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Discussion Starter #1
My wife and I are planning on a week long stay in Idaho, we are from Colorado. We have a conference in Boise on July 9-11th. Then on Sunday, July 11th until Saturday, July 17th we have vacation time. We have a small pop-up trailer that we will be taking with us. I am thinking of staying in, or around the Stanley Idaho area. We would like to stay at a non-busy, somewhat remote, campground and have a "base-camp" for the week. Then from here we would love to do some Class 3 Kayaking day trips (if close by), some day hikes, and even an overnight or 2 night backpacking trip.

Does anyone know about the Stanley Idaho area and Great Camping, Class 3 Kayaking, and Backpacking?

ANY information will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Lenny.
 

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Stanley is right next to the Sawtooth wilderness area. Tons of camp sites. Lots of good hiking both in the sawtooths and across the valley in the whiteclouds. The hike up to Mt Reagan on the north end of the sawtooths is one of my favorites. The upper Salmon is not far away. I believe ther is some class 3-4 that can be done as a day. A bunch of other stuff around there too. For Kayaking, the canyon run on the south fork of the Payette is an awesome day (IV). Staircase a bit further down is probably (III-IV) For a good class 3 day run, try the Carbarton on the North Fork (Its above the knarly class V stuff). It starts out slow, but picks up near the end and has some BIG waves. Not really Stanley, but between there and Boise via Garden City. Have fun!
 

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There is some good free, primitive camping a few miles west of town on Iron Creek Road. There is also a campground nearby. Great hikes from right there (or anywhere else in the Sawtooths). You're close to the Sunbeam Run on the Main Salmon and close enough to the South Fork of the Payette.
 

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Camping up the yankee fork is good, more isolated than stuff by the salmon like mormon bend. There is class III low volume on the yankee fork, good roadside run. Class III on the salmon sunbeam stretch, hot springs....
If I remember the yankee fork is about 10 miles from stanley? redfish lake is cool, but crowded. still worth it to shuttle across and hike the area for a day or if you are motivated and fit backpack the toxaway loop in 3 days.
Lots of class I-II from redfish to sunbeam dam, easy but scenic.

Buy the northwest hotsprings book from Falcon, the area is lousy with them.
email me if you want more info.
 

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For a good class 3 day run, try the Carbarton on the North Fork (Its above the knarly class V stuff). It starts out slow, but picks up near the end and has some BIG waves. Not really Stanley, but between there and Boise via Garden City. Have fun!
Agreed on the Cabarton. It is one of the great class 3 runs in the state. Starts slow so it makes you hungry, ends with a bang. It is a good three hours from Stanley to the put in.
The Grandjean section of the SF Payette starts about an hour from Stanley and is a good class 3 run as well. If putting on the upper check with Sean Glaccum at the Payette River Company for beta on any logs. It is next to the road but quite secluded for being right there.

Camping up the yankee fork is good, more isolated than stuff by the salmon like mormon bend. There is class III low volume on the yankee fork, good roadside run. Class III on the salmon sunbeam stretch, hot springs....
If I remember the yankee fork is about 10 miles from stanley? redfish lake is cool, but crowded. still worth it to shuttle across and hike the area for a day or if you are motivated and fit backpack the toxaway loop in 3 days.
Lots of class I-II from redfish to sunbeam dam, easy but scenic.

Buy the northwest hotsprings book from Falcon, the area is lousy with them.
email me if you want more info.
Yankee Fork can be a good option for camping to get away from the crowds. In July the whole area fills up. The Yankee Fork run is a great, short run that comes into the Salmon at Sunbeam and Sunbeam is about 10 miles from Stanley, downstream from Stanley if that wasn't obvious. The Yankee is prone to wood. Doug Finn operates White Otter outfitters and has possibly spent more time on the Yankee than anyone I know. He used to set slalom courses in there too. Stop in at Sunbeam and dbl check with them. They will know.

The other run more often called the Day stretch or the Headwaters run on the Salmon is a great intro Class 3 run - we try not to call it the Yankee Fork run to avoid confusion with the creek. You can put in right at the confluence with the Yankee Fork or drive downstream one mile to put in at Elk Creek.
The Narrows can produce a long swim but the water will be slowing down by early July.

"Lots of class I-II from redfish to sunbeam dam, easy but scenic."
- There is some great class 2 along this run. It will be a bit bony by then. If you are running the five mile section above the Sunbeam dam ( I wouldn't run the dam myself below about 3 feet ) you should watch out for Shotgun Rapid. It is roadside, easily scouted or portaged and can be a really fun class 3+. Not to be taken lightly. I got a concussion there and broke a paddle. Short but nasty and with not great recovery below it. Often logs pile up on the outside river right at the bottom to add a little extra hair to your hairball.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Fir Creek Campgrounds vs Lola Creek Campgrounds

Thank you to all that have posted. I greatly appreciate it.

CARVEDOG: I trust you got my PM? Thanks for yours!

What are your thoughts on camping at Fir Creek Campgrounds? Is any Class 3 kayaking close by? Any TrialHeads for Day/Alpine Treks close by?

Same questions for Lola Creek Campgrounds? Which of these two would you choose?

Hope we can speak sometime soon, Lenny.
 

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By July the Yankee fork could be pretty low and so will GrandJean

If you are driving from Boise to Stanley Head north towards horse bend and banks and turn right at banks towards Garden valley on to lowman and then Stanley
You'll be driving past boatable water the whole way from roughly Horseshoue bend on.
Get a few days of boating in before lowman (or go north on the NF) toward cabarton
Then go to Stanley and hike.
Hiking is great around stanley, sawtooths etc
better day trip/boating opportunites are found on the payettes.
You'll be doing a lot of driving if you set up home base around stanley and commute to the payettes.
You are looking at hour or so to lowman and the canyon run, another hour or less to banks and little more to Cabarton.
Stanley and the sawtooths are drop dead gorgeous.

Also while you are in boise you could hit the SF Boise over by Anderson Ranch Resivor (east and north of boise)
Very nice canyon and class III run but cold water---check flows, needs to flowing over 1k but I'd be cautious if it is over 3k (unlikely this year)
I've run it at 500 but is a long long day.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks to All for Posting

Thank you all for your no-nonsense post. This is a great resource when there are people like yourself that take it serious. THANK YOU.

Looks like we've selected the Lower O'Brien Campground for BaseCamp. Can't wait.

Thanks again, Lenny.
 

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Beaver Creek

There is a nice little FS campground on Beaver Creek (Beaver Creek campground) up in the cape horn area. It is a little out of Stanley but it is between Stanley and the Payette runs. Also there is a lot of free camping along the dirt roads heading into the Frank Church area and some is pretty nice.
 
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