Sawtooth Range–Camping in Heaven

RedFish Lake 010Spring fever is kicking in big time.  With everything finally getting green and temperatures warming up, I am growing very excited for summer camping.  One of my favorite places to go is the Sawtooth Mountains in central Idaho.

This is a picture of Redfish Lake.  The campgrounds here are so serene and quiet.   Get up in the early morning so that you can get perfect reflection pictures before the breeze picks up and makes the lake more rippled.

My family loves camping here close to the river.  There are trails all over for biking/hiking, and also several beaches.  I can sit for hours reading a book on the beach and enjoying the stunning vistas around this lake.  This area has many more lakes besides this one, but Redfish is probably the most popular.

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The lush forest is home to black bears, so when you hike, make noise so you don’t startle them coming around a bend.  My kids love HAVING to make noise.  I’m usually telling them to be quiet…so they make good use of their voice-boxes and sticks (banging them together) as we hike in this rugged wonderland.

There are also deer delights, especially at dawn and dusk.  You’ll be walking around near camp…and BOOM!  You run across a foe like this one (but this foe isn’t your enemy, so don’t draw your sword).

The Sawtooth Recreational Area is full of hundreds of miles of trails, lakes, and gorgeous scenery that will leave you breathless.  Even the drive there awes me (but it’s a little twisty, so beware if you’re prone to carsickness).

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The jagged mountains, green meadow valleys, and scenic rivers will make you want to quit your job and become a mountain man and live there forever (or at least until the first frost…then you will hightail it out of there quick.  It gets a lot of snow; I think even Polar Bears shun it in the winter).

This rugged wilderness will make you happy.  See how happy my kids are in this picture.  Ah!

I have loved every hike we’ve done here.  This is the creek running into Redfish Lake.  I wish it ran behind my house.  I would never tire of its sound.  The water doesn’t have the warm, balmy feel of the tropics, but I will say…it’s invigorating.  Jump in the lake for a polar bear swim–you’ll be wide awake!

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The kids swim in it (and their lips turn blue–but blue lips are funny).  I usually poke a toe in to test the temperature, and then grimace in pain.

A couple times, us adults have forced ourselves to swim out to a rock, and it is bone-chilling.  Actually, it’s only super painful at first.  Once you get in and swim around, your body adjusts and its only ‘mildly painful’ then.  It is fun though, and you feel that an Arctic Ocean adventure could be dealt with if necessary–you’ve run the gauntlet at Redfish!

RedFish Lake 129Oh, my!  Look at this view!  I want to go back right now–except it’s still probably buried in snow.  This is my idea of heaven.

“Nice castle, son!  But it needs to be a little bigger if I’m going to live in it.”

If you’re looking for somewhere new to camp and explore (or even live–sand’s cheap), visit the Sawtooth Wilderness in beautiful, central Idaho.  You’ll be hooked.


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***Shrek came here for a visit, and he’s never left the beach since.

21 thoughts on “Sawtooth Range–Camping in Heaven

  1. That is so different from anything I’d see in Ohio, that it’s almost like a different country. What gorgeous photos. You seem to have a knack for photography. That top photo is absolutely stunning.

    • Top photo is my husband’s. I’m not patient or dedicated enough to get up at sunrise to capture things like that. I’m glad he is. And Redfish and the Sawtooth’s are spectacular. The photos don’t do it justice.

  2. Now I will need to put Sawtooth Wilderness on my list of places to visit! You should send this blog post to the Idaho Travel website folks. They should use it to promote their state travel!

  3. ive been wanting to go there ever since Andrea and you have raved about it so much. Just another thing to add to my ‘pro list’ for moving to Idaho!

    • YES! If you move here, we will definitely get spots together (you just have to be ready to jump online to reserve a spot though…because they go fast).

      • Haha, I didn’t say I was going camping! I love sleeping in a real bed every night and be close to running water. Sorry, you can’t take the city girl out of me. But I don’t love spending my days in nature, as long as a hot shower is waiting for me at night!

  4. Your post makes me want to camp again! It’s been a long time since I’ve been camping. That seems like a great place to go, although it’s a little far away for us. Hope you have a grand time!

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