View from the Shore
Our long Memorial Day weekend was a little chilly but the sunset views from our campsite on Bear Lake were fantastic. If you decide to visit the lake I would recommend staying at the south end—and bring your rain jacket.
It’s unusual that Re and I camp so close to home (or at a campground) save for one or two long weekends a year. A few friends had grabbed a site along the shore of Bear Lake in northeastern Utah, so we loaded up the truck and joined them for some barbecuing and beers—and a little paddling.
Read a little more about Bear Lake right here. It wouldn’t hurt to get a huckleberry milkshake when you’re in town, too—they’re worth the drive from Salt Lake City.
Years ago the camping around Stanley, Idaho included a small, secluded site atop one of the ridges just above town. It took a heavy foot on the gas pedal, four-wheel drive, and a little bit of faith to climb the rutted and dusty road up to this site and it was worth the trouble. This is just a portion of the 360-degree view of the star-filled sky over this small Idaho town flanked by the Sawtooths.
Visit Stanley for the rafting, mountain biking (send me a message for some beta), and hot springs. You’ll never want to leave.
|| At Fisher Creek, miles of singletrack mountain bike trails weave in and out of these burned trees. Although the initial pedal is a churner, the ride back to the trailhead is an all-time affair. ||
|| Stanley, Idaho. ||
|| Meggan bombs down dusty singletrack outside of Stanley, Idaho. Hot springs, the cold river, and the incredible mountain biking bring us back to Idaho year after year. ||
|| We left Salt Lake City and its light-polluted sky and found something better in Stanley, Idaho. Just outside of Stanley there’s a particular campsite on a particular hill; it’s hard to reach but worth the effort. You can see a full 360 degrees of clear sky from this campsite. A faint glimmer of light shines into the sky from town; it’s hardly enough to distract from the stars that fill the sky.
Nights like this remind me of Maine. ||
|| Twenty-percent rain was what the forecast read. Really, this translated into about twenty, full minutes of rain–at two AM. I’ll take that.
We took Friday off from work with the hope of bagging a ride or two on the trails around Stanley before it rained. Luckily, we beat the rain. And after the clouds rolled in and rolled out at night, we were left with this incredible sunrise.
An incredible view awaited us at this campsite off the Nip Tuck road. Hunters rolled up and down the dirt road all morning, checking for deer and signs of a chance to earn an early tag. We left during the day, rode Fischer Creek, hit the hot springs near town, and then made dinner as a blast of frigid air rolled through camp. Clear nights bring cold temperatures, but that might be the only problem with being able to see the stars so clearly.
Without a blanket of clouds to warm the land, your toes turn cold in a hurry. ||
|| Light spills up and onto the branches of a tree at a campsite in Stanley, Idaho. This particular campsite is located at a hard-to-reach location on top of a hill. The hill overlooks the town of Stanley at night, and provides an incredible view of the Sawtooth mountains in the morning.
At night it’s easy to see the stars and pick out constellations. Salt Lake suffers from a massive amount of light pollution, and traveling to a place like Stanley drives that point home in spades. During the fall it can be downright frigid at night. Take a zero degree sleeping bag, a warm hat, and a down jacket. You’ll need all three.
High fire danger had skunked our campfire dreams all summer, until the ban was lifted the previous week. We built a toasty fire, heated some soup, and swapped stories until it was too late to think about anything other than bed. Although it might be different for some, I sleep like a rock when I’m camping. Back home there’s just too many distractions, but in a tent it’s just you and your heavy eyes. ||