This isn't so much about a hiking trail as it is about a woefully unknown area in central Idaho near a small town called Stanley. Stanley isn't even a town in the traditional sense -- it's more of a village, a crossroads, but a delightful one.
Though we'd been through Stanley many times (it's about an hour North of Ketchum/Sun Valley), we'd never actually *been* there. We'd never stopped, turned off the highway, checked out the area.
For starters, we turned down Highway 21, and then turned into a campground and day use area called Stanley Lake. It being late September, it was pretty deserted. That's the only possible way this camp site, possibly one of the most amazing ones in the state, could still be open:
The view from that camp site:
Looking down Stanley Lake:
Just north of Stanley Lake, the mountains in fall:
Noooooo, not another Centennial trail!!
Driving back to Stanley..... the sage, the fall colours, and the amazing Sawtooth Mountains in the background (look at the tops of the mountain and the thin, sharp looking ridges.... hence the name Sawtooth):
Approaching Stanley from the north. The buildings are actually officially part of "Lower Stanley":
A look at Stanley from down the Salmon River:
Just down Highway 75 from Stanley is the always amazing Redfish Lake -- a popular recreation area and beach. During the summer, this is one of the most popular lakes around. There are a number of hiking trails in the area, plus quite a few equestrian and mountain biking opportunities. There are camping facilities, plus log cabins that can be rented. There are a number of canoes, boats and other water toys available for rent. In other words, the place is a zoo. In the fall, it's a little calmer (and colder):
End of season sale at the General Store. Note half-empty parking lot in background.
The Redfish Lake Lodge:
What a lonely looking beach:
There was no one working the rental counter, but the boats were still out. A summertime resort takes on such a different feel when fall hits:
Driving south on Highway 75, all alone in the world:
If you looked quickly at the sage-covered hills, it almost looked like they were on fire. It's not the fall colours of New England, but in a landscape that is generally nothing but shades of brown, the colour stood out:
Looking down over the valley we'd just driven through.
Approaching Ketchum, and seeing our friend Baldy in the distance: