Sandhill crane watching has been good near Stanley

It was a surprise to see so many sandhill cranes in the Stanley area over the holiday weekend. They must be staging up to head south for the winter.

I saw them along Marsh Creek in the open meadows off Idaho 21 and even saw them along Capehorn Creek and in small mountain meadows up some of the trails going into the Sawtooths.

I saw them throughout the summer in Bear Valley, too.

So, if you’re into crane watching maybe this is the last hurrah for Idaho’s high meadows.


I was camped up near Stanley over the weekend and woke up to temperatures around 30 degrees. It’s that time of the year and so welcomed for sleeping, rather than the unbearable temperatures in the valley. We even had ice in the meadow one morning. Fall camping is the best and it’s only just begun.


The black currants are ripe at about 7,300 feet in elevation along some of the mountain trails in the Sawtooths and Salmon River Mountains. We got into a mess of them while grouse hunting over the weekend. We also saw red currants at about 7,000 feet. The berries are great for cooking with grouse. However, we didn’t get into the grouse. Only saw one bird along one of our hotspots. It’s very dry in the high country and the game birds might be concentrated in certain areas where they can find water.

Who knows? But we’re going to keep on looking.

Well, it’s going to be a busy two months with hunting and fall camping. Hiking was excellent, too, with temperatures in the high ’70s.

Photos by Pete Zimowsky


Posted in Into the Outdoors