Stanley, a town of barely over 100 inhabitants (2020) in Central Idaho, is the perfect Rocky Mountain small town. This picturesque community is squeezed between the Salmon River of No Return and the Sawtooth Mountains, often referred to as the American Alps. The towering Sawtooth Mountains create the most impressive skyline in the west. Stanley has a vibrant community offering everything needed for the traveling visitor. Stanley has a variety of lodging, restaurants, shops, outfitters and other services.

The Sawtooth Mountains

Get in edit

By car edit

It's at the intersection of Hwy 75 and Hwy 21. Stanley is the only spot in the US where three national scenic byways intersect.

By plane edit

  • 1 Stanley Airport (FAA LID: 2U7). Open during the summer months with Charter Air-Taxi service to Boise and Hailey, Idaho.  

Get around edit

No public transit here. Stanley is the perfect town to park the car, lose the keys and walk or ride a bike.

See edit

Do edit

Rafting: Experience 1-day family-style river trips on the Salmon River. Stanley is also the jumping-off point for week-long trips down the Middle and Main Forks of the Salmon River. Both are designated Wild and Scenic rivers and trip leaders must hold permits that are distributed via lottery.

Climbing: World-class climbing in the Sawtooth Mountains.

Hiking: Trails to hundreds of high mountain lakes and scores of mountain summits in the several wild areas that encircle the Stanley Valley. To the southwest is the Sawtooth Wilderness Area. To the southeast are the White Cloud and Boulder Mountains, which are being considered for status as Federally protected wilderness. To the north are myriad mountains, lakes, rivers and high meadows comprising the Frank Church Wilderness of No Return, the largest expanse of contiguous wilderness in the lower 48 states.

Mountain biking: Everything from smooth single track loops to technical trails. So many options it can be confusing. Pick up a map or hire a guide to find the best trails in the area.

Fly fishing: The headwaters of the Salmon River, Valley Creek, and the Middle Fork of the Salmon are all popular destinations for world-class fly fishing.

Trailrides: Great trailrides through the Sawtooth Mountains

Music: During the summer Stanley is the host to several music festivals. The Sawtooth Music Festival is a one-day event staged on the grounds of the city's Pioneer Park. Music From Stanley is a concert series that happens every Sunday during the summer at the Lodge at Redfish Lake, a few miles south of Stanley. The broadcasts are recorded for broadcast on a number of public radio stations, including Boise State Radio.

Buy edit

There is a grocery store in Stanley. There is also a very cool and helpful country store on Hwy 75 in lower Stanley. There are a number of outdoor gear and apparel shops along with a tackle shop and a handful of boutique shops.

Eat edit

8 restaurants, 3 coffee shops, and 2 ice cream stores and 2 bars.

Sleep edit

Everything from riverside cabins and motels to backcountry yurts and private cabins.

Stay safe edit

Stanley can get extremely cold in the winter months - even by Idaho mountain standards - with temperatures dipping well below zero Fahrenheit. Indeed the city has a well-deserved reputation for being the coldest place in Idaho. Make sure you're well-prepared if you're here during that time.

Connect edit

Stanley Chamber of Commerce

Go next edit

Routes through Stanley
ENDS at N   S  N   S  Sun ValleyShoshone

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