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Old 09-08-2015, 09:45 AM   #1
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Boondocking - Ketchum, ID & Bend, OR areas?

We're going to be on the road next week and traveling thru Idaho and Oregon and are looking for suggestions for boondocking locations in the the Ketchum/Sun Valley area and Cascade area west of Bend, Oregon. We have a 20' GlobeTrotter and can manage less than improved areas in the interests of avoiding crowds, but I have no knowledge of these areas, having visited this region of the Cascades nearly 20 years ago, and never the Sun Valley area. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Chris
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Old 09-08-2015, 10:27 AM   #2
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Some great places just north of Sun Valley, in the Stanley Basin. I highly recommend Pettit Lake or Alturas Lake as a great spot. That area is high altitude, so bring your coats, but it warms up in the 70's during the day. Redfish Lake is mostly tourists, so I would pass on that one. Many places to camp along the Salmon River going towards Challis and Salmon, Idaho. Highway 75 is one of the most scenic roads in the US, IMHO.

Jordan Valley in Oregon also has some nice areas that are out of the way. Go from Sun Valley to Boise, then on to Silver City, a semi-ghost town that still has a small population and places to camp. Then you can cross the mountain to Jordan Valley, Oregon and on to Bend. Great time of year, have fun.

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Old 09-08-2015, 12:59 PM   #3
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I agree with pappy19, I have stayed in many of his mentions this summer. Many areas S, E & W of Stanley ID. There are some great boon dock areas approx 4 miles West of Stanley at Stanley Lake. Follow signs to Stanley lake and there are many boon dock areas for your trailer, via good short turn offs, just prior to the forest service camp grounds. The scenery and wildlife is breath taking. Very convenient to my favorite little town of Stanley. Daytime should be mild/nice but most likely low 30s in the morning. Enjoy!!
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Old 09-08-2015, 01:07 PM   #4
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There are a number of great BLM campgrounds along the Metolius river near Camp Sherman. Close to Bend and Sisters.
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Old 09-08-2015, 01:26 PM   #5
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I forgot to add: there is a free dump station located at Redfish lake located about 6 miles South of Stanley, operated by USFS.

If you get hungry for breakfast/brunch I highly recommend 'The Bakery' and dinner at 'Redd's. Amazing foods with an approach to organic and locally produced as much as possible. But they truly are a delight to your pallet, excellent!!!

If you are energetic I found the many dozens of day hiking trails, easy to moderate, from one hour to what ever you can do, the most beautiful and convenient to park and find than any place in the U.S. Stanley has a visitor center and they have maps of local trails with descriptions and ratings. I spent 3 weeks there this summer. I hiked 4 days per week. I didn't put a dent in the options. Going back next summer for a 6 week stay.

If it didn't get so cold in the winter I would move there today.

If you arrive Stanley from the South you have only two options continuing from Stanley, East or West. Both great two lane roads and very different, but both beautiful windy roads. But if you head West from there, make sure your brakes are in good order!!
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Old 09-08-2015, 02:57 PM   #6
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Here are some picts from within 4 miles of Stanley, ID. A couple of them are taken from town:

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Old 09-08-2015, 06:02 PM   #7
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Pappy, Dave, & Plan B -
Thanks for the suggestions and insights! Thanks also for the beautiful, inspiring photos Plan B! This is an off the cuff trip to the Oregon coast for us, but we wanted to include stops at the Wind River range in WY first, and then a route west from Jackson. I quickly realized how little I know about Idaho, other than the route from SLC thru Boise! - I've been thru the Salmon River area, way back in my youth, but Idaho has always remained off my map for reasons of distance and specific destinations beyond... perhaps that will change next week!

Many thanks,

Chris & Carla
aka ThinAir
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Old 09-08-2015, 07:52 PM   #8
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Thinair, Idaho is one of those hidden gems in the US. As are most of its residences, and I mean the best to both when I say this. Having traveled extensively through out the globe and hiked, fished and climbed much of the U.S., getting a little old to do what I use to, Idaho is by far my favorite place on earth. It has everything and it has it in abundance with so few people. And it is so amazing how much of the wilderness is so accessible and attainable, no matter your age or physical limitations. It also seems common since is used more than the letter of the law. Truly rare today.

You mentioned the Wind River Range. I don’t know if you have been there before but it is truly the premier ‘alpine’ wilderness area in the US with the exception of Alaska, and so few people even know it exists. I have been going there since the mid 70s and take my kids, still, on an annual summer trip in our Airstream. From the basecamp Airstream they venture to parts I can no longer follow.

If you have not been to the Winds, as they call it, may I suggest you start with Lander, WY on the SE corner of the Winds. Lander is in my top two outback towns in the US and also HDQ for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), an amazing town in every respect. There is a canyon nearby, about 6 miles from town called ‘Sinks Canyon’ it is well worth taking your trailer there. They have good trailer access, no hookups, on the Sinks River. Further up the road, gaining in altitude, there are many lakes you can also trailer too, again have good brakes for the coming back down. Great scenery and unique for the Winds since access into its interior is limited greatly. Most of the Winds are not even visible from driving, it requires in most places to park and backpack extensively. The Sinks area will negate that issue.

To head to Idaho from there only two options, go North through Dubois, ID (interesting place) and then into Jackson (Tetons) and a breath taking drive. Or, you go south a little and cut up North on the West side of the Winds. Not as majestic but it also is a great adventure into Idaho from there.

Either direction you kind of end up close to Jackson or just South of Jackson into Idaho. If you make a route to Salmon, ID then follow the Salmon River into Stanley, ID and the Sawtooth mountains, you will drive through some of the most remote and beautiful country in the US. To each its own, but if I had a choice in this route vs. visiting Ketchum (high dollar ski resort town) consider this route.

I have attached a couple of picts of the Winds. The ones with the massive glacier carved mountains are numerous in the Winds; unfortunately, the bare minimum hike there always requires an overnight backpacking, minimum. Unlike the Stanley area, Sawtooths Mtns, access is so readily available.

I also attached two picts of the Sinks Canyon outside Lander, WY. Notice how the Sinks River just seems to ‘sink’ into oblivion, well that is how it got its name, it sinks and fast.

In Lander, you must try breakfast or brunch at the Middle Fork restaurant. My favorite place to eat morning and lunch foods in the US. If you want a great dinner, try the Cow Fish restaurant, really great dinners and one of the best microbreweries around.

Keep us posted on your adventure. Now I am jealous!

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Old 09-08-2015, 08:08 PM   #9
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Great...........just what we need more people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan-B View Post
Thinair, Idaho is one of those hidden gems in the US. As are most of its residences, and I mean the best to both when I say this. Having traveled extensively through out the globe and hiked, fished and climbed much of the U.S., getting a little old to do what I use to, Idaho is by far my favorite place on earth. It has everything and it has it in abundance with so few people. And it is so amazing how much of the wilderness is so accessible and attainable, no matter your age or physical limitations. It also seems common since is used more than the letter of the law. Truly rare today.

You mentioned the Wind River Range. I don’t know if you have been there before but it is truly the premier ‘alpine’ wilderness area in the US with the exception of Alaska, and so few people even know it exists. I have been going there since the mid 70s and take my kids, still, on an annual summer trip in our Airstream. From the basecamp Airstream they venture to parts I can no longer follow.

If you have not been to the Winds, as they call it, may I suggest you start with Lander, WY on the SE corner of the Winds. Lander is in my top two outback towns in the US and also HDQ for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), an amazing town in every respect. There is a canyon nearby, about 6 miles from town called ‘Sinks Canyon’ it is well worth taking your trailer there. They have good trailer access, no hookups, on the Sinks River. Further up the road, gaining in altitude, there are many lakes you can also trailer too, again have good brakes for the coming back down. Great scenery and unique for the Winds since access into its interior is limited greatly. Most of the Winds are not even visible from driving, it requires in most places to park and backpack extensively. The Sinks area will negate that issue.

To head to Idaho from there only two options, go North through Dubois, ID (interesting place) and then into Jackson (Tetons) and a breath taking drive. Or, you go south a little and cut up North on the West side of the Winds. Not as majestic but it also is a great adventure into Idaho from there.

Either direction you kind of end up close to Jackson or just South of Jackson into Idaho. If you make a route to Salmon, ID then follow the Salmon River into Stanley, ID and the Sawtooth mountains, you will drive through some of the most remote and beautiful country in the US. To each its own, but if I had a choice in this route vs. visiting Ketchum (high dollar ski resort town) consider this route.

I have attached a couple of picts of the Winds. The ones with the massive glacier carved mountains are numerous in the Winds; unfortunately, the bare minimum hike there always requires an overnight backpacking, minimum. Unlike the Stanley area, Sawtooths Mtns, access is so readily available.

I also attached two picts of the Sinks Canyon outside Lander, WY. Notice how the Sinks River just seems to ‘sink’ into oblivion, well that is how it got its name, it sinks and fast.

In Lander, you must try breakfast or brunch at the Middle Fork restaurant. My favorite place to eat morning and lunch foods in the US. If you want a great dinner, try the Cow Fish restaurant, really great dinners and one of the best microbreweries around.

Keep us posted on your adventure. Now I am jealous!

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You gotta be kidding me. It's posts like this that screw Idahoans and our way of life. We are being raped by Kalifornia; we don't need more people. At the rate we are growing right now it won't be a GEM for long.
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Old 09-08-2015, 09:15 PM   #10
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Flyncloud, you sound like my family. They tell me to shut up about Idaho and tell everyone the pictures I take were taken in California. I get your point.

On the other hand, this is the Air Forum, and as I can see, you too cruise in a silver bullet. The majority of Airstreamers respect the beauty of this country and respect the custodians of the areas we so love to visit. But we are here to share and enjoy all our great experiences.

PS: having lived and worked in Northern Idaho in the early 70s, Selway River area, I always said I would be back. Next spring my house goes up for sale in Michigan (the Idaho of the Midwest) and your State is growing by population of one. I'll buy you a beer some day:-)
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Old 09-08-2015, 09:30 PM   #11
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Thanks Plan-B,
I greatly appreciate your thoughts about the Winds... We have been before, and backpacked in from the west side... You couldn't be more right about how unknown they are to most folks and how they hold their secrets so closely. You earn your admission there. The photos are lovely... I'd love to see Cirque of the Towers and Pingora, but not this trip. I'm looking for a "contact high" of sorts, but will look at Lander next and the area you described. Many thanks!

Clearly Flyncloud doesn't work for the Idaho Chamber of Commerce.
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Old 09-08-2015, 09:56 PM   #12
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As a long time Idahoan (got here as fast as I could in 1969), I used to have a T-shirt that said "Idaho, The Tick Fever State". When people would ask me about that, I would tell them that Idaho has more ticks and tick fever per capita than any western state. I would hear them mumbling that they didn't need a lot of ticks on their vaca, so they must have gone to Wyoming or Montana.

My daughter and her family took their camper to Dagger Falls this past Labor Day weekend, the drop off for the Middle Fork of the Salmon River float trips, and said they were the only ones camping there. Had the whole Middle Fork campground to themselves. My son-in-law took some pictures that I will post when he sends them to me.
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Old 09-08-2015, 10:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Thanks Plan-B,
I greatly appreciate your thoughts about the Winds... We have been before, and backpacked in from the west side... You couldn't be more right about how unknown they are to most folks and how they hold their secrets so closely. You earn your admission there. The photos are lovely... I'd love to see Cirque of the Towers and Pingora, but not this trip. I'm looking for a "contact high" of sorts, but will look at Lander next and the area you described. Many thanks!

Clearly Flyncloud doesn't work for the Idaho Chamber of Commerce.

There is always a spiritual connection of sorts, not to get too metaphorical, when you meet someone who has been to Mecca, the Cirques! You know your peaks! Yes, you are correct, you earn your stripes if you hang in this country. It can and will eat your lunch in short order. I assume you entered from the Big Sandy area. That was the area I use to enter in the 70s to climb. Now all my entry is from the S.E. It's easier on me. My son between his junior and senior year of HS packed the full length. It took him 5 weeks. He came out a different person, as it seems to do to anyone who spends any length of time in there. In fact every high school kid should be required to strap a 50-60 pound pack on their back and live in the outback for 4 weeks. It would solve a lot of their problems.

I think you are correct, Flyncloud must not work for the chamber of commerce:-) But I have to sympathize with his concerns, too many spectacular places are being ruined by over zealous condo developer sorts and worse, ridiculous no use laws typically imported... Sorry I am stopping there before I go where I don't want to go.

Let's stay in touch and share some Picts of your journey. Safe journey.
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Old 09-08-2015, 10:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pappy19 View Post
As a long time Idahoan (got here as fast as I could in 1969), I used to have a T-shirt that said "Idaho, The Tick Fever State". When people would ask me about that, I would tell them that Idaho has more ticks and tick fever per capita than any western state. I would hear them mumbling that they didn't need a lot of ticks on their vaca, so they must have gone to Wyoming or Montana.

My daughter and her family took their camper to Dagger Falls this past Labor Day weekend, the drop off for the Middle Fork of the Salmon River float trips, and said they were the only ones camping there. Had the whole Middle Fork campground to themselves. My son-in-law took some pictures that I will post when he sends them to me.

I love to read the little quotes States put on their car tags to brag about their States better attractions. My favorite is Idaho's, "Potatoes". To win a war you have to first win the deception, Idaho has it covered on their plates.
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