Biking, hiking, and camping, oh my! For many Idahoans, outdoor recreation is an integral part of their lives, and there is nowhere in Idaho quite as stunning and beloved as the Sawtooth Mountains. These rugged, uncut jewels of central Idaho are a part of the greater Rocky Mountain range, and a popular location for nearly any outdoor activity.

Outdoor enthusiasts from all over the country travel to Stanley, Idaho and the Sawtooth Valley to experience world-class hiking, biking, rafting, fishing, and natural beauty that abounds. The Sawtooths really do have it all – so much so that campgrounds are often booked out for months around the Redfish Lake and Stanley Lake areas. Luckily, the Sawtooth Valley is open to dispersed camping, and there are plenty of incredible places to pitch a tent with easy access to the surrounding lake and trailheads.

To celebrate this incredible valley, the town of Stanley, located at the foot of the Sawtooths, throws an annual weekend festival dedicated to enjoying the town and valley’s beautiful opportunities. Live concerts, artist booths, and delectable craft eateries showcase the best the valley has to offer. It’s the perfect way to enjoy a summer weekend and experience the majesty of one of Idaho’s greatest natural treasures.

The This Is Boise crew is excited to announce that we will be hosting a #Sawtoothfest social media takeover of the @SawtoothFest and @Stanley_ID accounts during the festival this weekend. Below we cover everything you need to know about 2022 #SawtoothFest, so read on, get excited, and come join us online or in Stanley for a weekend of fun and adventure!

picture of the Sawtooth Mountains

What and When is the Sawtooth Festival?

Now in its second iteration, the Sawtooth Festival for Arts, Crafts, and Food is a nonprofit, two-day event established in 2021 to promote the business and nonprofit community in Stanley, Idaho – but Sawtooth Festival is more than just a craft fair. Run entirely by local volunteers, and sponsored by the Stanley-Sawtooth Chamber of Commerce, the festival celebrates the great outdoors through biking, hiking, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, paddle boating, fishing, and so much more.

The two day extravaganza is for adventurers of all ages, and is the perfect place to meet amazing people, experience incredible natural beauty, and learn about Stanley and the Sawtooth Valley.

Over 75 local vendors will attend this year’s event, with live music and small-town hospitality on Saturday, July 16 from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM and Sunday, July 17 from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Though the festival sprawls across Stanley all the way to Redfish Lodge, you can find the primary location for the festival here. Below are a few ground rules you will need to know about the event:

  • No pets are allowed at the festival
  • No smoking/vaping except in designated areas
  • No outside food or beverage
  • WIFI or banking not available

Lodging for the festival ranges from hotel rooms in Stanley, Redfish Lake Lodge, and the surrounding area, to camping in designated campgrounds or dispersed camping all over the valley.

picture of the Sawtooth Mountains

Recreating Responsibly

The Sawtooths are one of the most popular outdoor recreation ranges in Idaho, with thousands of people visiting the mountains, valleys, and rivers each month to explore and have fun. Because of this popularity, finding a campsite can be tricky, with sites often needing to be reserved months in advance.

Don’t let that discourage you from visiting, though! Dispersed camping is legal in the Sawtooths, and there are an abundance of campsites with great locations and incredible views to be found along the numerous mountain roads. Just remember that whether you’re in a reserved or dispersed site, recreating responsibly is priority number one.

Recreating responsibly isn’t difficult, but it does require thorough observation and planning. Here are a few guidelines you can use to help preserve Stanley and the Sawtooth’s natural beauty through responsible recreation:

• Be Prepared

Preparation is key to having fun outdoors. Be ready for winding, rocky mountain roads, bring lots of water, a comprehensive first aid kit, and know that the weather in the mountains can change in a matter of minutes – surprise storms  are notorious for popping up on an otherwise sunny day and when you least expect them! 

Think about the different activities you’ll be doing and events that might occur while you’re there. Prepare for these events by bringing the appropriate gear and mindset, that way no matter what happens you’re ready and can adjust without having to sacrifice your fun.

Obey Current Fire Restrictions

Be sure to check on the fire restrictions in the areas you’re camping, buy wood from the local area so as to not spread invasive species, and always put your fire all the way out before leaving camp. Never leave a fire unattended – even a smoldering one. We all want our beautiful forests to be here for years to come!

• Respecting Others

We’re all in this together. Volunteers from all over the valley have worked hard to put on the Sawtooth Festival, and it’s important to respect that work and dedication. Similarly, respecting the land and other visitors means everyone is able to have a good time outdoors. This land is big enough for all of us, so be kind and friendly, obey forest service rules, and keep your campsite clean by picking up and throwing away garbage and litter.

• Leave No Trace

Part of respecting others is leaving no trace in your campsite. When you leave after the weekend, your campsite should look like you’ve never even been there. Trash is cleaned up, fire thoroughly extinguished, and the campsite tidied. You could even go the extra mile and leave a few logs of firewood for the next group. An easy fire is a welcome gift for any camper that might come upon the spot next!

picture of the Sawtooth Mountains

This Is Boise Event Coverage!

We are so excited to announce that our This Is Boise team will be holding a social media takeover at the 2022 Sawtooth Festival this year. Tune into the associated Sawtooth festival’s social media accounts @sawtoothfest and @stanley_id and experience the outdoor adventures and scenic beauty that Stanley and the Sawtooth Mountains have to offer.

We’ll be interviewing local business owners, sampling local eateries, speaking with talented local artists, and capturing some of the incredible outdoor activities in and around Stanley! If you’re up for it, don’t hesitate to come on out, enjoy the fresh air and amazing activities, and say hello if you spot us!

RECENT ARTICLES