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!

79 Reviews on Trip Advisor — 5/5 Rating


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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
luvcitylivin
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
Jigger85
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
P H
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
fhmiller
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 , AIARE Level 2 Avalanche Course
darrosan
Chris, Sara & the entire SMG crew are consummate pros and deliver the goods even when the goods are scarce. I've been on multiple hut trips to the Williams peak hut and now done the Level 1 course, and all the SMG experiences were bucket list worthy, for anyone. Whenever one of the Sawtooth crew is involved, the experience gets both safer and more fun - that's not usually the case!

Get to the hut, hire these guides, take a course in the snow, dirt or rock. You're life will improve because of it.
  AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Course
Annie M
This was an awesome experience! I can't say enough positive things. Williams Peak Hut is a gem in the middle of the Sawtooths. The guides (Sara, Chris and Kirk) had incredible knowledge and experience. I learned so much about avoiding avalanches, rescue techniques and even received tips on my downhill skiing! I can't imagine going into the backcountry without having taken this course. The guides made everyone feel comfortable asking any questions. The food was fantastic as well. All in all an amazing weekend.
  AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Course
Amber W
Chris and Sara Lundy (and their intern, Tanner) know how to run a business that exceeds expectations. We attended a trip to Williams Peak Yurt during an AIARE Avalance I course this past December, and my husband and I were beyond impressed with their level of expertise and professionalism, not to to mention their personalitiies and detial orientied abilitiy to go above and beyond in outfitiing a trip. Sara is a wonderful cook! And all three of them are fun, and new friendships were formed. In whatever capacity you decide to utilizie these guys, you won't be disappointed.
  AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Refresher Course
IdahoSkiGirl
We took an Avy Level 1 Course from SMG and had great instructors - Sara and Chris Lundy along with Tanner (the awesome intern!). They cooked great meals, provided excellent instruction and put together a perfect weekend of learning in the backcountry. We will definitely be returning to the Williams Peak Hut next year and hiring the Lundys as our guides!

The weekend started on Friday morning with a few hours of classroom instruction at the Stanley Ranger Station. We then put our skins on our skis and hiked into the hut (about 5.5-6 miles and less than a 2000' elevation gain)... there are two huts with bunk beds (some beds even fold out to be double beds for any couples) and GORGEOUS Sawtooth Mountain scenery! Each night included some lectures/discussions and the days were spent in the field - practicing rescues, making observations, and using good communication to help mitigate the human factor of avalanche danger. Overall, I would highly recommend this course from SMG to anyone who spends time in the backcountry!
  AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Course