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Join us for a fun week to celebrate Stanley, Idaho’s new designation as America’s Only Dark Sky Reserve

International Dark Sky Week was created in 2003 by a high-school student named Jennifer Barlow. Since that time, the holiday week has grown to become a worldwide sensation, and a major focal point for Global Astronomy Month, which takes place throughout the month of April. Every year International Dark Sky Week is held around International Astronomy Day, combining the gathered attention and pointing everyone’s interests skyward. This year’s Dark Sky Celebrations begin on Sunday, April 15, and run through Saturday, April 21

International Dark Sky Week is intended to draw attention to the many issues associated with light pollution, while promoting simple solutions to mitigate the problem in urban areas, and building exposure for areas on Earth that have sought to prevent further light pollution from impacting their natural beauty.

Stanley, Idaho is the first and only International Dark Sky Reserve in the United States of America, making it an incredibly valuable asset to our country’s natural beauty and elevating Stanley as an example of controlled light pollution for the entire nation. We’re proud of this designation and we’re excited to celebrate International Dark Sky Week with some fun concerts and activities. We hope you’ll join us.

Interested in learning more? Check out the great resources and information available at DarkSky.org

The Great American Eclipse has finally come! We’ve been counting down to this incredible natural phenomenon for months (some of us have even waited for years!) and we’re super excited to share the event with the world. If you haven’t made plans already, we’ve had a few cancellations in the Lodge, resulting in limited availability. We’ve also got plenty of Tent and RV Campsites available (no hook-ups), so everyone should have a spot to lay their head at night. Stop by Beer Stands, BBQ Grills, Taco Makers, and so much more as you navigate through town for this awesome experience. We’ve got lots of Parking available also – and our Mercantile has been fully stocked with all the supplies you’ll need for a fantastic time in Stanley, Idaho. Check out some of the details below and be sure to stop in and say “Hi” to our excellent crew – without their hard work this event wouldn’t be nearly as awesome!

Stanley, Idaho’s Eclipse Time Table…
Partial Eclipse Begins:  10:12:03 am
Partial Eclipse Ends:  12:52:19 pm

Total Eclipse Begins:  11:28:19 am
Maximum Eclipse Occurs:  11:29:26 am
Total Eclipse Ends:  11:30:32 am
Total Eclipse Time (Start-Finish): 2 minutes, 12 seconds

Total Time (Start-Finish): 2 hours, 40 minutes





Friday, August 18, Stanley Museum, 5pm
Starlight and Darkness: Idaho’s 21st Century Total Solar Eclipse
Paul Cox, Observatory Director and Chief Astronomical Officer at Slooh, will discuss — in a very practical and accessible way — the misconceptions and misinformation about the eclipse plus how to watch and photograph it. In a non-sciencey way, Paul will cover the timings and what to watch for during each phase in addition to the mechanics and causes of the eclipses. Paul will touch a little on what Slooh does every night with their live telescopes in the Canary Islands and Chile with the possibility of some live views. He’ll also enlighten you on ways to keep your kids engaged long enough to enjoy totality.

Saturday and Sunday, August 19 & 20, Sawtooth Valley Pioneer Park, 10:30pm
Star Party
The Boise Astronomical Society (BAS) is organizing a two-night free public access Star Party. They will provide supervised public access night-viewing telescopes plus at least one solar telescope from noon until sunset. You don’t want to miss their free laser-guided constellation tour at approximately 10:30pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Sunday, August 20, Stanley Community Building, 3pm
Awesome Solar Eclipses from Ancient Time Until Tomorrow
Woody Sullivan, Professor of Astronomy at the University of Washington, will talk about the history of eclipses, their importance in astronomy, how they work and what they are. He will answer the question of what you should be looking for during and after the eclipse. Woody will discuss the 1925 solar eclipse that went across Manhattan as well as when and where is the next solar eclipse.


Mountain Village Restaurant & Saloon BBQ Stand Taco Stand


Stanley, Idaho is world-renowned for its incredible fishing and springtime brings some of the most exciting fishing of the entire year. Huge Steelhead return to Stanley from the Pacific Ocean and draw adventurous anglers along with them. We’ve got everything you need to know to prepare for an epic Steelhead Season in the Sawtooths!

What You Need To Know

A Steelhead is considered to be an river-going rainbow trout that is longer than 20 inches.

Every April, millions of steelhead smolts that have been produced by the Sawtooth Hachery – and Pahsimeroi Hatchery to east of Stanley – are released into the upper Salmon River to begin their long journey to the Pacific Ocean. Along their way, they’ll travel over 900 miles and cross over 8 hydroelectric dams. It’s truly an incredible feat! Once they arrive at the Pacific, they’ll spend 1 to 3 years maturing before beginning the long journey back across 8 dams and into Idaho. (An even more incredible feat!)

Steelhead typically begin to return to their hatchery of birth by about March or April, which makes for excellent fishing in the regions near the hatcheries.  


Where & When Can I Fish?
East Fork to Sawtooth Fish Hatchery (Upstream) is Location Code: LC19

This area runs from the East Fork Salmon River to a posted boundary about 100 yards downstream of the Sawtooth Hatchery.

Spring Season Dates run from January 1 – April 30

Typically, fishing is best – and anglers are most highly concentrated – along the Yankee Fork region and near the Sunbeam Dam in March. The concentration of fish (and anglers) shifts upstream toward Lower Stanley, Sunny Gulch, and the Sawtooth Hatchery in April. We suggest trying a variety of spots according to your comfort level, skill set, and fishing type.

Keep in mind that the water is higher this year and the extremely high snowpack has made accessing some favorite areas much more treacherous than usual. Please be wise in your decision-making.

Learn More About Regions, Rules, and Regulations from Idaho Fish & Game

Rules You Need To Know

  • You can only keep steelhead with a clipped adipose fin. You’ll know the difference if there is a healed scar where it has been clipped.
  • All steelhead without a clipped adipose fin (considered intact) must be released if caught.
  • Anyone fishing for steelhead – even catch-and-release fishing – must have a valid fishing license AND a valid steelhead permit.
  • Kids under 14 years old are NOT required to purchase a steelhead permit, but they must be accompanied by a valid and licensed permit holder. Any fish caught by the child must be recorded on the permit holder’s card and counted against their limit. To avoid this, children may purchase an individual steelhead permit which will tally their fish and limits independently.
  • Along the Salmon River, only BARBLESS HOOKS with a maximum of a 5/8 inch gap between the hook shank and its point may be used to catch steelhead. Hooks may be single, double, or treble and, if barbed, they may have their barbs bent flat to the hook shank to meet the requirement.
  • The catch limit is 3 fish per day and 9 fish in possession at any time. The season harvest limit is 20 fish total. Any angler who has achieved the daily, possession, or season limit is required to stop fishing for steelhead – including catch-and-release.


A-Run vs B-Run: What’s The Difference?


These make up a large portion of the fish caught near Stanley each year. The majority of A-Run Steelhead remain in the Pacific for about one year before returning to the Columbia River for the journey back inland. In most years, a large number of these fish reach Idaho by fall to make their way back to spawning grounds. These fish tend to reach 23 to 26 inches in length and weigh between 4 and 6 pounds each.


These steelhead stay in the ocean for closer to two years. After growing for longer and reaching much larger sizes, they return to the Columbia to begin the upstream trek by late August or September. An average B-Run Steelhead will reach 31 to 34 inches in length and weigh between 10 and 13 pounds! While most of them reach Idaho by fall, they tend to arrive after their A-Run counterparts, so be patient. If you’re lucky enough to snag one of these big fellas, you’ll know it!


Tips For Successful Catch & Release

  • You are required to catch and release any caught steelhead with an unclipped (intact) adipose fin – or any steelhead that you catch and choose not to retain.
  • Always aim to minimize handling to limit stress on each fish you catch and release. This will help their chance of survival.
  • Remember that you are required by law to use BARBLESS HOOKS. There’s a reason for this. It helps fish survive.
  • Never touch a fish by the gills. This can damage their ability to “breathe.”
  • Try to avoid battling a fish on the line to the point of exhaustion. This exertion will decrease the chances for the fish’s survival. If a fish is exhausted, gently support its underside in the water with its head facing upstream until it can swim away under its own power.
  • Use a net when possible to avoid pulling a caught fish onto the rocks, sand, and plants along the shoreline.
  • Never simply toss or throw a fish back into the water. Return it gently.
  • Handle all fish as little as possible. The best method for avoiding unnecessary handling is to release fish by simply grasping the hook alone.
  • If a hook becomes stuck, we recommend simply cutting the line to avoid unnecessary handling and time out of the water. Typical hooks will dislodge or dissolve after a short time.
  • If you must handle a fish, be sure that your hands are wet before touching it. Avoid squeezing it and hold it in the water until it is absolutely necessary to remove it for your purposes.
  • If you’re planning to take a photo, be sure your camera is ready in order to snap the picture quickly and return it to the water.  


Now that you’re an expert, head on up to Stanley for some Steelhead thrills on the Salmon River. You can’t beat the scenery or the crowds, and the fishing is as good as you’ll find anywhere – and there’s nothing like ending a long day of fishing with a RELAXING SOAK IN OUR PRIVATE HOT SPRING.

If you need a place to stay, we’ve got you covered. Check out our availability or make a reservation today! We’ll see you soon.


The Sawtooth Mountains host some of the most incredible backcountry skiing terrain in the USA – and the area is specifically known for its couloir runs, which offer unique turns through the tightly formed rock shoots. For the best access to the very best, most challenging runs, you’ll need to plan an overnight trip in one of the excellent huts or yurts that serve the area.

Image of Sawtooth Mountain Guides, Williams Peak Hut

Williams Peak Hut (Sawtooth Mountain Guides)

As the name suggests, Williams Peak Hut is perfectly situated on the side of Williams Peak and offers excellent access to the great runs and open bowls that surround Thompson and Williams Peaks – some of the Sawtooth Mountains’ largest peaks. You’ll find great powder, excellent vertical, and superb views for miles (if you choose the right day!).


Fishhook Yurt (Sun Valley Trekking)

The Fishhook Yurt is a bit less challenging to access than the Williams Peak Hut. It is situated in Fishhook Creek Meadow, at the scenic base of Thompson and WIlliams Peaks. This unique Yurt provides a comfortable setting for exploring the lower valley before climbing to the peaks above for some absolutely long and stellar ski runs.


Nighttime at Bench Hut, Sun Valley Trekking

Bench Hut (Sun Valley Trekking)

Many visitors to the Sawtooths are familiar with the hike to the Bench Lakes, but this Hut takes the adventure to another level. Perched in the trees near the group of Bench Lakes, this awesome hut provides excellent access to iconic Mount Heyburn and other surrounding peaks – which deliver outstanding views of Redfish Lake and the deeper Sawtooth range along with some challenging and fun runs.

Regardless of which Hut or Yurt you choose to explore from, you’re sure to have an absolutely thrilling and extremely memorable Sawtooth experience – so we hope you’ll plan a trip up to join us for some powder shots. Just remember to always prepare for frigid temperatures, avalanche conditions, and other emergency scenarios to ensure that you’re ready in case a problem arises. We want to see you come back as often as possible!

Book Your Trip Today!

If you enjoy the challenge and solitude of winter’s quieter pursuits, there are miles and miles of groomed trails to explore by ski or snowshoe – and you’re likely to find yourself alone on your journey. Given the rugged and remote nature of the Sawtooths, the area is still a well-kept secret that is often left to dedicated adventurers, especially during weekdays when many people are still slogging through their workdays. While visitors do frequent the area, the wide open spaces and extended trails offer excellent escapes from busier areas to our South.


Park Creek Ski Area

Park Creek is an area just to the northwest of Stanley, near Stanley Lake. This great location provides an excellent viewpoint that overlooks the northern edge of the Sawtooths and offers easy to moderate pathways that weave through the forested valley floor. There are several options that interconnect throughout this system of trails, providing a unique view and challenge to a variety of different skill levels. You may even witness an elk or other animals wandering in the deep snow nearby.

Check out the trail map!


Alturas Lake Ski Area

Alturas Lake offers a well-groomed, well-managed space for exploration at the Sawtooths’ southern edge. This beautiful region offers more rolling scenery, along with some very fun and approachable trails. Access to this system is more extended, requiring entry from Highway 75 – but the views and groomed paths are well worth it. Given that this area is a bit closer to Ketchum, it sees a few more visitors.

Check out the trail map!


Image courtesy SIHA, Redfish Lake Lodge

Redfish Lake

Redfish Lake is a memorable setting for many generations of Idahoans, which makes it a popular stop for winter adventurers. While that doesn’t mean it’s busy or crowded by any means, you are more likely to see someone along this path than the others. That’s likely due to the amazing views at Little Redfish Lake and Redfish Lake, as well as the fun, quiet experience of wandering around the Lodge, Campgrounds, Visitor Center, and Docks while surrounded by frozen, snowy white. There’s no beach time for a few more months!


Image Courtesy of Knowles Gallery

Stanley Lake

Another popular and incredibly scenic area spot is Stanley Lake. This gorgeous natural setting has been featured on posters, calendars, postcards, and the web for years and years because it is one of the most amazing settings Idaho has to offer. And that doesn’t change in the wintertime. If you can brave the extended, but groomed trail that accesses the area you’ll be rewarded with stunning photographs and breathtaking peace – and you’ll probably feel like you have it all to yourself. How much better can you get?

There are definitely a few other groomed trails and fun locations to scout around during your next visit to Stanley, Idaho, but these are some of our favorites. Be sure to stop into the Mountain Village Lodge and Restaurant to chat up our friendly crew of local experts. You’re sure to get some great advice and make a good friend in the process – and we’ll be excited to have you.

Book Your Trip Today!

Snowmachines are a fixture in Stanley, Idaho throughout the winter. You can see snowmobiles and snowbikes revving around the snowy hillsides and pathways all over the Stanley Basin each day. And the secret is getting out about the amazing terrain, incredible powder, and bluebird skies we see all winter long. So far, 2017 is off to phenomenal start – showing some of the deepest snowpack we’ve seen in awhile – so come on up and join us for an excellent ride.

Check out our list of the best spots to open up your throttle and tear up some powder near Stanley, Idaho. We’ve done the work for you, so you can just hit the gas and head for the very best locations.

Kelly Creek Loop

Kelly Creek provides great access to lots of backcountry trails! This route offers a fun journey on the back roads of Stanley, where you can venture off trail if you dare. If you are in a time crunch, just do a quick loop – or venture off onto another connecting destination if you have time. There’s plenty of wide open space to explore.

Stanley Lake

Over the river and through the woods! This long, groomed trail leads you to the Stanley Lake Inlet, which is an excellent area for a pit stop. If you’re still feeling adventurous, meander a few more miles up a tree lined, windy road to Elk Mountain Lookout where a clear day will present you with outstanding views of Sawtooth peaks for miles.

Stanley to Redfish Lake

If you’ve made the drive, you know how scenic the trip is from Stanley to Redfish Lake. Well imagine that beauty on the solitude of a 9-Mile groomed trail all the way to the Lake! We suggest exploring all along this pathway and surrounding areas, and making your way to one of the Lake’s beautiful “beach” areas for a quiet, private picnic with a great view.

Stanley to Smiley Creek

Looking for an extended ride that will give you the full Sawtooth experience? Then take a day trip from Smiley Creek to Stanley! This awesome trip provides astounding views of the Sawtooth and White Cloud Mountains on all sides. If that’s not enough, you can venture into Redfish Lake for some scenic fun along the way, then continue to Stanley for a delicious lunch, some snacks, and/or a bit of fuel at the Mountain Village Resort.

Basin Butte

This fantastic trail is like riding to the “Top of the World”!  But the great views and fun riding can be an interesting and difficult challenge, depending on the snow conditions. If you’re lucky, you can break trail up a narrow and gradual incline to reach the top. IF you can make it up, you’ll be able to climb onto deck of the lookout hut and take in the stunning view of Basin Butte Meadow below.

Banner Summit

The sky (or snow!) is the limit on Banner Summit! This sweet area offers a wide variety of riding terrain. Riders can zoom through rolling hills and experiencing the invigorating rush of whipping through burnt forest against the white powder. Skilled riders can get even more extreme, exploring explore the area’s many backcountry shoots and summits.

Now that you’ve got all the best intel, head on up to Stanley and join us for some epic tracks in the Sawtooth and White Cloud Mountains. Always tell someone where you’re going and come prepared by packing the proper safety and survival equipment to avoid unnecessary accidents. When you’re done exploring, we’ve got plenty of warm beds, hot meals, and cold drinks for everyone – oh, and lots of gas and supplies too! We’re happy to share our Winter Wonderland with you – and our awesome team will be smiling and ready to serve.


This Week

Friday (7/15) & Saturday (7/16) @ 10pm:

Innocent Man

Innocent Man

Innocent Man

Combining the sounds of classic rock and roll with their love for Americana and outlaw country, Innocent Man has formed a brilliant style that has made them super popular all over the Gem State. Their jam band roots and vast musical influences can be heard through the soulful lyrics and skillful grooves of each original song. We’re very excited to watch them rock the stage at the Saloon.

Next Week


Thom Shepherd & Coley McCabe

Friday (8/5) @ 10pm:

Thom Shepherd & Coley McCabe (Country Folk Singer-Songwriters)


Saturday (8/6) @ 10pm:

Old Death Whisper

Old Death Whisper

Old Death Whisper (Rock Country & Folk Music )


This Week

Friday (7/15) & Saturday (7/16) @ 10pm:

Robbie Walden Band

The Robbie Walden Band has built a solid following in the country rock music scene due to their hearty blend of Texas Red Dirt style and classic Western sounds. Coupling thoughtful and honest lyrics with catchy melodies results in a truly distinct vibe that keeps crowds coming back for more. Be sure to join us for two nights from this excellent group.

Sunday (7/17) @ 1pm:

Wayne Worthen

Wayne Worthen is a super talented guitarist and musical performer from the Treasure Valley. He weaves great original tunes and classic covers into fun performances that are memorable for all. His unique style fits perfectly into the Sawtooth Mountain environment and we’re happy to welcome him for a special Sunday afternoon performance. We hope you’ll join us!


Next Week

Wednesday (7/20) @ 10pm:

Dusty Rust (Classic Country Folk Music)

Friday (7/15) & Saturday (7/16) @ 10pm:

The Blackberry Bushes (Acoustic Americana + Bluegrass Music)