After running the Sun Valley Half Marathon Shari and I decided to do a bit of exploring. If you look at a map of Sun Valley, ID, you'll see a huge area of national forest. I knew I had to explore it.
I had gotten a tiny taste of it when I had run. The Big Wood River flows to the west of the city and I had run alongside it for a few miles. The source of the river is definitely from the national park.
We talked to the lady at our hotel and she said it was definitely worth the roughly 60 mile drive to Stanley, ID. We were in awe of some of the photos of the lobby and they had been taken at Lake Stanley -- so we knew we had to go.
The drive took a while. The speed limit is generous but there were just way too many spots to stop and take pictures at. There also were a plethora of places to hike at. You don't know how badly I wanted to stop and just go for a hike. I probably could've spent an entire month there and not explored every trail.
The drive is easy and well-traveled. There aren't any gas stations along the way, so be sure you have supplies. Stanley does have food, gas and is actually a very small city.
The first part of the drive was all flat, but you are surrounded by flowing rivers and gorgeous, jaw-dropping scenery. It was like being in the Swiss Alps -- without being in Switzerland. Occasionally I'd pull over and take a photo or two.
After a while, you being the ascent through the actual national forest. It wasn't terribly long of a drive, but there were several pull outs with stunning vistas to photograph. In addition, you could always see the mountain range that gives the national park it's name. The mountain peeks definitely looked like jagged teeth of a saw.
Finding Lake Stanley was pretty easy and it was a stunning lake. It was mosquito infested though and I found myself slapping at them. The lake area is also a campground and a jumping off point to dirt bike trails and hiking. It is also bear country up there.
This drive is a must-do when you are in the area. Even if you don't do any hiking, I found it to be so pretty and an awesome way to spend the afternoon.
Enjoy the photos: