Travel and Lodging

The closest airport is in Boise (BOI).  The Friday sprint will be 20-30 minutes from the airport depending on traffic.  Stanley is approximately 3 hours drive from Boise, with the quickest route being ID 55 to Banks to Garden Valley to Lowman, rather than through Idaho City (about 15 minutes difference depending on which side of Boise you start from).  ID 21 is open to Stanley either way.  The long backup alternative is via Ketchum which will add ~1 hour travel time.  Cell coverage near Stanley can be very limited depending on your provider and distance from town.  Expect minimal coverage on the map and camping areas.


At this time, no discount is available for Stanley lodging given limited capacity and seasonal demand.  These rooms can fill up very quickly with seasonal demand (especially river trips), so it is strongly recommended to reserve as early as possible if a hotel is preferred.
  • Mountain Village Resort – has standard rooms (2 queens, in old or remodeled options at different prices) and larger suites (6-8 people).  Phone:  (208) 774-3661.
  • Stanley High Country Inn – phone at (208) 774-7000, or reserve online.  Requires the first night as a deposit (single queen or single king rooms), four suites that contain two beds, and cabins or cabinettes require a two night stay with two nights deposit.
  • Valley Creek Lodge – call (208) 774-3606 after 2nd week of February to reserve.  Also has an RV park (no tents).  Reservations by credit card; cancellations up until two weeks before, then no refunds.
 The chamber of commerce in Stanley here has a more comprehensive list.


Open group camping will be available near the Dutch Lake map and just off ID-21 (Parking N44.360685, W115.142814).  In the center of the camping zone will be the primary parking area for Sunday.  CTOC is charging $10 per person to provide port-a-potties, water supplies, and a trash dumpster.  At a certain point moving away from the road we will indicate no camping or further travel since this moves into the embargoed area for Sunday’s courses.

This year Idaho received a large surplus of snow.  While the camping area is now snow free and drains fairly well, plan for mosquitoes as if you are going to Alaska as we expect them to be dense.  Campfires are permitted currently in this area but USFS asks us to consolidate as much as possible.  Also recommended to bring some of your own firewood as this is generally a popular open camping area.  It is requested to give the creek area some space (don’t camp/park too close).

The closest USFS campgrounds with vault toilets is the Thatcher campground at $10/night, with five sites available, but there are a number of campsites within a short drive in both the Salmon-Challis (Cape Horn area) and Sawtooth (Stanley Lake and Hwy 21 area) national forests.


There is a small grocery store in town associated with Mountain Village resort (that includes basic camping stuff like mosquito repellent, stove fuel, etc.), but you may want to take advantage of more affordable and expansive options in Boise before driving up.  Choices include Costco, Trader Joes, Whole Foods, Winco, and the Boise Co-op.  Whole Foods and the Co-op have a large deli selection of prepared foods as well as a bulk food aisle, while Trader Joe’s sells a wide variety of packaged smaller individual options.  Winco has a large bulk food aisle too.  I think everyone knows about Costco but be aware it’s on the south side of Boise.

An informal potluck is suggested at the camping area for Saturday night in the meet notes.  At the moment there is no fixed schedule or organizer for this.

As Stanley is a popular base for white water rafting trips and other outfitters, there are a variety of places to dine out.  Note that there are two distinct sections of town, “Upper” and “Lower” based on the direction of the Main Salmon River.  The meet site is closer to the upper side along highway 21.  Our personal experience is limited and ownership has changed over the years.  These are some suggestions to check out if desired that are closer to the meet site:

  • Peaks and Perks – a popular and visible walk up coffee, ice cream, and quick sandwich place with some outdoor seating near the Mountain Village hotel.
  • Stanley Baking Company – a very popular and tasty place for coffee, breakfast, and lunch that recently expanded.  Stand in line to order and then be served at your table.  (Parking can get pretty crazy.)
  • Stanley Sluice Alehouse and Eatery – a newer place in town that covers the full day from breakfast to dinner, but probably not for a hurry before your start time.
  • Papa Brunee’s – local pizza place.
  • Mountain Village – restaurant associated with the large(r) hotel at the junction of 21 and 75.
  • Sawtooth Hotel and Restaurant – a historic hotel with a nicer restaurant.
  • The Redd Restaurant – a home cooked meal type place tucked into an old house.

Some of these will handle larger groups better than others, worth calling ahead or stopping by to inquire.  Note that some places may be closed on Sunday.  The Chamber of Commerce also has a more complete list of options with links to photos and some menus.