A good friend of ours brought us up to Stanley, ID to explore for a week on horseback, hiking, and camping. I have been a professional photographer for many years, although I have seen stunning jaw dropping landscape photos in magazines I had yet to find myself in a location that would take my breath away… Until the day we set up camp at Decker Flatts.
I wont rattle on about how we were within 2 mins of a hiking trail that leads you to "Hell's Roaring lake", or about the amazing Trout fishing within 10 feet of my tent, or even the stunning sunrises every morning. I wont even describe the Beauty of the 5 other lakes that were all within a 10 min drive and a 5-10 mile hike or horseback ride from our camp. (Upper Marshall Lake, Alice Lake, Petti Lake, Alpine Lake & Sawtooth Lake) I'll just let you see the photos attached to this review and hope you'll make the life changing camping trip we did.
a few things to know:
- The trails we took are not per-say beginner trails, the shortest one is 10 miles Round Trip and it leads you to Hell's Roaring Lake, (My wife and I Hike quite often and it was a most the day trip)
- All the other lakes we visited were on Horseback, they were all day long rides. i could not imagine making those trips in ONE day on foot, although we passed quite a few people whom have hiked up, spent the night, and hiked out the next day.
- Decker Flatts is really easy to Miss, passing red fish lodge turn off headed south keep going 12.8 miles till you see a creek crossing bridge called "4th of July creek", take you next left, cross the one lane bridge, follow the road to the left, your next left will enter the different camp sites available
The Sawtooth Mountain camping areas are designed for self-sufficient camping. the USFS campgrounds do not offer trailer hookups for water, sewer, or power. Because of heavy winter snows, most area campgrounds are open only from mid-May through Labor Day. The area you'll find Decker Flatts will amaze you when you see that the terrain flattens and broad meadows push back the forests. This sprawling preserve encompasses four mountain ranges, several large lakes which i have only explored a few. It's the sort of place that begs you to unplug your phone chargers let them die, lock the car, and put some ground under your feet, maybe even get knee deep in the crisp cool water of the river nearby.
Dispersed campsites are stung along the flat river side, find yourself between pine and spruce trees that tower in stark contrast over the surrounding sprawling meadows. Although, this area is inaccessible during the winter months the meadows are wide and utilized by local ranchers to rise cattle.
Visitors may want to keep their eyes out for elk, deer, coyotes, and hawks as you take in the surroundings. Bobcats, mountain lions, and bear do live in the park, however they are rarely seen near humans.
Hikers, fisherman, photographers, mountain bikers and the average nature junkies flock to the Sawtooth Mountain range for the variety of available activities of the park.