ID – Sawtooth Wilderness, Yellowbelly Trailhead

I found myself stuck in a few days of bad weather. 

So I spent my time catching up on chores, and picking up trash at dispersed campsites. 

And extinguishing fires abandoned by a group of youth too intoxicated to care.  

Signs like this are everywhere, but alas some just don’t care.

By now I’ve been in the Stanley area about two weeks and was seriously craving fresh fruits and vegetables, which I was grateful to find in Challis. 

I enjoyed playing tourist traveling along Highway 75. 

I visited the ghost towns of Custer and Bonanza. 

I found a great place to watch a storm and the aftermath.

Yep, it’s June in the mountains. The blue represents areas receiving snow, including me! 

On a very cold windy morning, I visited Pettit Lake hoping I’d be inspired to take a walk. 

Finally weather was to my liking and it was time to see if I could find my way to Yellowbelly (aka Yellow Belly), McDonald and Farley Lakes.

Yellowbelly Lake 

The trail started through a forest with plenty of deadfall.

Shortly thereafter it was time to get my feet wet. 

McDonald Lake 

It was definitely a wet feet kind of day. 

Between snow melt and a week of storms, creeks and waterfalls were active. 

This mountain was pulling me toward Farley Lake. 

It’s so nice when mucky trails are protected with walkways. 

Farley Lake, so picturesque! 

I believe this is looking at Pettit Lake or possibly Alturas Lake. 

Looking at one of the many waterfalls. 

My kind of perfect. 

I found a few early blooms. 

Adventure Date(s):

  • June 11, 2018
  • Hiking Stats:









  • Permits are free and self serve at the trailhead. I wish more areas would adopt this practice.
  • It seems campfire rings might be a thing of the past. I like this philosophy. 
  • Public showers and laundry are available near Redfish Lake Lodge. 
  • Visit the Ranger Station in Stanley to determine latest trail conditions and dispersed camping options. They marked a Motor Vehicle Use map with roads appropriate for my vehicle and approved for dispersed camping. After hiking various trails I reported back to the Stanley Ranger Station and the rangers provided more and more options after each visit. Once they know your interests and abilities they are more willing to assist in the process.




4 thoughts on “ID – Sawtooth Wilderness, Yellowbelly Trailhead

  1. Hi there, enjoy your posts, but for some time now have been unable to click on links in emails to open your post. I have to copy the link into the browser. Regards, Barrie

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