Sawtooth National Forest

Now that our home base is Salt Lake City we have an entire new region open to us – the mountain west. After settling in and securing a job for myself, we decided to get out and explore with an extended weekend trip to the Sawtooth National Forest outside of Ketchum, Idaho.

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On our way we decided to stop outside of Twin Falls to visit Shoshone Falls. The falls are located on the Snake River and fall 212 feet making them taller than Niagara Falls. It cost us $3 to get down to the falls viewing area where there were three scenic overlooks and a nice, well-shaded grassy park for picnics. The falls weren’t at full strength when we visited – apparently the best time is in the winter – however, they were still spectacular.

The Snake River

The Snake River

Part of the falls with the main viewing platform

Part of the falls with the main viewing platform

The upper part of the Snake River

The upper part of the Snake River

Shoshone Falls

Shoshone Falls

After our brief detour, we continued on toward the Sawtooth National Forest. We arrived with plenty of daylight left and toured four campgrounds before choosing one. We ended up at the first one we had driven through, North Fork Campground. We chose a nice spot across from the Big Wood River where our tent was nestled into a grove of aspens. In addition to the Big Wood River, the Harriman Trail also ran through our campground. The trail runs 18.99 miles through the Sawtooth Range providing lots of room for hiking, biking, and even horseback riding.

Driving around looking for a suitable campground

Driving around looking for a suitable campground

Doing more driving

More driving

Our chosen campground

Our chosen campground

Our site

Our site

Zach and Tru by the Big Wood River

Zach and Tru by the Big Wood River

Find the "wild" animal

Find the “wild” animal

A piece of the Big Wood River by our site

A piece of the Big Wood River by our site

Walking on the Harriman Trail

Walking on the Harriman Trail

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Lucky pup on the trail

Lucky pup on the trail

Truman chillin' at our site

Truman chillin’ at our site

On Saturday morning we drove farther into the Sawtooth Range on Scenic Hwy 75. The highway travels up and over the Galena Summit and down into a gorgeous valley where it follows the Salmon River to picturesque Stanley. We stopped in Stanley for a mid-morning snack before circling back around toward Ketchum. No words or pictures could truly do justice to the immense beauty we saw. I can hardly believe such a place exists even when I’ve seen it with my own eyes.

Our first glimpse of the actual Sawtooths

Our first glimpse of the actual Sawtooths

Hanging out in Stanley

Hanging out in Stanley

Getting bagels at Peaks and Perks

Getting bagels at Peaks and Perks

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Looking toward the Sawtooth Wilderness

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The Salmon River

The Salmon River

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Truman barked at the bears initially

Truman barked at the bears initially

Heading back toward Ketchum

Heading back toward Ketchum

We went into Ketchum for the rest of the afternoon to participate in the Sun Valley Brewfest. It was a small festival in Ketchum’s Town Square with twenty breweries from Idaho and surrounding states. The weather was wonderful, if a bit windy at times, and Truman was a popular attraction.

Sun Valley Brewfest

Sun Valley Brewfest

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On Sunday morning we spent a little more time in Ketchum before heading back to Salt Lake City. We had coffee at Leadville Espresso House and then strolled around town before bidding goodbye – for now. We definitely plan on going back.

Having coffee and breakfast

Having coffee and breakfast

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A church-like Starbucks

A church-like Starbucks

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Gorgeous lupines

Gorgeous lupines

The bluebonnet's cousin

The bluebonnet’s cousin

No visit to Ketchum is complete without paying homage to one of America’s greatest writers, Ernest Hemingway. Ketchum was Hemingway’s last home and where he was buried. We stopped at the Ketchum Cemetery, a small quiet space just outside of downtown. We didn’t have trouble finding his grave though it was not marked or singled out in any way. He lays under the shade of several towering evergreen trees; a peaceful spot for a man whose life was filled with so much turmoil.

Hemingway's resting place in Ketchum

Hemingway’s resting place in Ketchum

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