Just north of Shoshone lie the Ice Caves, strange living glaciers in an arid lava desert. Guided tours explain the geologic and volcanic history of the largest cave shown. With a free museum full of Indian artifacts, minerals, and gems.
Ketchum & Sun Valley.
Averell Harriman came here in 1936 to find a place for America's first ski resort. What he found was relentless sun, perfect snow, and a mountain just begging to be skied. Today, in addition to skiing, Sun Valley offers golf, tennis, fishing, and ice shows. Its sister town, Ketchum, which began with the 1880s mining boom, acts as the area's business district. Both the Visitor Information Center in the Town Plaza Building on Sun Valley Road at the corner with East Avenue, and the Ketchum District Ranger Station on Sun Valley Road are open year-round with maps and brochures.
Sawtooth National Recreation Area
Headquarters to Galena Summit
The Visitor Information Center for the 756,000 acre Sawtooth National Recreation Area is open year-round north of Ketchum. There, you'll find information and exhibits on camping, hiking, biking, and campfire programs, as well as a Sawtooth Scenic Route cassette tour tape (which you can return at the Stanley Ranger Station, mile #186).
Heading north, with the Boulder Mountains on your right, and the Smoky Mountains on the left, you'll climb to 8,701 feet at Galena Summit. Be sure to check out the overlook of the entire Sawtooth Valley as you begin your descent.
Sawtooth Valley Area
The Smiley Creek Store is the place for fishing lures, flapjacks, and gas. Just past, at mile #167, is the marker for Sawtooth City, an 1880s mining camp, now down to a few collapsed cabins and a lot of history. Alturas Lake comes up on your left, a few miles off the Byway, and offers spectacular views, camping, fishing, and hiking. The Idaho State Fish Hatchery is located at mile #184. During the summer months, they offer tours daily that tell you how chinook, steelhead, and the endangered sockeye are raised. Next comes Redfish Lake. Look for the sign on the left side of the road.
Stanley Ranger Station
About 1-1/2 miles past the Redfish Lake turnoff, you'll find the Stanley Ranger Station. They can supply maps and trail information to hikers and bikers.
The Town of Stanley
About 3 miles north of the ranger station is the Town of Stanley. A small town with a population of only 100 and situated at 6,260 feet above sea level. Stanley is the whitewater headquarters of central Idaho. Here, day trips can be taken on the Main Salmon River or 3 to 6 day trips can be taken on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. River rafting outfitters are located here and can arrange for your trip. Fishing and hunting licenses, as well as all your needed supplies can be obtained at several local merchants including a fine tackle shop with a good assortment of the right flies. Restaurants and lodging are available in Stanley. We recommend that you stay at Valley Creek Lodge & RV Park