Doug & Barbara Peterson

Doug & Barbara Peterson
Barbara & I at a scenic overlook on the skyline drive in the Rocky Mountain National Park, 8-13-2016

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Summer Trip 2018, Sunny Gulch Campground, Sawtooth National Forest, Stanley, Idaho

Sunny Gulch Campground on the Salmon River


Barbara and I at Redfish Lake, Stanley, Idaho

Idaho is a one of most scenic states we have ever visited. The Stanley, Idaho area is truly remote with high mountains, lakes and rivers that fill your soul with delight and amazement. One of the places that highlights these qualities is Redfish Lake near Stanley, Utah in the heart of the Sawtooth mountains. We stayed at Sunny Gulch Campground nearby, a national forest service campground, next to the Salmon River, about three miles from Redfish Lake. At 6,500 feet the nights here even in the summer time can get quite cold. Stanley sets many of summer time low temperature readings in the entire lower 48 states as it is in the shadow of the snowy peaks of the majestic Sawtooth mountain range. 

Our campsite at Sunny Gulch Campground near Redfish Lake

The Salmon River near our campsite at Sunny Gulch

Redfish Lake with the majestic Sawtooth mountains in the background

Cliff jumping into Redfish Lake on a sunny summer afternoon

The beautiful Redfish Lake Lodge

During our stay at Sunny Gulch we traveled to Stanley Lake just west of Stanley, Utah. This remote mountain lake is a fisherman's paradise located in area that is less frequented by the crowds that flock to Redfish Lake in the summer time. You really feel the remoteness of this wilderness area with it's wild forests, mountain backgrounds and alpine waters of turquoise blue. 

Stanley Lake with the majestic Sawtooth mountains in the background

A couple fishing from a sand bar on Stanley Lake

Fishermen going out in the morning to catch trout

The Salmon River has many lovely hot springs that attract folks who sooth there minds and bodies in the healing waters. We visited several while we were in the area with a soak at Sunbeam Hot Springs. It is not uncommon to see white water rafters, kayakers and paddle boaters enjoy the cool and fast flowing waters of the Salmon river while taking a relaxing soak in the warm spring waters. 

Structure built by the CCC at Sunbeam hotsprings

The hot spring pools on the banks of the Salmon River at Sunbeam hotsprings

Boat Box Hot Springs on the banks of the Salmon River

Kayakers making there way down stream near Boat Box Hot Springs

During our stay in the Stanley, Idaho area we also visited the ghost town of Custer. This old gold mining community had its hay day back in the gold rush times of the late 1800 hundreds. The history of Custer is preserved for all to see thanks to the many volunteers who have helped keep it original and preserved it for our children's children. You really feel the old west as it used to be when you visit Custer near Sunbeam village just east of Stanley.

The Empire Saloon, which is a gift shop for visitors

One of the larger homes in Custer, the inside is as close to original as possible

Gold mining equipment

Gold mining cabin

When in Idaho, Stanley is one of the best places to experience the grandeur that makes Idaho so special. With its majestic rivers, lakes and mountains it stands out as one of the wild places in our beautiful country. It is my hope that my narrative and images inspire you to visit this lovey place one day.


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