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Sawtooth National Recreation Area

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J F M A M J J A S O N D

306 mi 492 km of trail 18 Recommended Routes

Easy Trails 10 Trails Intermediate Trails 34 Trails Hard Trails 37 Trails

The Sawtooth National Recreation Area (Sawtooth NRA) consists of 756,000 acres of scenic mountain country. The Sawtooth NRA has over 700 miles of trails, 40 peaks rising over 10,000 feet and 300 plus high mountain lakes that add to the spectacular scenery and vistas. Recreational pursuits include outdoor activities of camping, hiking, backpacking, fishing, boating and canoeing, rafting, observing nature, photographing and bicycling.

Local Info

This area is also home to the Boulder-White Cloud mountains, some of the most stunningly beautiful mountains in the US. They were also home to some incredible mountain biking until a recently signed wilderness bill (August 7, 2015) permanently banned all forms of mechanized travel, including mountain bikes. Read about the experience of Brian Smith, an MTB Project Content Manager who embarked on a last-minute, 26 hour road trip to experience the Boulder-White Clouds by bike, literally moments before President Obama ended mountain biking in that area forever.

There are still ways to experience the area, however. One ride that's still legal is the Big-Little Boulder Loop. This big backcountry adventure gets you pretty high up in the Whitecloud mountains, with a great descent back down.

Areas Within Sawtooth National Recreation Area

Recommended Routes in Sawtooth National Recreation Area - 17

MTB Project is built by riders like you. Add Your Recommended Routes

Favorite The big finale of Williams Creek.
Intermediate

Fisher Creek Loop

17.7 mi 28.5 km 2,011' Up 612.91 m Up 2,013' Down 613.68 m Down

Sun Valley, ID
Favorite Great views of the Sawtooth Mountains
Intermediate/Difficult

Elk Mountain Loop

11.4 mi 18.4 km 1,063' Up 323.89 m Up 1,061' Down 323.49 m Down

Challis, ID
Favorite The last bit of the Castle Divide route is through open sage meadows.
Difficult

Big-Little Boulder Loop

22.4 mi 36.0 km 3,466' Up 1056.33 m Up 3,500' Down 1066.65 m Down

Sun Valley, ID
Favorite Riding up the creek
Difficult

Big Bowery Loop

36.4 mi 58.6 km 4,382' Up 1335.59 m Up 4,381' Down 1335.44 m Down

Sun Valley, ID
Favorite The last bit of the Castle Divide route is through open sage meadows.
Difficult

Idaho Trail Segment 5

37.3 mi 60.0 km 4,705' Up 1433.94 m Up 3,027' Down 922.7 m Down

Sun Valley, ID
Favorite The top of Little Casino with the Sawtooths in the background
Very Difficult

Little Casino - Big Casino Loop

20.3 mi 32.7 km 3,605' Up 1098.83 m Up 3,587' Down 1093.41 m Down

Challis, ID
Favorite Such a mellow and relaxing ride.
Difficult

Galena Grinder - IMBA EPIC

25.6 mi 41.1 km 3,056' Up 931.47 m Up 3,047' Down 928.59 m Down

Sun Valley, ID
Favorite Sawtooth Range
Difficult

Redfish Lake Loop

13.9 mi 22.3 km 1,977' Up 602.58 m Up 1,956' Down 596.14 m Down

Challis, ID

Trails in Sawtooth National Recreation Area - 63

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6.4 mi 10.2 km #1Spring Creek Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Sun Valley, ID
Intermediate/Difficult
Sun Valley, ID
6.6 mi 10.6 km #2Little Boulder Creek
Difficult
Sun Valley, ID
Difficult
Sun Valley, ID
0.6 mi 0.9 km #3Mine Shaft
Difficult
Sun Valley, ID
Difficult
Sun Valley, ID
6.7 mi 10.8 km #4Williams Creek
Intermediate
Sun Valley, ID
Intermediate
Sun Valley, ID
2.2 mi 3.5 km #5Rip and Tear
Intermediate
Sun Valley, ID
Intermediate
Sun Valley, ID
8.9 mi 14.3 km #6Livingston Mill - Castle Divide Trail (North Segment)
Difficult
Sun Valley, ID
Difficult
Sun Valley, ID
11.5 mi 18.4 km #7Germania Creek Trail
Difficult
Sun Valley, ID
Difficult
Sun Valley, ID
13.0 mi 20.9 km #8Grand Prize
Difficult
Sun Valley, ID
Difficult
Sun Valley, ID
14.0 mi 22.6 km #9Martin-Big Casino
Very Difficult
Sun Valley, ID
Very Difficult
Sun Valley, ID
3.8 mi 6.1 km #10Elk Mountain Trail
Difficult
Challis, ID
Difficult
Challis, ID
5.5 mi 8.8 km #11Alturas Creek
Difficult
Sun Valley, ID
Difficult
Sun Valley, ID
3.2 mi 5.1 km #12Redfish Ridge Trail #400
Intermediate
Sun Valley, ID
Intermediate
Sun Valley, ID
2.8 mi 4.4 km #13Yellowbelly Trail #096
Intermediate
Sun Valley, ID
Intermediate
Sun Valley, ID
3.5 mi 5.7 km #14Hell Roaring Trail #097
Intermediate
Sun Valley, ID
Intermediate
Sun Valley, ID
0.8 mi 1.3 km #15Bench Lakes Trail #155
Intermediate
Sun Valley, ID
Intermediate
Sun Valley, ID
2.7 mi 4.4 km #16Cabin Creek Trail #191
Intermediate
Sun Valley, ID
Intermediate
Sun Valley, ID
3.0 mi 4.8 km #17The Grinder
Difficult
Sun Valley, ID
Difficult
Sun Valley, ID
2.0 mi 3.2 km #18Bull Moose Trail #399
Intermediate
Sun Valley, ID
Intermediate
Sun Valley, ID
1.9 mi 3.1 km #19Pettit Lake Cutoff Trail #041
Intermediate
Sun Valley, ID
Intermediate
Sun Valley, ID
1.1 mi 1.8 km #20Pettit Creek Trail #095
Easy
Sun Valley, ID
Easy
Sun Valley, ID

Photos of Sawtooth National Recreation Area - 127

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Descending switchbacks below the face of Castle Peak.
Jul 27, 2014 near Sun Valley, ID
The top of Little Casino with the Sawtooths in the background
Sep 8, 2014 near Challis, ID
The views on Sunny Gulch are to die for!
Jul 5, 2017 near Challis, ID
Pedaling along Chamberlain Creek
Jul 27, 2014 near Sun Valley, ID
Such a mellow and relaxing ride.
Jul 5, 2017 near Sun Valley, ID
Passing the outlet to Fourth of July Lake
Jul 27, 2014 near Sun Valley, ID
Crossing Titus Creek
Aug 2, 2014 near Sun Valley, ID
Huge views on Titus Creek
Aug 2, 2014 near Sun Valley, ID