Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sawtelle Peak

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.

Paul made this quick and easy find at about 9,000 feet.

Even on this cloudy day, the view from the cache was spectacular.

The road, however, became just a bit more scary!

Take a look at one of the hairpins near the top. Rocky loved this!

Here's the final turn before reaching the top. No, there are no guardrails anywhere!

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!

What a view! This is Sawtelle's neighbor, Mount Jefferson.

You can see three states from the top. Paul is posing in front of Montana!

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!

Yes, Paul, I can see the lake from here just fine, thank you!

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!"


Judy and Emma said...

I'm thinking I may try Sawtelle again when there isn't any pine pollen in the air. :) Nice description of your trip and great pics!

KarenInTheWoods and Steveio said...

Wow.. those are some wonderful pictures! Thanks ---

Karen and Steve
(Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

Sue and Doug said...

way to go Rocky!!!..nice to see some pictures of the two of you enjoying your REDROCK experience!!!