Island Park, Idaho
Mountain Peaks, Henrys Lake
19 miles round trip
Well graded gravel road
Trail Head:44.53559 N, 111.35664 W
Peak:44.56193 N, 111.44474 W
The Sawtell Peak road is a great destination for anyone that enjoys sweeping views. It takes you over 9,800 feet to great 360 degree views of 3 different states. This makes a perfect unique stop to anyone visiting nearby Yellowstone. It is a very well graded dirt road. It is open to all vehicles. I have been here on anything from ATV’s to a family sedan. If the conditions are bad you obviously would need something with 4×4 but most of the time it is not at all necessary. The road is not technical at all but could still be challenging for those afraid of heights since there are several exposed areas. The mountain always holds snow well into July making this a great stop for summer or fall. The area is also extremely popular with snowmobiles in the winter. Sawtell is the huge peak very prominent over Island Park.
The road begins just outside town to the west of the Sawtell Mountain Resort. It starts out very forested and is beautiful.
In the summer you will see many wildflowers.
There really aren’t any side roads so its basically impossible to get lost. Just keep climbing. Eventually the radar tower that makes this road possible will come into view.
You can often see the road snaking far below you and the views are great.
Soon you will be at the top where you can park by the tower and enjoy the great views.
The best part of being at the top are the commanding views of Mount Jefferson which is the highest peak in the Centennial Range at 10,203 feet. An interesting fact is that the mountain and giant bowl you are looking at is considered the absolute headwaters of the Missouri River. There is a hiking trail to the peak that starts from the road if that interests you.
You get great views to the west of the huge plains of Montana.
To the north you can see Lionhead and Bald Peak along with Henrys Lake.
To the east is Two Top which is probably the most popular ATV and Snowmobile trail in the area. Yellowstone is in view past Two Top.
Finally to the south on a clear day you can see the Tetons. This was not a clear day but you could barely make them out.
You will have to return the way you came.
I have been to this peak more than a dozen times and I never really get sick of the great views and crisp air. Its very worth while for anyone.