Rugged, Beautiful, and Accessible: The Sawtooth Mountains



Living in Boise, Idaho is a great decision. The city is full of wonderful cultural opportunities, entertainment, and it’s surrounded by some of the best outdoor recreational opportunities in the entire state. From whitewater rafting to horseback riding and everything in between, Boise is a great place to live, and you won’t regret deciding to buy a house here and making this wonderful city your home.

Of course, you’re looking for a greater adventure than hiking or mountain biking through the Boise Foothills. You want something to get the adrenaline pumping, but you’re not quite into BASE jumping or paragliding. While both of those activities are possible around Boise, you want something that provides more of a physical challenge. You want to go mountain climbing.

Two and a Half Hours Away

While you can always explore the Boise Mountains, and you should, you won’t get the kind of thrills and adventure that you’re looking for there. The Boise Mountains are a great place to learn how to mountain climb, and to get your practice in for later in the season when more mountains open up. For a truly incredible experience, and for some of the most rugged mountains Idaho has to offer, you’ll only need to drive about two and half hours northeast of Boise to the Sawtooth Mountains.

If you’re familiar with the mountain range you might not think you could ever be prepared to go mountain and rock climbing there. While the Sawtooth Mountains offer some of the most challenging rock climbing in the state, they also offer plenty of opportunities for even beginning mountain and rock climbers.

Sawtooth Mountain Guides

While you don’t have to hire a guide to climb in the Sawtooth Mountains, if you’re new to mountain climbing, or if this is your first time here, it might be worthwhile to hire an experienced guide. And, as it turns out, the Sawtooth Mountains can be a great place to learn how to climb, or they could be the challenge of a lifetime.

· Super Slabs. Named one of the top 8 moderate climbs in the United States, the Super Slabs are a fantastic place to learn how to climb. You can come here without any prior experience, and learn the ropes of mountain and rock climbing. The Super Slabs are reachable by a ten-minute boat ride and then an hour hike up Redfish Canyon. You’ll find easy to moderate climbing on the clean granite here. Plus, the Super Slabs are a great place to warm up before trying the harder and bigger climbs, like Elephants Perch or the Finger of Fate.

· Elephants Perch. This is the ultimate Sawtooth Mountain experience, and a true challenge for rock climbers. It’s incredibly popular because it has a remarkable variety of climbing challenges, from chimneys to face climbing. With the Sawtooth Mountain Guides, you can take a three-day trip and enjoy the ultimate experience of rock climbing, fishing, and swimming in the Sawtooth Mountains.

· The Finger of Fate. With a name like that, you can bet that this will be one memorable and incredible climb. The Finger of Fate is considered the most dramatic summit in the entire Sawtooth Mountain Range. Get started early enough, and you’ll be able to reach the summit in one day, showing just how challenging and incredible the Finger of Fate really is.

· McGown Peak. This mountain peak towers above Stanley Lake, and even if you’ve never climbed McGown Peak or been to the Sawtooth Mountains, you’ve probably seen it. McGown Peak is the most photographed of all the mountains in the Sawtooth Range. It features class 3 and 4 climbing to reach the summit.

· Non-Technical Summits. If you’re just getting into mountain and rock climbing, you might not be able to climb some of the summits in the Sawtooth Mountains. But don’t let that deter you from visiting. If you’d just like to worry about enjoying the views, instead of scrambling over rock, you’ll find that the Sawtooth Mountains has at least a couple of summits.

You’ll be able to enjoy Thompson Peak, the highest peak in the Sawtooth Mountains, or Braxon. Both of these don’t require any technical experience. You’ll just need a good pair of lungs and enough determination to make it to the end. This lets you work your way into mountain climbing, and it might just whet your appetite to learn how to climb the more challenging peaks that Idaho has to offer.


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