visiting the Sawtooth fish hatchery and Stanley Museum; floating the Salmon River; and, swimming, canoeing and kayaking on nearby Redfish Lake.
Other popular activities:
* Rock Climbing
* Visiting ghost towns
* Exploring the Sawtooth Fish Hatchery
* Visiting nearby Sun Valley, Idaho
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