Stanley Lake Idaho Fishing, Camping, Boating

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Stanley Lake

Travel just an hour and half north of Sun Valley and you will arrive at spectacular Stanley Lake.

  • Stanley Lake is the northern most lake in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area.
  • The 170 acre lake offers plenty of room for boating, kayaking, canoeing, camping, hiking, biking and fishing.
  • The area is accessible year round, but snow may limit vehicle access.


The lake is nestled beneath rugged 9,860 foot McGowan Peak in a beautiful alpine valley below the Sawtooth Mountain Range in central Idaho. For anglers and boaters, the 170 acre lake offers plenty of room for recreating.

Location & Information

Stanley, Idaho is at the intersection of Idaho Routes 21 and 75. Stanley Lake is about 8 miles away from town (4 miles on Route 21, then 4 more on a gravel back road).

At roughly 6,500 feet in elevation, Stanley Lake's season is late May through early September. The area is accessible year round, but snow may limit vehicle access.

Stanley Lake is located within the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. For more information and further details:

  • Sawtooth National Recreation Area (800) 260-5970
  • Stanley Ranger Station (208) 774-3000


The Stanley Lake Campground has vault toilets, potable water and garbage service, but no electricity. You can reserve any of the 19 sites – all of which have lake views. A boat ramp is located nearby.

The Idaho Centennial Trail passes nearby, with the Stanley Lake Trailhead across the lake.

Stanley Lake offers excellent boating, waterskiing, canoeing/kayaking, and fishing for rainbow, cutthroat, brook, and bull trout. Numerous additional sparkling lakes and streams including the Salmon River dot the area, making for great rainbow and native Westslope cutthroat trout fishing. Ice fishing is open on Stanley Lake. Fishing License Required.

Birds easily viewed in the area include Raptors, Shorebirds, Songbirds, Upland Birds, Waterbirds and Waterfowl. There are over 219 different species that fly through the Sawtooth area, including the protected Sandhill crane.