LOCATION: East off of Highway 20 in Island Park, ID. Many travelers head up this road on there way to see West Yellowstone.
HIGHLIGHTS: Although a relatively short drive the Sawtell Peak is well worth the view. Sawtell peak sits at an elevation close to 10,000 feet (9,906) above sea level with neighboring Mount Jefferson towering at 10,216 feet above sea level. The view also gives way to the Teton Range and the Grand Teton Peak along with other mountain ranges in the area. There are great views also of Henry’s Lake and Island Park Resevoir. The FAA flight traffic control radar station on Sawtell’s summit also is pretty amazing. The station’s parabolic dish antenna is visible for miles. In fact the road is plowed access during the winter season.
DIFFICULTY: The road is well maintained of gravel and dirt and is suitable for off-road vehicles, adventure bikes, and even a family car. However, once you begin climbing the mountain, you’ll be committed to reaching the summit; there are no turnarounds along the way. Long vehicles or cars towing trailers are not recommended on the steep, narrow road, which twists around tight hairpin turns and has no guardrails. An experienced driver paying close attention should have no trouble traversing the Sawtell Peak Road. The views at the summit make the drive worth any sweaty palms. Sawtell Peak Road is closed between November 1 and June 1.
TIME & DISTANCE: Drive is about 12 miles each way. I would allow for 1 hour at least but more would be better to give time to drive up and explore the top.