Totally Boise Blog


How to Recreate Responsibly in Stanley, Idaho

Last updated May 03, 2022 by Totally Boise

Featured Image Pic Cred: Jason Buscema

Nestled in the valley below the Sawtooth National Forest, Stanley is a popular recreation area for many Idahoans—and for good reason. The massive mountains, quality fishing holes, and multiple hiking trails appeal to our wild, nature-loving spirit. The allure of this rural mountain community has become an ever more popular vacation location for people all over the nation. With popularity comes a significant need for accommodations from the city of Stanley.


Passionate about keeping the town and surrounding wilderness pristine and visitors happy, the Stanley-Sawtooth Chamber of Commerce has teamed up with Totally Boise to raise awareness on how to recreate responsibly this summer in the Sawtooth National Forest. They've also shared their insider tips on how to support the local businesses and residents while you visit. 

Camping Safely in Stanley

Pic Cred: Tegan Mierle

One of the best ways to experience the Sawtooth and Stanley area is camping in its woods. With such large crowds expected annually, the town's hotels, cabins, and vacation rentals can quickly book out for months in advance. Even hosted campsites can have minimal availability. So if you're spontaneously arriving in town and need a place to rest your head, dispersed camping is a great option. 


Camping on public land is legal and a common practice in Idaho. Drive down any dirt road in the area, and you're sure to find a free established campground to use. But be aware that private land can be found throughout the region, and it is illegal to camp or recreate on it unless permitted by the owner. 


The residents of Stanley often refer to the guidelines provided by the Recreate Responsibly Coalition when heading out into the woods.

Know Before You Go

Check the weather, road closures, and trail conditions of any area before you arrive. Idaho’s 511 is a great resource for road condition updates!

Plan And Prepare

You must secure reservations and permits to areas that require them ahead of time. Acquire and test the gear necessary for the planned activity and create a backup safety plan. 

Build An Inclusive Outdoors

Help raise awareness and the accessibility of your favorite outdoor spaces for those nature enthusiasts of all identities and abilities. 

Respect Others

Treat all you meet on the roads and trails with respect as we all enjoy nature in our own ways. 

Leave No Trace

Showing respect for Idaho's land, water, wildlife, and native communities is crucial. By following the Seven Leave No Trace Principles, you can help keep our Earth as Mother Nature intended. 

Make It Better

Continue the work through volunteerism, donation, and advocacy to sustain our natural wild spaces for future generations. 


Using these guidelines while you recreate, you assist a community of passionate outdoors people in maintaining the forest, waters, and wildlife that calls the area home. One of the most considerable risks to Idaho is annual forest fires, most being predominantly human-caused. 


Learn how to prevent Idaho wildfires here,

Prevent Idaho Wildfires

Support the Local Mountain Community

Year-round, the city of Stanley is home to only 69 people. With summer tourism from Boise, other parts of Idaho, and the rest of the United States, the temporary population rises to thousands. It's important to remember to recreate responsibly while you visit, but there are some great ways to support the local economy while you're there. 


In Stanley proper, restaurants like Papa Brunes and the Kasino Club serve up great, post-adventure grub. Breathtaking photographs can be found and purchased at the Gerheim Gallery. Groceries and camping supplies are available at the Mountain Village Resort Merc. 


So be sure to incorporate visiting the wonderful businesses of Stanley while you're visiting. Remember to be kind and respectful to their staff, and they're sure to return the same kindness to you. 

Sawtooth Festival 2022

Back again this year, the Sawtooth Festival brings together good food, regional vendors, and the greatest mountain music around, and pops off on July 16th and 17th. Over the two days, more than 75 arts, crafts, and food vendors will show off their wares. This family-friendly fest is all about bringing together the local and visiting community to appreciate the good things in life. What's better, entry to the event is entirely free!


Here's what you need to know:

  • The official schedule of the Sawtooth Festival is July 16th from 9 am - 6 pm and July 17th from 9 am to 2 pm. 

  • No pets are allowed on festival grounds.

  • Smoking or vaping is strictly prohibited outside of the designated areas.

  • Enjoy the delectable culinary creations of the food vendors inside; no outside food or drink is allowed.

  • Access to wifi and banking is not available, so plan accordingly.


The sold-out line-up of vendors, bands, and more can be found here!

Sawtooth Festival Guest Information

Get Out With Totally Boise

This summer will be one to remember with Totally Boise. We are your ultimate resource for all things Boise and beyond. Head to our events page to find daily, weekly and monthly events hosted by your favorite local businesses and organizations. You can also submit your event to be posted on our community events calendar for our vast supporters to find.


Totally Boise Events Page




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