View Full Version : Are bears a big consideration in the Sawtooth (ID) Recreation Area?

07-30-2005, 09:16 AM
I'm getting ready to join some friends on a backpacking camping/climbing trip in the Sawtooth Recreation Area of ID (outside of Stanley) in mid-Aug. I notice part of the area is called Bear Valley, and, since we've never been there, I'd welcome any experienced advice as to whether we need to take the recommended extra precautions for bears (cooking away from the sleeping area, storing food in "bear-safes," having bear repellent/gun, and that sort of thing), or are just "usual common sense" camping practices sufficient. Thanks for any info.

Jim N
07-31-2005, 08:39 AM
Have not spent much time there in recent years but during my mis-spent youth I worked in the Sawtooths a couple summers guiding. Back then (70's) there were lots of bears & normal precautions were required. No big deal though. Spring runoff and avalanches can be an issue & ticks carrying their various diseases took out a couple of companions (temporarily) on the middle fork. An ice ax, rope & a bit of related climbing gear is very useful if you get off trail.

Beautiful country.

08-06-2005, 03:29 PM
i have been running around the sawtooths scouting for goats and have yet to run into a bear this year nor any exciting bear stories. I say commen sense is plenty of precation. Have found wolf tracks and scat and heard them last night. The Snow is pretty much gone and should not be an issue for you. Early season I would recommend an axe. If you are going off trail a lot, a 100' of climbing rope could come in handy. I got cliffed out twice the other day and it could of come in handy. have agreat trip. et

08-08-2005, 06:00 AM

One of the few times I ever had to shoot a bear in my camp was about 16 years ago in the Sawtooths. A big old boar that had a camp raiding habbit, he was. I dont know if he would have ever actually attacked us, but he liked tearing up camp as soon as we left it each morning. He also liked coming into camp in the night and pooping right in front of our tent flap. I chose to kill him rather than tolerate his behavior and take my chances. He weighed about 400 pounds, which is very large for an Idaho bear. He was built long and lean like a giant wolf and had white hair on the sides of his black face. Real strange looking bear. A good FA 454 Casull, loaded with a 300gr. JFN at 1700 fps was more than he could take.

That was along time ago. I think you find human habituated bears where you find them and it is impossible to know ahead of time. Go prepared and have fun.