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Sawtooth Scenic Byway
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"The Sawtooth wilderness is definitely the core of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, and a lot of people really appreciate the ability to get out, get away from the contrivances of society, phones and computers and cars and things like that. And so it's a pretty stunning wilderness area which is already centered in a very isolated rural outdoor community of Idaho."
The Sawtooth Scenic Byway takes you on a picturesque 115 mile journey, traversing stark desert and high mountains on its way to Stanley, Idaho. The byway begins in the small railroad town of Shoshone and quickly gets into some interesting lava flows. Carved by flowing waters, Black Magic Canyon is a great geological attraction along the way.
North of the canyon the landscape begins to transition into the fertile agricultural fields surrounding the resort towns of Hailey, Ketchum and Sun Valley. In winter, skiers travel from around the world to the famous Sun Valley Resort. From Sun Valley the byway climbs above the Wood River Valley and its views of the Boulder Mountains to Galena Pass.
Just past the summit the spectacular Sawtooth Mountain Range begins to unfold. The Sawtooth National Recreation area is full of alpine lakes, streams, rivers and amazing mountain vistas. One of the most popular stops in the SNRA is Redfish Lake. It's the Sawtooth's largest alpine lake, and from its sandy beaches you can look up at beautiful 10,000 foot Mount Heyburn.
Not far from the lake the byway ends in the small community of Stanley. There's a great museum at the old ranger station in town and the views of the Salmon River and the surrounding peaks are stunning. Stanley is a great place to begin an adventure into the Sawtooths.