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.
|| 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. ||
|| 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. ||
|| Mellow winter means more time spent in the city exploring, just like summer. Despite looking large, these might be the tallest buildings in the entire city. Salt Lake is more sprawl than height, unlike cities closer to the ocean. We did find some incredible Thai food though… and waffles. ||