Idaho’s Often Overlooked Sawtooth Mountains

Near the Oregon border, the Sawtooth Mountains are 10,000 foot peaks that are just as majestic as the Tetons, but with 1/10th the traffic. Fly into Sun Valley (1-hour drive) or Boise (3-hour drive) and make your way to the Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch, a vacation retreat for close to eight decades. Then get ready to play. Immerse yourself in the stunning surroundings by climbing 1700 feet to shimmering Sawtooth Lake, the “crown jewel” of the Valley. In July, the wildflowers are at their peak, and you can find lupine, sego lilies, Indian paintbrush, shooting stars, blue penstemon and many others. The region is also known for epic mountain biking, hooking brookies, rainbow, and cutthroat trout, rafting on the nearby Salmon River, and this being a ranch, guided half-day and full-day horseback riding adventure. Afterwards, you can soak yourself in the hot spring-fed pool, before dinners of elk, salmon, and Dungeness crab from the Washington coast. At night, people gather on the outdoor patio to gaze at the sparkling sky and listen to foot-stomping live music. This is mountain living at its best.