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The Sawtooth Mountains are famous for their majestic craggy peaks, alpine lakes, winding Salmon River, and extensive trail system, and boast some of the best outdoor recreation in the world.

Among the activities to fill your days are hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, fishing, whitewater rafting, and swimming in the natural hot springs pool. Guests are free to create their own adventures, assisted by our knowledgeable staff. Explore the Ranch and area on your own, or take advantage of a broad array of locally-offered guided activities. Set your own agenda and pace for a truly custom vacation. There's also plenty of relaxation available, from taking in the Sawtooth Mountains from our famous front porch, reading by the fire, playing games with family and friends to stargazing and soaking in our natural hot springs pool.

Horseback Riding
The Ranch offers an excellent riding program. We cater specifically to Ranch guests and feature small, quality trail rides into the White Cloud or Sawtooth Mountains originating on the Ranch. Guided rides are full-day, half-day or one-and-a-half hours. Special moonlight, sunrise or custom rides can also be arranged. Some trail rides include fishing opportunities for those interested. Children six and over are welcome to join trail rides, and pony rides can be arranged for young aspiring cowboys and cowgirls! The stables are on the property. An hour and a half on-Ranch ride is included if you stay with us 4 nights. Cost of rides if you've chosen a shorter visit, or for additional rides you book, is easily charged to your room.

Some of the popular trails include:  Chamberlain Lakes, a full day ride that travels past Fourth of July and Washington Lakes and provides views of Castle Peak; Horton Peak, one of the highest places in the Stanley Basin accessible on horseback; and, shorter rides originating Gold Creek, and the Salmon River trail.

For those of you who would like an overnight hiking/camping adventure, Ranch outfitter Devan Jackson at Pioneer Outfitters can do a spot-pack for you, packing your gear into and out of your campsite, easing your load. You also can book a multi-day guided pack trip riding into one of Devan’s several base camps, for “real camping”, with spectacular scenic views and hiking and fishing opportunities. With of course, a stay at the Ranch before and after these adventures! Visit our blog, the May 2012 posting, for photos and a fun account of a pack trip.

Hiking
In the heart of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area (SNRA), surrounded by more wilderness than anywhere in the continental United States, opportunities abound for hikers and walkers at all ability levels. There are over 200 hiking trails winding through the Sawtooth and White Cloud Mountain Ranges surrounding the Ranch. Enjoy a four-mile walk along Fishhook Creek or venture up 1700 feet to sparkling 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. Many of the local alpine lakes are stocked with fish annually for those wishing to drop in a line. The Ranch has a stocked reference library, detailed maps and descriptions, and lots of seasoned hikers on staff to help you choose from the almost limitless trails available.

Mountain Biking
The Sawtooth Valley has a reputation for exhilarating, extreme and epic mountain biking trails, without the crowds. Whether you are looking for a heart pumping, single-track trek over high mountain passes or a gentle cruise alongside a creek on an old fire road, the options are plentiful. Several beginner trails start right on the ranch or you can venture out on any one of the many spectacular rides just a few minutes' drive from the ranch.

For our guests’ use, the Ranch provides 8 – 10 Specialized Rockhopper bikes ranging in size from 13”–21” and bike helmets in various sizes. Each bike has pad brakes (not disc), front shocks, platform pedals and comes equipped with a pump, extra tube and tube repair kit. To get you started, we offer two free weekly bike clinics with an on-ranch initiation ride.

Click here for an overview on some mountain biking trails in the Sawtooth Valley

Fishing
The Sawtooth Valley and Upper Salmon River area have an abundance of great fishing opportunities. The Ranch is located within the Sawtooth National Recreation Area (SNRA) where four major rivers have their headwaters. The area also offers five large valley lakes, hundreds of smaller streams and creeks as well as hundreds of mountain lakes, some that are accessible by vehicle and many that are enjoyed with a short or long hike.

On the Ranch, enjoy fishing in the portion of the Salmon River that runs through the property and in our stocked, catch & release pond. Many people fish the Main Salmon River above and below the nearby town of Stanley for “hatchery released” rainbow trout, mountain whitefish, and the occasional cutthroat or brook trout. The upper Middle Fork of the Salmon and its tributary streams hold this same broad variety of fish. Valley and high alpine lakes offer yet another option. For new enthusiasts, there is a weekly fly fishing clinic offered on the front lawn to get you started.

Local fishing shops dispense fishing equipment, and can provide a wealth of information about fishing the local waters. A variety of outfitters offer guides for wading or floating in the areas around the Ranch. Our staff can help arrange these guided fishing outings, and give you additional local fishing tips.

At IRMR you have the opportunity to resolve your curiosity of fly fishing with one or all of our weekly fly fishing activities.

*  Evening Chat – "Let's Talk Fishing!" With the backdrop of the Sawtooth Mountains on our porch, learn what fly fishing is all about. Mary Ann and Dave Dozer will share their passion for fly fishing and knowledge of the local waters. They will talk about the gear, techniques, fly patterns, and local hot-spots. On the iconic Idaho Rocky porch, each Wednesday evening.

*  Fly Casting Clinic – This is your chance to experience what casting a fly rod is like. Real-time you will learn what it feels like to cast a fly rod and learn the fundamentals of casting. Just the skill you need to fly fish. Already experience in fly fishing?, --No worries! Mary Ann, local guide with Silver Creek Outfitters, will give you a pointer or two to take your casting to the next level. Casting Clinics are held each Tuesday morning throughout the season.

*  Fly Tying Class– Learn to tie your own flies. Dave Dozer will teach you the fundamentals of fly tying so that you can tie your own when you get home. You will tie 2 to 3 of Dave’s favorite local fly patterns. After the session you can fly fish our stocked pond or the Salmon River on the ranch property. And, just maybe you will catch a fish on the fly you tied…the dream of any angler! Fly tying classes are held each Friday morning; fee for participation.

To learn more about Mary Ann and Dave Dozer, visit their websites flyfishingpursuits and bamboopursuits.

Natural Hot Springs Pool
The Ranch location was chosen in the 1920s largely because of an active natural hot springs which could be fed directly into a swimming pool, providing a soothing, "therapeutic" swim and soak experience. Today, this authentic natural hot spring-fed pool is as it was when it was originally built. The swimming pool, with decking area and lounge chairs, is a perfect place to pass the many sunny afternoons at the Ranch, or refresh after an invigorating hike or bike, and it provides an incomparable moon rise and star gazing experience

Whitewater Rafting
Within a short distance of the ranch there is an exciting variety of rafting trips on the Salmon River, which we can arrange for you. You might take the entire family on a mild float trip or choose to spend the day paddling exhilarating rapids. Contact our office if you would like to arrange a raft trip in advance of your stay. Other water sports including canoeing, windsurfing, and kayaking are available at nearby Redfish Lake and elsewhere.

Kids' Activities
There are a wide variety of activities for children at the Ranch and in the surrounding area. And children always enjoy the freedom the Ranch. We’ll help you choose the activities most suitable for your family and children’s ages from the many available.

Three nights a week, staff organizes front lawn games, crafts and story hour during the adult dinner hours. On Friday evening, naturalists from the Redfish Center will join the children to conduct their Jr. Ranger Program. Children can eat early on these and all other fine dining nights.

Popular children activities include: Fishing for trout in our well-stocked pond and just paddling around in our paddle boat; pony rides for very young children; part or full-day trail rides; hikes to lakes or along streams; swimming and soaking in our natural hot springs pool - no chills here - ; exploring nearby Custer and Bonanza ghost towns, deserted after the Gold Miners left the area in the early 1900’s; visiting the Sawtooth fish hatchery and Stanley Museum; floating the Salmon River; and, swimming, canoeing and kayaking on nearby Redfish Lake.

Other popular activities:
* Rock Climbing
* Photography
* Visiting ghost towns
* Exploring the Sawtooth Fish Hatchery
* Visiting nearby Sun Valley, Idaho

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