Idaho—its mountains remain underrated and largely unknown to the skiing and riding world, but the Rocky Mountains are still the Rocky Mountains, especially in Idaho. The snow is deep and dry in Idaho’s Rockies—particularly in the Sawtooth Mountains. 

The Sawtooth Mountains comprise 678 square miles of territory, too much to explore unless one has unlimited time and resources. One of the best ways to explore these mountains is to utilize the Sawtooth Hut System—yurts strategically placed to access absolutely spectacular backcountry terrain.  

Backcountry Guide: Sawtooths

Zach Crist skis the lower half of the Heyburn Couloir in perfect powder conditions. Photo by Will Wissman.

One of them, the Bench Hut, offers access to thousands of acres of terrain. Incredible backcountry tours are available directly from the hut, owned and operated by Sun Valley Trekking out of Stanley, Idaho. The readily accessible terrain here ranges from low-angle meadows to narrow chutes.

Another option, the Williams Peak Yurt, is owned and operated by Sawtooth Mountain Guides and provides access to big-mountain terrain on and around 10,651-foot tall Williams Peak. Descents of up to 2,000 vertical feet are on tap directly from the yurt.

The Sawtooth Mountains have plenty of unguided terrain as well, but if unfamiliar with the landscape, it could take years to learn the nuances of these mountains. Let those who know show you the goods.

Getting there:

Fly into Boise, Idaho; Stanley, Idaho is 130 miles to the northeast of Boise via Hwy 21.

Additional resources:

Sawtooth National Forest Avalanche Center 

Sun Valley Trekking

Sawtooth Mountain Guides 

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