At Sawtooth Mountain Guides, your experience is what matters most. We pride ourselves on providing a mountain adventure that exceeds your wildest expectations. Don't take our word for it, read what others have to say!

123 Reviews on Trip Advisor — 5/5 Rating

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Last weekend I took the Backcountry Skills course with Sawtooth Mountain Guides. We met at their new HQ in Stanley. While getting to know our group, I was impressed with their facility, big screen monitor to review the online avalanche reports, plenty of room to get packed up. After a good intro, we drove out to the trailhead and skinned up to the Williams yurt. We had three days of great instruction, food that exceeded my expectations and great fellowship. The yurt was cozy and comfortable and all gear provided was high quality and in great repair. The instruction was a great balance of talked and practical experience on the mountain. Our instructors Mark Hanselman and Drew Dailey kept it fun and made sure everything went smoothly. I look forward to my next trip with SMG.
  Private: Backcountry Skills Course
Went out for a day of rock climbing on the Super Slabs near Redfish Lake with SMG and had a wonderful experience. Our guide was fantastic at teaching about the gear and the environment. He also did a nice job of engaging my teenage daughter.

Particular kudos to SMG for listening to what we wanted to do and then suggesting something that met our needs perfectly. They're very flexible--give them a call.
  Intro Rock Climbing
My and another family were looking for an outing near Stanley ID, and we asked Sawtooth Mountain Guides to help. Matt, the guide, took us to a rock not far away and was great. He had a sense of humor for the adults, and a great touch with the kids. After my daughter first wasn't able to get as high as she wanted, Matt was able to assuage her and get her climbing again in a way I wouldn't have been able to. Highly recommend!
  Intro Rock Climbing
Katie A
The three guides (Ryan, JP and Walker) who accompanied our team of 6 on the Borah Climb were very professional, very experienced and very patient with us!
And it was a successful experience for all of us with an age range of mid-40's to mid-60's.
I highly recommend them for anyone who wishes to have a safe but enjoyable Idaho outdoors experience!
  Mount Borah
Blake C
My wife and I spent some quality time with SMG this last winter. We first climbed and skied Mcgown N. Couloir and had so much fun, we decided to take their spring mountaineering class. Marc, Chris, Sara, and Tanner are all amazing, chatty people. Not to mention they have an intimate knowledge of the area and all of the safety skills to minimize risk. Their high level of professionalism is what sets them apart from other operations, in my opinion. Do you self a favor and get in a trip with SMG, you will not be disappointed.
  Sawtooth Ski Mountaineering
Oh my holy Idaho, where do I begin??? For starters, ‘Glamping’ is Glamour-Camping: camping without any of the equipment-buying, trail-mapping, stuff-carrying, fire-starting, dinner-making, tent-pitching, setting-up or cleaning-up, because someone else does all of these things for you. And, when you do this with Sawtooth Mountain Guides in the middle of the Idaho Rockies wilderness, you’ve got yourself Glamping: Idaho Style.
What you may or may not be able to ascertain from SMG’s website (I was not without emailing them) is that they will create any trip you like, any way you like it. It’s completely customizable for anyone from the novice who’s never done anything like this before to the expert (bring your own equipment if you like and use SMG as expert guides...why spend all day looking for SMG’s secret bridge if high water’s washed out the bridge everyone else has to use?). Hiking, slab or rock climbing, camping, fishing, in any combination, for any length of time you like, it’s a ‘You Name It, You Got It’ type of service. Not sure what you want? They’ll happily make suggestions as well.
So okay, about our trip specifically: Fam of four including two boys, nine & 11. Never been hiking or camping (except my husband and I as kids but that was *many* years ago).
First day: all morning hike with a break for lunch. Drew and Walker, our guides (hereby knows as, The Boys), set up a tablecloth on a big rock and make us an awesome, hearty buffet lunch. We fill our water bottles with fresh mountain stream water – for real. After lunch, we attempt granite slab climbing. (Husband and son went half-way up, other son and I chickened out all-together). The Boys brought all of the rock-climbing equipment including shoes, belts, ropes, helmets, etc. and they obviously know what they’re doing. We then hike up beside the rock on the mountain side, an almost vertical hike to the most breathtaking views (we can see the dot of a tent on the mountain across from us in what appears to be the middle of nowhere). We descend and continue hiking until we arrive at our remote mountain-side campsite in the early evening.
The Boys pitch tents and Walker blows up air mattresses and artfully places sleeping bags and pillows inside. They even have foldable chairs for us to relax in. Everything here is portable; there’s no permanent set-up so you still get the full roughing-it/camping experience, just without any of the work. We settle in as The Boys set up a table with apps and break out a couple of beers that have been chilling in the river. (This is one very cold, very refreshing, very well-earned beer). Walker takes us on a bush-whacking hike so we can go for a quick swim (river next to us has too strong a current for anything more than toe dipping) while Drew makes dinner. After dinner, Drew lights a campfire and we make S’mores for dessert and tell campfire stories (I hope they remember mine). Then it’s off to bed for a wonderful night’s sleep under what looks like the Milky Way. We awake to coffee brewing and breakfast cooking. We sit in yet another of the best al fresco dining spots in the world and breathe. Deeply. The views are spectacular; the sky is a piercing blue – not a cloud in it. We continue on our day with a short hike to a fly-fishing spot and we manage to catch a fish. We can hear the rushing water of the river, the birds chirping and absolutely nothing else. We have not seen a sole since yesterday when we passed three people on the way up on first five minutes of our journey. (Keep in mind, all we brought on this trip was the clothes on our backs, toothbrushes, bathing suits, water bottles, and PJs in a small backpack). We then hike our way back to where we started, listening to Drew’s search and rescue mission story, his six-month ski patrol stint in France, his quest for his international guide certification (he’s in year six of a seven year course). He points out Elephant’s Perch, a vertical mountain climb that he does as often as he can and one that I wouldn’t do if my life depended on it. The mountains are in this Boy’s blood. Both he and Walker are delightful to be around. The journey comes to an almost end as Drew radios the boat to pick us up and take us back to the other side of Redfish Lake, where it all began, on the lawn of Redfish Lake Lodge. We arrive there around 4pm and I get off the boat, reluctantly, oh, so, reluctantly.
I have to disclose here: when I first started looking at SMG and got an estimate it was sticker shock. Now that I’ve done it, I would have paid twice as much.
Hiking in the mountains? Check. Granite slab climbing? Check. Fly fishing in crystal clear water? Check. Camping in the wilderness? Check. Family adventure? Check. Once in a lifetime trip? Check. Glamping: Idaho Style. Check.
  Family Adventure Trips
We've done several trips with SMG over the past few years (all a mix of adults and teens), and every one has been excellent.

This recent trip was a day outing for two teens and three adults on AT gear. We started out at Galena summit, and hiked up along Titus ridge. SMG arranged a perfect sunny day, and our lunch at the top of the climb had spectacular views all around. After lunch, our guide Marc guided us down through some very cool terrain, and everyone in the group went home with big smiles.

These guys are great at what they do. They completely engaged us and our kids, and created a truly memorable experience for all of us. Highly recommended!
  Sun Valley Backcountry Skiing
Yet another fabulous trip under the guidance of almighty Chris. We bagged a couple good coolies in knee deep, suculent fresh powder. The Sickle gave itself to us after a very reasonable approach from the hut. Before that we were oh so fortunate to meet with the son of the maker, JC himself, again in deep powder. The skiing, the food, the sauna, the camaraderie, Kurtis jokes, everything was perfect. The only person missing was Sarah. Next time, the Kitty litter and the Shield, nothing less. Chris, Pete, Kurtis, Kirk, many thanks for another awsome experience in one of the most fabulous mountain range.
  Sawtooth Ski Mountaineering , Guided & Catered Hut Trips
I've known SMG for a while. Top notch guides. I used them a few years ago to do a climbing trip up the Elephant's Perch. Erik and crew are really solid folks, and were both fun and on top of it. Safety was priority #1, but that didn't get in the way of pushing ourselves and having a great time. They've also done an excellent job with kids programs, teaching youngsters how to get on in the out-of-doors. Everyone I've met are experienced and good people. Can't say enough about SMG
  Climb the Elephants Perch , Sawtooth Rock Climbing
David S
SMG never disappoints. Chris, Sara, Erik, Kirk and the whole team are amazing outdoor professionals and provide an amazing product. I've completed a Williams Peak Yurt trip, AIARE Level I and AIARE Level II with them and each experience exceeded my expectations. They are professional, knowledgable and downright fun to be around. I'd highly recommend them for your next Sawtooth or Central Idaho adventure.
  AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Course – Stanley , AIARE Level 2 Avalanche Course – Stanley/Sun Valley