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Sawtooth National Forest
Sawtooth National Forest
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The Sawtooth National Forest Region is located in the center of Idaho.[1] There are multiple national forests and monuments in the destination, including Salmon-Challis National Forest, Sawtooth National Forest, and the Craters of the Moon National Monument. Borah Peak is located within the region as the highest point in all of Idaho's mountains. The area is covered in farmland, rolling hills, and timbered mountains.[9] There are many lakes and reservoirs throughout the area, and visitors will often stop at one of the three ski resorts in the Sawtooth Mountains.[3] Visitors come for the cool summer temperatures or winter activities such as ice fishing and snow sports.[6] Sun-Valley is the largest town in the destination.[2] Featherville, Challis, Twin Falls, and Burley are two other towns with locally-owned restaurants, grocery stores, and hotels.[5] When visiting the area, visitors can expect to see a variety of plant and animal life.

What Sawtooth National Forest is known for

The Sawtooth National Forest Region is filled with outdoor activities, a diverse range of wildlife, and towering mountains. The Sawtooth National Forest is at the center and is the namesake of the destination. The forest named after the Sawtooth Mountains is filled with mountains, high jagged peaks, creeks, and rivers. Most visitors spend time in the woods exploring on foot or horseback, fishing in the rivers, ponds, and reservoirs.[1] The Salmon-Challis Forest is similar to the Sawtooth National Forest. However, the land has more rolling hills and many lakes and reservoirs throughout. Fishing is common in the park or hiking through the timbered hills. 

Borah Peak is the highest peak in Idaho and falls within the Sawtooth National Forest Region. There are multiple mountain peaks throughout the area, including Castle Peak, Mt. Everly, Blizzard Mountain, and Galena Peak. The Craters of the Moon National Monument is located along the US 20 interstate road. The monument is a valley filled with fossilized lava flow, cinder cones, and sagebrush. Redfish Lake, Alturas Lake, Mormon Reservoir, and the Magic Reservoir are all popular for fishing in summer and winter, as well as kayaking and canoeing.[3] 

Sun Valley is a small city with a population under two thousand residents. The name Sun Valley was chosen because the city is said to have over two hundred and fifty days of sunshine every year. There are always activities to do in Sun Valley, no matter the season or weather. Most visitors who spend time in Sun Valley are on the slopes at one of the area's many ski resorts. Golfing is another popular pastime during the warmer months on some of the unique golf courses built in the nearby mountains.[2] 

Nearby rivers are known to have an ample amount of rainbow trout, making fly fishing a popular sport in the area. Visitors will visit the nearby parks and monuments to hike, backpack, mountain bike, whitewater raft, and fish during the summer. The winter months are cold enough for ice fishing, ice skating, nordic skiing, snowmobiling, and other winter sports. Guided horseback rides on well-established trails are an everyday activity among families and those who bring their own horses or mules to ride.[5] 

Sun Valley is one of America's top artistically oriented towns. There are a dozen galleries throughout the town with two live theater companies and multiple music and film festivals every summer. There are numerous breweries throughout the destination as well.[2] Featherville and Challis are also small towns bordering the region. However, most visitors will spend time in Sun Valley. Around two million visitors spend time in the Sawtooth National Forest Region every year. Visitors come from all over the United States. However, most are from neighboring states such as Utah, Colorado, Montana, Washington, Oregon, and Nevada. During the summer, visitors will go golfing, fishing, exploring equestrian trails, hiking, and riding on ATV trails.[5] 

The winter is popular for winter sports such as ice fishing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and skiing. Fall is popular for hunting and scenic drives through mountains with color-changing leaves.[6] The area's primary industry lies in lumber and wood production, along with silver mining, tourism, and farming.[4]


The state of Idaho has the Rocky Mountains spread across the north and center of the state. Borah Peak is inside the Sawtooth National Forest Region and is the state's highest point. The destination has deep river-cut canyons, mountains, green hillsides, some glacial trenches, and large freshwater lakes. Irrigated farmland and wide-open vistas cover any land that is not covered in timbered mountain ranges. Many of the state's tallest and most jagged peaks are located in the Sawtooth National Forest.[9] 

The town of Challis, the Salmon-Challis National Forest, Borah Peak, and the small town of Stanely are all located in the northeastern area of the destination. Sawtooth National Forest, the city of Sun Valley, the Craters of the Moon Monuments, Fairfield, and Featherville are located in the center of the region. [The southern side is bordered by the Craters of the Moon Monuments, Fairfield, and Featherville.] The southern border of the destination coincides with the Idaho state border.[1] 

Because of the mountains and cool temperatures in the destination, most wildlife live in the mountains. Some common animals include the grizzly bear, woodland caribou, North American lynx, pygmy rabbit, gray wolf, coyotes, and wolverines.[7] Plantlife varies because the area has all four seasons. The grand fir, rocky mountain maple, serviceberry tall, net leaf hackberry, western juniper, and rocky mountain juniper are all found in the rocky mountain area.[8] 

The weather throughout the destination varies. Summers are moderately warm, with clear blue skies. The season lasts for around three months and has an average temperature of seventy-five degrees. Winters are freezing and last about three months. The average temperature during the winter season is forty degrees. The area receives eighteen inches of precipitation year-round. The wet season lasts around seven months, with 3.8 inches of snow and 1.5 inches of rain.[6] 

Summer and fall are most common for visitors looking to spend time hunting, hiking, fishing, and other outdoor activities. Winters are popular for snow sports and ice fishing.[3]


The Sawtooth National Forest was originally home to many Native Americans, including the Shoshone, Bannock, and Lehi tribes. There is evidence of life in the mountains from as long ago as 8000 BC. The Shoshone have dwelled dominantly in the Wood River Valley and Sawtooth Mountains since 1700 AD.[1] 

Gold was discovered in the west in the 1870s, and European settlers began to settle in the valley, searching for it. The discovery of gold created a booming mine town that by 1884 has thirteen saloons, four restaurants, and two hotels. The town died down after the gold was mined, and the population dropped to around one hundred people.[10] For years the national forest was filled with explorers, trappers, and prospectors. The area became more established after the mining town was filled with residents. President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed the forest in 1905 with over two million acres of open land and forest-covered mountains. The name came from the Sawtooth Mountains named by the Shoshone.[1] 

Count Felix Schaffgotsch, an employee of the Union Pacific Railroad, found the area of Sun Valley for the purpose of building the Grand American Ski Resort. The resort soon evolved to be named Sun Valley Ski Resort. The town was named shortly after. Sun Valley draws most of the destination's visitors to the Sawtooth National Forest and surrounding mountain ranges for snowsports and hunting. The still has many original dwellings and a museum from when it was first just a small boomtown.[10]

4.75 (154 Reviews)

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Located near its namesake, Lake Walcott, the Lake Walcott State Park is a campground with multiple unit types in the city limits of Rupert, Idaho. The property spans a total of 140 acres, 60 of which comprise the area where guests can stay. Some of the features on the premises include seven bathroom stations, a basketball court, a playground, and a 21-hole disc golf course. The disc golf course is one of the park's most distinctive features, and it draws in players each year that participate in an annual tournament. Events such as weddings and family reunions can be held at Lake Walcott State Park due to a 60-person group reservation area along with three day-use pavilions. The campground is open throughout the year and offers RV sites, dry camping, and two camper cabins. 

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The Oregon Trail Campgrounds is located in Twin Falls, Idaho, owned and operated by Jake and his wife. The property was converted from a local family fun center into an RV park about twenty years ago. There are 86 RV sites available for guests to book a reservation and they are available any time of the year since the business is operated year-round. Facilities on the premises include a laundromat, recreation room, restrooms with showers, and a snack shack. The business is situated on 8 acres of land and is relatively close to local attractions such as Shoshone Falls, Snake River, Magic Valley, and an Evel Knievel jump-site. Each year the property hosts a Fourth of July event where a free barbeque is provided to guests. When staying at the campsite, it’s important to note that animals are permitted on the land but must be kept on a leash except when in the dog park, and animals must be cleaned up after as well.

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White Knob Motel & RV Park

Mackay, Idaho
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