The town of Stanley in Central Idaho is exciting even on your way there: The Ponderosa Pine, Salmon River and Sawtooth Scenic Byways all connect to the town, which is encircled by the Sawtooth, White Cloud and Lost River Mountains. The Salmon River Byway is a special treat for those coming from Montana, as it follows the path of the Lewis and Clark expedition.
Stanley has just 100 fulltime residents, but swells in the high season with hikers, backpackers, rock climbers and fishermen. To start your adventures there, fuel up with a hearty homemade breakfast at Stanley Baking Co. & Café. Then, head in any direction for anything from a flat family day hike along the Salmon River or a solitary fishing trip, to a guided mountaineering adventure. Once you’ve returned with an appetite, go to Bridge Street Grill (bridgestgrill.com) for your meat and potatoes or Papa Brunee’s for a classic pizza. Before you leave town, visit the Stanley Museum for a survey of local history.
Book a room at Mountain Village Resort (mountainvillage.com) and soak in their hot spring or stay at the Redfish Lake Lodge (redfishlake.com), a few miles south, for lakeside trails outside the front door. Stanley is three hours northeast of Boise. To learn more, visit stanleycc.org.