Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Stanley, ID/ Redfish Lake to Bitterroot Valley late Sept
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 > Stanley, ID/ Redfish Lake to Bitterroot Valley late Sept

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Fish mojo

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Posted: 06/05/20 10:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Planning a trip through Ketchum to Stanley to Salmon to Darby, MT beginning late September. 24 foot Minnie Winnie no toad. I realize there is some high elevations to deal with. We have done high elevation in Colorado/Utah in early October before, so we understand the conditions. My favorite time of year for colors and less crowds!

Are campgrounds open in this area this late? Want to see Redfish Lake. What are some good campgrounds or boondock locations? Things to see and do along the way?

IDman

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Posted: 06/05/20 11:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

you will likely be disappointed as it does not compare to the beauty of Colorado and Wyoming. Last time I was there, the CGs were only half full, and many were unusable due to standing rain water. I would not make a reservation and there are plenty FS roads to go down looking for spots.

ReneeG

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Posted: 06/05/20 02:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hard to tell as far as weather. We had a pretty cold spring with snow and a lot of rain in those areas. We were going to boondock over off of Hwy 75 North of Ketchum, but with 4 inches of snow in the forecast, we went elsewhere. My suggestion would be to go to Campendium.com and search for campgrounds, as there are quite a few off of Hwy 75 between Galena Summit and Ketchum. A lot of boondocking areas there too, but that site will have links to the FS websites for seasonal dates. I always call the FS offices for campground information ahead of time and they're always pretty good. Along Hwy 21 West of Stanley to Lowman, most, if not all campgrounds are open and usually free in late September, they often stay open till the snow flies. We've gone up and camped in October at FS CGs for free at that time. Anyway, go to Campendium. If you don't have an account, add one because it's a free site.


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ReneeG

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Posted: 06/05/20 02:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Salmon to Darby is beautiful in the fall and a lot of campgrounds along there too. We went in mid September and although some campgrounds in Montana were closed, there were many open. We even stayed at Bannock State Park and along the Pioneer Scenic Byway in campgrounds where we were the only ones!

NEOK

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Posted: 06/05/20 03:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We were in Stanley in late August 2017. At that time it looked like they were performing a lot of work on the campgrounds at Redfish lake. The scenery right around Stanley was a little disappointing. We had camped at Redfish lake back in the 80s and they area is much more of a tourist area now. As for snow, I have to laugh a little because it was brutally hot in much of Idaho that year and very dry with a lot of smoky forest fires. We were travelling from Stanley heading north west up to northern Idaho. On Labor day the location we were in hit 113 degrees. So much for leaving hot Oklahoma to get to a cooler location. Hope you have a great trip. Idaho does have some beautiful scenery.


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agesilaus

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Posted: 06/05/20 07:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We traveled 75 from Challis to Stanley last year then across the lowman road and up to 95 and then on to Bonner's Ferry and Hwy 2, great trip. Stanley was having cold rain and snow in the higher areas, this was early July. We did an exploring daytrip from Challis and the next day drove down to Stanley. Weather was bad both days with more in the forecast. The Stanley shops and eateries were mostly empty. The rain was so heavy we could not even see the mountains.
There are many boondock sites along 75 next to the river and more along the lowman road.
It's a goal for us this year weather cooperating, we are slowly heading that way right now. We are in TN heading slowly west on I40. Going to do some boondocking in CO then up to ID then into PNW if they open up.


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cptqueeg

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Posted: 06/05/20 08:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

NEOK wrote:

We were in Stanley in late August 2017. At that time it looked like they were performing a lot of work on the campgrounds at Redfish lake. The scenery right around Stanley was a little disappointing. We had camped at Redfish lake back in the 80s and they area is much more of a tourist area now. As for snow, I have to laugh a little because it was brutally hot in much of Idaho that year and very dry with a lot of smoky forest fires. We were travelling from Stanley heading north west up to northern Idaho. On Labor day the location we were in hit 113 degrees. So much for leaving hot Oklahoma to get to a cooler location. Hope you have a great trip. Idaho does have some beautiful scenery.



Hard to believe you were disappointed in the scenery around Stanley. I can understand being disappointed about the heat, smoke, and overwhelming amount of tourists(compared to 40 years ago) on Labor Day Weekend. Traveling west from Stanley you lose elevation and gain air temps, but late September is perfect weather usually in Stanley. Elk will be bugling.

Redfish now is surrounded by campgrounds and in fact has ruined the place. There are other smaller lakes to visit and many places to boondock. Unfortunately many campers take advantage of weak law enforcement and exceed the 14 or 16 day stay limit in the Sawtooth NF monopolizing many spots.

We had a very weak snowpack and dry spring The snow is virtually gone at all elevations now so look for more fires and smoke this year. The weather is helping the bugs to kill off more trees so the dry fuel will be there if there are starts.

There are many hot springs from Challis to Banks if you happen to partake. The road to Grandjean, ID is lined with hot springs and spots to boondock as well. Have fun it's a great area.

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