A Day in Stanley

Idaho Hot Springs

We awoke dirty but well-rested after our ride from Ketchum the day before. With a four-mile, paved downhill into Stanley, we had he whole day ahead of us to eat, relax, and eat some more. We also had to figure out if Carrie would be able to replace her lost toiletries, including the all important contacts case and solution.

Carrie takes in the view of the Sawtooths from the Mountain Village Lodge's hot spring.
Carrie takes in the view of the Sawtooths from the Mountain Village Lodge’s hot spring.

With this in mind, we entered Stanley and went first to the Mountain Village Lodge to book a room for the night. The room also included a soak in their private hot springs, as seen in a photo in the Idaho Hot Springs map. We paid $90 for the room, which included two drink tickets at their bar and of course the requisite hot springs soak. This was so far the most expensive accommodation we’d paid for, as most of the camping had been at free or really cheap campsites.

We then went to the grocery store to get food for the day and to look for a new toiletries setup for Carrie. As luck would have it, Carrie found a contacts case and contacts solution, so the trip was saved! We took our new bounty to a nearby picnic bench to have breakfast and to watch the town prepare for the second day of their arts festival, which is why the campgrounds were so full the night previous.

During that morning we also met a guy named Miles, who was amidst his own adventure: through-hiking the Idaho Centennial Trail, a much more ambitious undertaking than our luxury bike trip. Miles had already hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Paci๏ฌc Crest Trail, so heโ€™s no stranger to multi-month backpacking.

After chatting with Miles, we walked around the arts festival and then went to The Bakery, a cafe staffed by young outdoorsy types, who make some delicious food. People from the surrounding area may very well come to Stanley just to eat at The Bakery. Because of the arts festival the line for food was especially long but worth the wait in the end.

At 3pm we were able to check into our room. We did a load of laundry in the bathtub, then bathed ourselves, and then went to the hot springs for a late afternoon soak. The hot springs at the Mountain Village Lodge is housed in a small cabin with barn doors that open up for views of the magnificent Sawtooth Mountains, jagged peaks that rise well above treeline.

We finished the evening with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and then used our drink tickets for some local brews at the bar next door. It was nice to rest, but we were looking forward to the next leg of the trip.