Unobstructed views of the Sawtooth Mountains. Accessible by vehicle. Sweet date spots?

The Sawtooths are best enjoyed from within them; hundreds of trails lead through the wilderness to amazing alpine lakes and to the top of mountain peaks. That's not the only way you can capture the magic, however. Here are three consecutive spots in or close to Stanley (the "Gateway to the Sawtooths") that feature unobstructed views of the mountains, perfect for photographers chasing dramatic landscapes without straying from the road.

1) From the Hwy. 21/Hwy. 75 junction in Stanley, head west as if you're headed back to Boise. Just after the gas station, turn left (south) on Wall St. and follow the road to the Sawtooth Valley Meditation Chapel. The parking lot here overlooks a field at the base of the mountains. Catch this at sunrise or sunset for some awesome light. Watching the sun set behind the mountains with a partner might make for a great date spot (take note fellas)!

2) Continue west on Hwy. 21 not even a mile and look for a small turn off alongside the road to the south. It'll be big enough only for about two cars but the view packs a punch. A consistent theme with all of these spots is a view looking over a wooden fence, across a field and a layer of trees, and finally settling on incredible mountain peaks. This spot is no different. The sun setting behind the mountains illuminates the peaks and makes for great shots.

3) Continuing further west on Hwy. 21 about six miles, pass the Stanley Lake entrance road and keep your eyes peeled for a lookout sign. This will also be on the left side of the road. There's a small parking area that overlooks a meadow that seemingly would attract lots of wildlife. Of course the mountains in the background make this spot epic. There are bathrooms at this location as well.

Be mindful that Stanley and the surrounding area is consistently one of the coldest towns in all of the country. Pack an extra layer of clothes, especially if you plan on watching the sunset. Drive carefully during low visibility hours as the wildlife is very active around Stanley. Above all, don't forget to enjoy the moment while you capture it!

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Snacks
  • Extra layer of clothes
Show More
Activities Chillin, Photography
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Features
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Food Nearby
Romantic
Scenic
Wildlife

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It’s a magical place!

Photographed the sawtooths several times and I don’t plan on stopping!

Better than Expected

The Sawtooths Mountains totally blew me away. This area is an incredible place to visit, and SO much fun to photograph!

Hard to find a bad angle to photograph the Sawtooths

Once I got into photography, I was dying to head over to the Sawtooths to get some photos. This is a great adventure, which shows that there are many places you can get awesome photos. If you're ever near the Sawtooths, make sure to take some time and check them out.


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

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