Thursday, November 1, 2007

Stanley, Idaho in October

October is a nice time to visit Stanley, Idaho. This year I went in mid-October, and the town was closing down for winter. It was the last night several hotels and restaurants were open. It was nice and cool, with even a tiny bit of frost in the morning, but it wasn't too cold to be pleasant. Stanley is about three hours from Boise, and it is a reasonably pretty drive. It's a great weekend getaway. It's hard to be stressed when you can look up at the Sawtooth Mountains or out across Redfish Lake (both pictured above).

I like to stay at Meadow Creek Inn and Day Spa unless I have the dogs with me, in which case I stay at Mountain Creek Resort. You can get an incredible black and bleu prime rib and the Kasino Klub downtown, a good breakfast at The Bakery, and breakfast, lunch or dinner at Elk Mountain RV Park & Restaurant on the way into town (four miles outside Stanley). Like most small towns, the staff and local people are nice, and generally pleasant to interact with. Everyone knows you aren't from there, but in Stanley, unlike some places, they don't seem to mind.

There is an information for tourists building where you can pick up fliers on local day hikes and other activities, and maps to visit the various lakes. There is a plethora of camping, rafting, hiking, and snowmobiling in Stanley.

The only drawback to Stanley is that it's not a very dog-friendly town. While it's great there is at least one hotel that will let you bring dogs, in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area you generally can't have dogs or you have to have them on leash, which is not very feasible on a long hike. While I didn't see any wildlife in or near Stanley, the scenery was nice and it was a great and relaxing weekend and a good way to recover from Madagascar.

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