Stanley is the perfect Rocky Mountain town, in Central Idaho. 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.
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.
No public transit here. Stanley is the perfect town to park the car, lose the keys and walk or ride a bike.
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.
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.
8 restaurants, 3 coffee shops, and 2 ice cream stores and 2 bars.
Everything from riverside cabins and motels to backcountry yurts and private cabins.
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.