I had given up on this thread. Thanks for the replies. I'll check out the forest roads. Anybody know an internet link for forest service maps.
If you've never been to Stanley, I highly recommend it. The sawtooth mountains are worth it - especially if you live in Wa. This will be my first chance to explore off-road.
I also recommend the Braun Family Reunion (it's a music festival; google it).
Check out the link for that forest. You can order maps online. Additionally if you are sticking in one area of the forest you might look at stopping into the nearest ranger station. They usually have locally generated maps that show more roads than the big overall forest map.
There is a real nice forest road in the Boulder White Clouds. It heads up to an elevation around 11,000 ft, and you can view Castle Peak, which is pretty difficult to view to by any roads. Did this about 3 years ago, the road is pretty rough, but definitely doable. I would recommend it. It is called railroad ridge, and is around the Livingston mine. I have directions and might have some pictures, I can take a look for them.
After some looking around, I found some pictures of that trip. It seemed only a few years ago, but actually was in '05 =]. Here are a few:
As far as the directions, if you are coming from Stanley...Follow these:
1. Turn LEFT onto ID-75/NF-26 towards Challis. Follow for 37.5 mi.
2. Turn RIGHT onto E FORK RD. Follow for 17.7 mi.
3. Turn RIGHT onto BIG BOULDER CREEK RD (FS road 667). Follow 4.5 mi.
4. Will Reach Livingston Mine Mill. FS Road 667 will take off up to your right and follow the ridge West.
5. Following the ridge (FS road 667), will fork, take the right road to gain elevation.
The country is extremely breathtaking. If you are into gps and coordinates, the coordinates at the bottom of FS road 667 by the Livingston Mine Mill are 44.132441N 114.521592W
I LOVE that area! Grew up camping around Stanley my entire childhood. There are plenty of trails all over the place ranging from hiking only through wilderness to driving trails like Bmapes mentioned above. The local ranger station is definately the place to get very detailed info about what trails are open and to what kind of traffic they are open for at that time. If it is a dry year (which it may turn out to be) they do have a tendency to close off some of the trails that lead through dry grassy meadows to vehicles to avoid the possibility of fire. There is a ranger station just south of Stanley and I believe there is also one right outside of it eastward as you follow the river heading toward Sun Valley. Even just sticking on paved roads makes for a very beautiful and scenic drive!
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE follow all signs and warnings. I all too often see people driving in wilderness area (area that is forbidden to anything but footed travel) and wind up getting trails closed for everyone because of it. Trash is another big one on my list. Pack it in, pack it right back out with you. Take all the memories and photos you want, but I believe its best to leave everything else where it was.
If you make it up this way this summer HAVE FUN!
Its an amazing area, LOVE spending time up there! As MoparFreak69 said, tread lightly and leave no sign that you were there and people will be able to enjoy many memorable sights like these for time to come! I made this trip in '05, and it will be something I will never forget!