Camping or lodging at Redfish lake?  Check out SAC's Redfish Raft Express for free transportation
6 years ago Posted in: Blog Comments Off on SAC’s Annual Raft & Camp Gear Sale

Join us on May 7, 2011 from 9 AM to 1 PM at 2602 Spring Haven Dr (3780 S) in SLC Utah for Sawtooth Adventure Company’s Annual Gear Sale.

For Sale:
Aire Puma Raft, Aire Super Puma Raft, Aire Super Duper Puma Raft, Aire Lynx II Inflatable kayak, Sierre Design Tents, Sleeping Bags, Paco Pads, Whitewater Kayaks and equipment, Lots of raft and camping equipment

Cash and Credit Card Accepted

6 years ago Posted in: Blog Comments Off on 2011 Idaho River Levels & Salmon River Snowpack

Wow the winter of two-thousand and heaven just keeps on coming. As of April 19, 2011 the Snowpack for the entire Salmon River basin is 110% of normal. The snowpack for the headwaters of the Salmon River near Stanley Idaho is 104% of normal. The difference between this average water year and previous years is the ammount of snow still on the ground and in the mountains. Take a look at the graph below. Notice today’s stream flow compared to the 30 year average?

What does all of this information mean?
If mother nature continues to cooperate with consistent moisture and gradual warming temps we are in for a long summer of whitewater rafting in Idaho with optimum river conditions.

Get ready to raft!

6 years ago Posted in: Blog Comments Off on Amazing Story on the Iconic Sawtooth Valley Salmon

The Greatest Migration from EP Films on Vimeo.

6 years, 1 month ago Posted in: Blog Comments Off on SAC History: 11 years of Family Rafting in Stanley & Sun Valley Idaho

2001Sawtooth Adventure Company opens its doors. Roni and Jared’s Commercial Recreation Degree pays off! Maya, our first child is born June 9th, just to add a little spice to our first season. I almost forgot, the Salmon river had its lowest water year in 50 years. We end the season with 5 employees.

2002 – With a year of parenting and baptism-by-fire small business ownership under our belts we open for the season with optimistic goals, but with a post 911 shadow. To our astonishment we experience an amazing growth over our 1st season. It seemed like every customer that went with us in year one returned in year two. Thanks!

2003 – Get ready because her it comes! Big water ahead. Largest snow pack in 5 years mixed with 90 degree June weather. This is the year we decide the small red boats are simply more fun. Sawtooth Adventure experiences 127% growth over 02′ and adds Float Fishing Trips to the mix. Oh’ I almost forgot, we never thought that running a business and managing a 2-year old could ever be so hard.

2004 – We hit our stride. Healthy business growth and a building clientele have us looking at expansion. Average water year, great group of guides.

2005 – A lot happened in 2005. We buy the Stanley Property, build the oh-so-needed boat house and begin to remodel the cabin all in the month of May, thanks for good friends. Jared and Erich Hamm create a partnership and began actively looking for a Multi-day Main Salmon Permit. We purchase Echo’s Main Salmon Operation in December, and Sawtooth Adventure Main Salmon is born.

2006 – Sometimes we bite off more than we can chew. With the Stanley operation in somewhat cruise-control we are able to focus on expanding. .Combine the cabin remodel, debut of the Idaho Adventure Center and the Main Salmon and our 6th season is over in a flash. We add a Main Salmon warehouse in town, and the crew grows to 14 employees. Maya turns 5 years old and floats the whitewater section for her first time, she already thinks she’s a pro.

2007 – The 07′ season will be remembered as the year of the fire(s). Wildfire’s made things interesting, but overall 07 was a great year. We had the best crew in SAC history, hosted the largest Group Trip in the history-of the upper Salmon with 358 guests, and grew the new Main Salmon operation by %100+. Maya runs the class III’s more times than a 6 year old can count and is ready to try the Inflatable kayak.

2008– A huge snowpack and cool spring has given us the best rafting conditions we have seen in a decade. With Roni back in action and all of our guides returning for another summer, 2008 is sure to be the best year yet. We hope to see you in Stanley for a great day on the Salmon River.

2009 – Better than average snowpack and a 100% employee return offsets the doom & gloom of the national economy. Our 1st Annual Kids trip on the Main Salmon is a huge success & topples Disneyland as Maya’s favorite vacation. Thanks to a huge number of familiar faces (return clients) on our 1-day rafting trips and 2009 exceeds expectations.

2010 – Wow 10 Years! Thats right…..this season marks 1 decade of family raft trips on Idaho’s famous Salmon River of No Return. We start the season out with a bang on a snowy, highwater, 175 mile guide training trip on the Middle Fork & Main Salmon. Our 2nd Annual Kids Trip on the Main sells out, and more families join us on our Salmon River multi-day trip than ever before. The economy seems to have bounced and we host more Sun Valley Corporate rafting groups than the past 2 years combined! Blessed with an amazing guide crew and beautiful fall weather we have the best fall fishing, rafting and biking season on record. Maya continues to cherish her summers in Stanley and rafts the Class III day trips more times than dad can keep track. She learns to Inflatable Kayak and masters the scenic float & soak section. Her love for wild rivers and wilderness is undeniable.

Spring 2011 – aptly nicknamed “two thousand and heaven” due to the abundant snow pack. All indicators look like another great summer in Stanley and on the Salmon River. Maya turns 10 years old this summer, the perfect age for all of our raft, kayak, bike and fishing adventures. Combine the amazing snow pack, rebounding economy, growing interest in the Main Salmon trips, and a great guide crew returning and 2011 looks prime. SAC expands to Latin America offering an amazing Nicaragua Vacation Rental on the Pacific. We continue to explore this amazing comer of the world and make plans to offer a combination of cultural and active adventures in 2012.

2011- San Jan Del Sur, Nicaragua

Hope to see you this summer in Idaho!
Jared, Roni & Maya

6 years, 1 month ago Posted in: Blog Comments Off on Corporate Adventures with TMN Events and The Sun Valley Lodge

Every summer Sawtooth Adventure Company has the opportunity to team up with TMN Events and offer Adventure Excursions to groups holding meetings at the Sun Vally Lodge.

Not in Sun Valley? No problem… Sawtooth Adventure Company offers group adventures for reunions, weddings and parties visiting Stanley, Redfish Lake and the Sawtooth Mountains.

We offer custom guided mt. bike trips in the Sawtooths and group rafting, inflatable kayaking and fly fishing trips on the Salmon River.

An amazing adventure awaits…


6 years, 2 months ago Posted in: Blog Comments Off on Sawtooth Adventure Company needs you!

How does a summer of living and working on the Salmon River sound?

Meet life long friends and make life time memories while working and playing in Stanley Idaho, on the Salmon River and in the Sawtooth Mountains. Please send a resume, references and picture of yourself doing something you love to

6 years, 2 months ago Posted in: Blog Comments Off on 4th Annual Kids Trip on the Main Salmon

“The moment you push down river you disconnect from life… and like magic… you reconnect with your kids. Our Annual Kids Trip is special… its made for families. The giant sandy beaches mixed with 70 miles of fun and safe rapids make the Salmon River a perfect playground for families. So good… it has become our own annual tradition. Join us for a week of good company, great food, fun games, lots of kids, tons of laughter on one of America’s most pristine rivers”

– Jared Hopkinson, Father & SAC owner

4th Annual Kids Trip
Idaho’s Salmon River
July 29- August 2nd, 2011

Trip includes food, beverage, camp gear, raft equipment and scenic flight over Idaho’s vast wilderness. Family discounts available.

Call 1.866.774.4644 or email for details

6 years, 7 months ago Posted in: Blog Comments Off on Fall Raft & Fly Fishing Trips on the Upper Salmon

Amazing fall weather has Sawtooth Adventure company re-opening for raft, kayak and fly fishing trips through October 3rd. After 3 weeks of river closures to protect the spawning Chinook salmon the Upper Salmon is open to for all river activities. Zero crowds, unseasonable warm temps and amazing fall foliage equates to an amazing time to explore the Salmon River. Head to Stanley to experience your “own private Idaho”.

Like to Fly Fish? Hurry, grab your rod and head to Sawtooths. Combine the warm temps and river closure and you have some very hungry fish. Join us on our 3/4 day Float Fly Fishing Trips to spend a memorable fall day fishing the Upper Salmon.

Oh, I almost forgot… The Mountain Biking is as good as it gets, give us a ring for trail info and current conditions.

Call 1.866.774.4644 for details

6 years, 8 months ago Posted in: Blog Comments Off on Stanley Idaho & Sawtooth Adventure Co in the LA Times

Idaho’s Stanley Basin runs wild
A backcountry trip in the Sawtooth Range summons the spirit of the Old West.

By Dan Blackburn, Los Angeles Times

Click here to view the Original Article

August 22, 2010

Reporting from Stanley, Idaho —

Just an hour north of Sun Valley, Idaho’s celebrity hot spot, lies the Stanley Basin — an amazing region surrounded by snow-capped mountains, spectacular scenery and abundant wildlife, with the Salmon River — also known as the “River of No Return” — running right through the middle.

Some 20 years ago, I spent serious time in this basin skiing and backpacking in the surrounding mountains, first with acclaimed Idaho mountaineering guide Joe Leonard and later alone or with various backpacking buddies. But for reasons unknown, I had not returned until one of them suggested a reunion of sorts with a small group of friends in this extraordinary place.

When I first traveled to Stanley, the sign outside of town said “Population 100.” Today, the sign remains unchanged, and people who live here say the true year-round number may be more like 89 hardy souls. They certainly are outnumbered by elk, deer and maybe even by bald eagles and wolves, plus some mountain lions, bears and sandhill cranes. Much of the Old West is alive and well in this wild basin.

The landscape unfolded dramatically beneath us as we slowly descended from Galena Summit. The Salmon River sparkled in the afternoon light, and green meadows sprawled at the feet of jagged mountains. The Sawtooth Range is very aptly named. Before long, my partner Gloria and I turned off the paved highway onto a dirt road leading to a campground on the edge of Pettit Lake — a large lake popular for trout fishing and as a jumping-off point for backcountry trips into the high mountains.
Stanley veteran Greg Edson describes the area as “a mix of cowboy boots and river sandals.” He adds, “The views. The vistas. The sense of solitude. The most magnificent opportunity to experience lands as they’ve always been.”
That’s not to say there haven’t been changes. Antelope now graze in the meadows, driven north by continuing development in the Sun Valley area. Long-necked sandhill cranes are a fairly recent arrival, and the area boasts three viable wolf packs, which were nonexistent until just a few years ago and are a subject of controversy, especially among ranchers and elk hunters. In addition, the depredation of bark beetles has killed large swaths of pines much as they have done in the Lake Tahoe area.

However, the greatest impact has been the establishment of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area that covers 756,000 acres, including the Sawtooth Wilderness Area, and virtually bars development. It encompasses four mountain ranges with more than 50 major peaks topping 10,000 feet, more than 1,000 high-mountain lakes and 250 miles of trails. It also is the headwaters for four major rivers, including the famed Salmon River, whose waters stretch all the way to the Pacific Ocean and are a major destination for salmon swimming upstream to spawn.

The Salmon is a premier location for whitewater kayaking, rafting and canoeing. Every summer, as many as 10,000 people take commercial rafting trips down the river, while an additional 5,000 make private trips. A couple of miles down river is a bridge that crosses over onto a road leading to Robinson Bar Ranch, which is owned by singer/songwriter Carole King. Interestingly, about 30% of the people who journey under the bridge and down the River of No Return come from California, which is surprising when you consider that the area is relatively unknown.

We hopscotched our way down the river, stopping at various viewpoints to watch kayakers, rafters and canoe paddlers thread their way around some rocks and through fairly mild rapids. One of the most popular group trips is a four- to five-day wilderness excursion on the River of No Return with the rafts stopping at natural hot springs and resting on sandy beaches. Jared Hopkinson, who runs the Sawtooth Adventure Co., told us, “I dig watching people push themselves. There is a lot of bonding, and families become lifelong friends. It is kinda like going on a cruise, but more exciting.”

For many visitors, the crucial lure is the region’s well-deserved reputation for trout fishing. Brook, rainbow and cutthroat trout rise to the surface of hundreds of streams, all snapping hungrily at colorful flies on the end of a line or snagging shiny spinning lures beneath the water. For those headed to the high mountain lakes, the best catch of any day is the spectacular golden trout. They may be California’s state fish, but they have been transplanted to Idaho’s icy mountain lakes, where they grow larger and seemingly more hungry.
Our visit coincided with a special annual event in Stanley: the Sawtooth Mountain Mamas Arts & Crafts Fair. For 34 years, artisans from throughout the West have brought their finest work to town to support a truly important charity. The tented booths contain such things as handmade quilts, knives and other items made from elk bones and antlers, spicy barbecue sauce and lots of items in between. Buyers travel annually from New York and other cities to sample the wares and make purchases. The income supports scholarships for local students, emergency medicine and search-and-rescue training, and people in need or who are stranded in Stanley. The Mountain Mamas are the only service organization in the valley.

Our big event was yet to come — a trip into the Sawtooth mountain backcountry. Because several stream crossings were running quite high, we decided not to hike in. Instead we contacted the Mystic Saddle Ranch to reserve a horse pack trip from Pettit Lake up to extraordinarily beautiful Alice Lake, which sits at 8,500 feet surrounded by multiple mountaintops and is renowned for gorgeous sunsets and sunrises. We wanted to be there for both.

Wrangler Nick Wetherbee — looking as though he had just stepped out of a Western version of GQ magazine — fitted the packs on the horses, tightened the cinches on our two animals and led the way up a trail that varied from hot and dusty to tree-lined and rocky. Alice Lake is 6 1/2 miles into the high country and 1,500 feet higher than the trailhead. It wasn’t long before we were totally absorbed in the ever-changing scenery that unfolded before us.

The horses were a little skittish crossing a couple of the fast-running streams, but Nick nudged them along and we reached the lake in time to set up our tent, fix dinner and settle in for sunset. Jumping trout snatched mosquitoes out of the air, and a Cub Scout troop arrived to share the scene. Clouds prevented what could have been a great sunset, so we called it a night and waited for sunrise. It was well worth the wait. My alarm shrilled at 5:30 the next morning, and by 6 a.m. the rising sun was painting the clouds, sky and mountaintops. The display lasted for 20 minutes and just got better and better. When it was over, I lay with my head propped up on my pack and gazed out over Alice Lake. It took some definite nudging from Nick and Gloria to get me to saddle up and start the ride back to our base camp.

Jeff Bitten, a lean, soft-spoken, thoughtful rancher whose father started horse packing out of Mystic Saddle Ranch 42 years ago, says that he still enjoys getting on a horse and sharing the experience with other people but that fewer people are taking advantage of the opportunity. He adds, “What we’re losing is not having people have these experiences. If your memories now are only of the gas fumes from the city bus in front of you, then you are losing quality of life.”

You do not have to camp here to experience the Stanley Basin. There are motels and a few guest ranches available. I was stunned at the growth of the old Redfish Lake Lodge. It has doubled, perhaps tripled, in size, and the lakefront was awash in people. When I last saw it, a mother bear and two cubs were frolicking in a sudden autumn snowfall, and a few cabins were being hand-hewn from local timber. Those cabins remain, but many more have been added. Everyone did seem to be having a good time.

Sara Baldwin, the veteran U.S. Forest Service area ranger, dropped by our campsite while checking out conditions at Pettit Lake. Sara has been a ranger at Lake Tahoe, in Alaska and, now, here. I asked what makes this place so special, and she replied, “It’s a great place to restore yourself. The big highlight is the backcountry experience where you can reconnect with nature. That’s what people love about it. When people drive into the basin today, they know there is something different about this place.”

Amen to that. We don’t plan to wait another 20 years to return again.

6 years, 8 months ago Posted in: Blog Comments Off on Last chance for an amazing family adventure…

Wow, I blinked and the 2010 Idaho rafting season is winding down. Our 10th summer on the Salmon River was great from the beginning. We were fortunate to spend six weeks in the Salmon River Wilderness and introduced Idaho’s River of No Return to dozens of great families. In Stanley Idaho on the Upper Salmon we continue having a fun and safe summer while sharing the river with more return customers than ever before. Must mean we are doing something right.

One of our guests from our July 21st Salmon River Adventure wrote:

Jared, Gotta tell you something. Your crew did an outstanding job. They get high marks in every single category that I can imagine. The trip was great, yet it could not have been an outstanding trip without the crew. Mike, Jenna , Thomas and Collin took away all my jitters and replaced them with confidence and comfort for this trip. Great energy from the outset and really great people to hang around with….My family was very fortunate to have hooked up with Sawtooth Adventures. I haven’t eaten so well since I used to spend the night at my grandmother’s house. You have won my vote and I always talk about my good experiences. -Thank You Very Much, The Gray Family

Join SAC on our final 2010 journey down Idaho’s Salmon River for on an unforgettable 4 night-5 day adventure. Our grand-finale trip includes round trip air to/from Sun Valley or Boise airport and ending with 1-night at a riverside guest ranch to finish out the season.

Last minute booking discounts available
Give us a call to explore the possibilities…

1.866.774.4644 or

Copyright © 2007-2017 Sawtooth Adventure Company all rights reserved - 866.774.4644 designed by a surfer