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Sawtooth National Forest
Copyright: - US Forest Service
Sawtooth National Forest
Description - The Sawtooth National Forest encompasses 2.1 million acres of some of the nation's most magnificent country. The Sawtooth National Recreation Area (SNRA) is located at the northern most end of the Sawtooth National Forest. It can be reached by driving two and one-half hours east on State Highway 21 from Boise, Idaho; a one-hour drive north on State Highway 75 from the Ketchum/Sun Valley area, or by a one-hour drive west on State Highway 75 from Challis, Idaho. Encompassed in its756,000 acres are parts of four mountain ranges, the headwaters of five major rivers, 967 miles of streams and over 1,000 lakes. The SNRA is a wonderland of jagged peaks, lush mountain meadows, timbered slopes and rushing streams. Within the SNRA is the 217,000-acre Sawtooth Wilderness, where there are more than 50 major peaks over 10,000 feet, 300 lakes, and 250 miles of trails. The SNRA offers hunting and fishing, hiking, camping, power, sail and float boating, mountaineering, motorized trail use, cross-country skiing, mountain biking, horseback riding, sight seeing, photography and just plain relaxing.

On the Ketchum District, the Pioneer Cabin Trail, Bald Mountain Trail, Norton Lakes Trail are popular hiking trails. The Lake Creek Trail System offers interconnecting loops for mountain biking. There are a couple of noteworthy scenic drives on the Ketchum District. The drive over Trail Creek Summit stretches from Sun Valley, over the Pioneer Mountains and into the Lost River drainage, to Mackay, Idaho. The Dollarhide Road, which follows the Warm Springs drainage over Dollarhide Summit, runs southwest form the town of Ketchum, past Bald Mountain and on into the Smoky Mountains.

Recreation - Summer visitors have more than 86 developed camping and picnic areas at their disposal. High quality summer recreation opportunities include swimming, fishing, scenic driving, camping, picnicking, backpacking, photography, horseback riding and so on. Trail bike riding and two and four-wheel drive vehicle opportunities occur in many areas of the Forest. Visitor activities such as guided hikes, campfire programs, auto tours, and exhibits are provided throughout the Sawtooth National Recreation

Wintertime offers outstanding wintertime recreation experiences for cross-country skiing on both groomed and ungroomed trails. Downhill skiing is offered at four developed winter sports areas that provide some of the finest terrain and snow conditions found anywhere. Snowmobiling is popular with marked and groomed trails and warming huts available. Springtime visitors are rewarded with snow-capped mountain peaks, rushing streams and meadows carpeted with hundreds of varieties of wildflowers.

Climate - Weather on the Sawtooth varies with elevation. Summers tend to bring clear days, with afternoon thunderstorms possible. Daytime highs are normally warm to moderate, with relatively cool to cold nights, depending on elevation. Winter can bring cold temperatures with heavy snows, especially at the high elevations. Sunny days are common between winter storms.

Location - The Forest is primarily located in the central heart of Idaho. There is one unit in northern Utah, four units south of the Snake River with the remainder of the units located east and west of Bellevue, Idaho all the way north to Stanley and the Salmon River. The Forest is divided into five management units. These units include the Twin Falls, Burley, Ketchum, Fairfield Ranger Districts and the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. The Forest Headquarters is located in Twin Falls.

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More Information

Contact Information:
Sawtooth National Forest, 2647 Kimberly Road East , Twin Falls, ID, 83301, Phone: 208-737-3200

Additional Information:
Central Idaho -
Idaho National Forests -
South Cnetral Idaho -

Sawtooth National Forest - Official agency website.


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