We can't wait to go back to IRMR and the Sawtooth Mountains. I was drawn in by the website photos showing rocking chairs on a porch, looking out to the magnificent Sawtooth Mountains. Arriving was one of those travel moments of joy when you realise it is actually going to be even better than you had hoped.
We loved the cosy, authentic feel of the cabin and main lodge, built in the 1930s, but smartly updated. Simple, stylish, extremely comfortable, and not a fussy, folksy frill in sight. Toasty-warm with both heating and an open fire, as the lovely days did turn cold at night.
Our kids were delighted to find a few others of the same age, and they were well looked after with supervised dinner and games on the lawn one night while we enjoyed a fun, sociable dinner with other guests. They loved playing around the pond, and attempting to fish - and the hot spring pool over at the stables was a perfect way to unwind as the day cooled. As beginner riders we were well looked after on our trail rides through beautiful scenery, and the float trip down the Salmon (organised by the ranch) was a highlight of the holiday. Although not aimed specifically at families, the ranch was accommodating of our children and we now see that there will be a terrific base for more adventurous activities when they are slightly older.
The meals were very good, especially breakfast. Bag lunches were more than satisfying, and it was always possible to grab a coffee or a cool drink. Staff were warm and welcoming, perhaps not city-slick but very friendly.
Late evening: Kids exhausted and sleeping happily, a bottle of red wine open, reading out on the porch in my rocking chair glancing up now and then to admire the snow-capped Sawtooths - a holiday moment I can't wait to repeat.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The living history of the Old West mingles with the solitude and peace of this 1000-acre ranch, offering freedom, breathtaking natural beauty, and a relaxed atmosphere. Surrounded by the largest protected wilderness area in the "lower 48", guests will enjoy full days of outdoor adventures, our authentic lodge and cabins, delicious meals, rejuvenating natural hot springs pool, and plenty of relaxation time. The atmosphere is friendly and casual, and the view from the front porch –well, you just have to experience that for yourself.This 50-person guest ranch is an ideal homebase to enjoy one of America’s most majestic natural treasures, --- The Sawtooth National Recreation Area. The Sawtooth Mountains are an outdoor enthusiast’s wonderland, with miles of hiking and biking trails, scenic western horseback riding, and countless opportunities for fishing, rafting and exploring the pristine Salmon River.The Ranch property originally was part of Stanley Basin pioneer Dave Williams’ homestead. It was acquired in 1929 by New York Frigidaire executive Winston Paul, who began building the Idaho Rocky Mountain Club. A crew of 60 men, among them a blacksmith and stonemason, camped on the Ranch property in the fall of 1929 until they were forced to leave by severe winter weather. Construction began with the snaking of logs up Williams and Gold Creek to the Big Meadow chosen as the Lodge site. The crews returned the following spring to complete construction, and the Idaho Rocky Mountain Club opened that summer as an invitation-only guest facility.A hydroelectric plant, whose log structure housing still stands at the willowed bend in the pond, generated power for the IRMC providing the first electricity in the Sawtooth Valley. Several of the original power gauges can also still be found around the Ranch. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch Hotel Stanley
- Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch Stanley