Stanley Lake is an amazing recreation site for a weekend or a week. The lake is located in the heart of Idaho's Sawtooth National Forest and is an awesome for photography, SUP, camping, hiking, boating, and fishing.

Stanley Lake is an Idaho alpine lake located at the base of the magnificent Sawtooth Mountains in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. The lake is about 7 miles from the historic town of Stanley, Idaho and just over an hour from popular Sun Valley, Idaho.

Our photography and hiking adventure captured spectacular imagery while hiking the scenic Sawtooth wilderness area. Popular lake activities include fishing for rainbow and lake trout, stand up paddle boarding, boating, hiking and swimming. The Idaho Centennial Trail begins at the campground and traverses a lake-filled region of the Sawtooth Wilderness.

Most lake campsites are reservation only and many are booked months in advance. For reservations visit www.recreation.gov.

Pack List

  • Tent or camper
  • Camera gear
  • Hiking gear
  • SUP
  • Canoe or small boat
  • Lake fishing gear
  • Fresh drinking water or water filter.
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Activities Stand Up Paddle, Chillin, Camping, Fishing, Photography, Kayaking, Swimming
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Features
Bathrooms
Beach
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Lake
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Swimming Hole

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

almost 2 years ago

Breathtaking clear mtn lake

Stanley Lake was amazing. We kayaked and SUP'd. The water was a lot less choppy than Red Fish Lake and a lot less busier. Truly wonderful experience.

Favorite Summer Family Activity

We got to redfish & Stanley every summer for our family reunion and it always gives me a much needed gift of nature. Especially on a canoe in the middle of the lake. đź’›


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Hike from Stanley Lake to Bridal Veil Falls

Bridalveil Falls [Video] The hike to the falls begins near Stanley Lake in a clearly marked trailhead parking lot (GPS coordinates below).

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Photograph McGowan Peak & Stanley Lake at Sunrise

McGowan Peak in the Sawtooths is breathtaking and the Stanley Lake Overlook is by far one of the best locations to photograph it at sunrise in the summer.

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Ski or Snowshoe the Park Creek Trails

Over Galena Summit, approximately 75 miles north of Ketchum, Park Creek is supported by Sawtooth Ski Club and the City of Stanley, Idaho.

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