Spend any time at all around Island Park and you'll notice Sawtelle Peak. Standing at nearly 10,000 feet, this commanding mound forms the eastern end of the Centennial Mountains. If its height wasn't enough, the big round radar station on top makes it easy to spot from all over the place. For weeks it's been tempting us to come on up and take a look. So, today we did.
We made the 4,500-feet climb from the valley floor along an 8-mile gravel road. To break up the trip, we decided to search for a couple of geocaches along the way. At the first stop we met a couple of cachers on vacation from Tennessee. That's them in their Jeep heading up the hill from the first caching spot.
We knew we'd reached the top when we arrived at this imposing structure, an FAA long-range radar dome. We could look, but we could not touch!
Here's a look at our neighborhood from the top. That's Henry's Lake. If you could see through the tree-covered hill in the lower right you'd see Bullwinkle!
When we weren't gawking at the view of Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, several area lakes and the green valley below, we enjoyed a very colorful display of low-lying wildflowers at the peak. It's a amazing these little guys can survive up here.
The trip down was uneventful, and we're so pleased to report our trusty squirrel got us off the mountain safely. Now, when we look up at Sawtelle Peak we can say "We've been there!"