Scenic USA - Idaho

Baron Lake

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Baron Lake - Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Idaho

Photo by Jack Brauer
Jack Brauer's Sawtooth Trek

   The Sawtooth National Recreation Area (NRA), surrounding Idaho's most famous mountain range with more than 775,000 pristine acres, may be summed up as an immense land of adventure. It's been often stated, if Idaho's mountains were flattened out, it would equal the size of Texas. And it's among these majestic Sawtooth Mountains where guests look to find some of the state's most incredible scenery and unforgettable backcountry adventures.
   Tugged in every direction by hundreds of guide services and outfitters, it may be tough to choose between whitewater rafting trips, jet boat excursions in Hells Canyon, fly-fishing in one of Idaho’s pristine streams or sightseeing trips on some of the state's 30 scenic byways. Longing for tranquility and a taste of Idaho's wilderness? While a Sawtooth NRA Baron Lake hike is beyond the scope for the casual day hiker, with the right leadership the trailhead at #101 may mark the beginning of a remarkable experience. The trail begins with a boat ride across Redfish Lake from the lodge and leads upward into Baron Creek Valley and some of Idaho's most breathtaking scenery. In this evening view of Baron Lake, the cluster of granite spires in the background announce the Verita Ridge, one of the Sawtooth's most enticing mountaineering ensembles. As you look upon this remarkable scene, one can easily state that this was a worthwhile six mile climb.
   For those baby boomers that dream of a wilderness escape and the Baron Lakes climb is out of the question, the area's Redfish Lake, views of McGown Peak and Stanley Lake may offer enough scenic beauty to satisfy the soul. Completing both the Ponderosa Pine and Sawtooth scenic byways will punctuate any Sawtooth visit.

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