Well its time to get going with the details for the 4th Idaho hang. I have most of this year figured out...dependent on some possible changes due to weather, fire or other major issue. I have most of this info on my site but planning the ID hang has always been open here on HF so I wanted to put the official thread together. Below will be the basic outline for the hangs itinerary as well as the travel info and other important links.
I have selected the trail for the hike portion of the 4th Idaho Hang. We will be hiking through some incredible scenery, past several amazing lakes, over a high pass and down through a massive alpine meadow. The fishing for the hike will be highlighted by several outstanding alpine lakes, with the potential for large Idaho cutthroat.
Here is the basic itinerary for the 4th annual Idaho Hang:
Wednesday September 4th: We will be meeting at Smiley Creek Lodge at the south end of the Sawtooth valley around 5 PM for dinner. They serve excellent burgers, cold beer, as well as trout, salmon, and a range of other entrees. From there we will proceed to Stanley Lake at the north end of the Sawtooth valley just a couple miles past the small town of Stanley ID. At the campground around the lake we will set up camp for the night and permitting have a fire while we get to know everyone in attendance.
Thursday Sept. 5th: We will shuttle a couple of vehicles about 6 miles to another trail head while several vehicles stay at the trail head at Stanley lake. With everyone at the starting trail head of Iron Creek we will hike a little over 4 miles to Alpine Lake. The trail gains about 1500 feet in the 4 miles with most of that in the last mile, can you say switchbacks. This will be our camp for the night and should have some quality fishing. Side trips up several directions can be had or for someone that wants a work out the shuttle can be skipped and about 7 extra miles of hiking can be added to get to Alpine Lake from Stanley.
Friday Sept. 6th: Packing up in the morning we will head uphill, steeply I might add, to Sawtooth Lake. Sawtooth is the largest of the alpine lakes in the Sawtooths and will be worth a stop of pictures and a break after the climb from Alpine. From there we will climb again up a small pass and begin dropping down toward the headwaters of the creek that feeds Stanley lake. As we pass one of the few major water falls in the Sawtoots we will climb a side hill to camp along the edge of several small lakes that feed the falls.
Saturday Sept. 7th: With the difficulty of Fridays hike Saturday will be a layover day. We will explore several lakes around the main one as well as fish, nap, bag a peak....what ever you would like.
Sunday Sept. 8th: We will hike down from the lakes followed by a more leisurely hike a few miles down the valley to the trail head at Stanley Lake. Once at the Trail head we will shuttle drivers back over to Iron Creek to pick up their vehicles. At this point some folks will need to head for home for work on Monday. Those of us that can stay will head a little over an hour away to hang and fish along one of my favorite rivers in Idaho.
Monday Sept. 9th: This day will be for relaxing, fishing one of the best producing rivers in Idaho. This river is full of strong and large cutthroat, Rainbows and even some brook trout.
Tuesday Sept. 10th: Final day of the hang. Most folks will be headed out in the morning for their drives home. Fishing along the way is an option pretty much no matter what direction your headed.
Anticipated low temps will hover close to 20F, highs will be in the 70's to lower 80's. There is a chance of Rain and Snow, though both are likely to be short lived. The nights of the 4th, 8th & 9th will likely be the coldest as cool air settles into the valleys, while the hike nights will be warmer at the higher elevations. We will be at or above 8500' elevation for a portion of the hike. The hike on the 6th will be physically challenging, covering about 8 miles with significant climbs in elevation. Come Prepared. While the Idaho hang is about fun it will be work this year as well. While a total milage of 15 does not sound like a lot, in the sawtooths the difficulty per mile makes up for the distance. Come Prepared.
How to get there:
We will be meeting up at Smiley Creek Lodge for dinner on the 4th. Here is a link to google maps with the Lodge marked. (LINK) For directions just open the link and click the "Get Directions" button on the top left.
Here is a link to the campground at Stanely Lake if you won't be able to make dinner at the lodge then plan to catch up with the group at the lake. (LINK)
And finally for reference for everyone here is a link to my past Trip Reports and Planning Threads. There are several other threads that get lumped into the search but most of them cover Idaho hammock camping in general.
So let the planning commence. If you can make it we would love to hear from you.