Sawtooth Range (Idaho)

Last updated
Sawtooth Range
Sawtooth Range.JPG
Highest point
Peak Thompson Peak
Elevation 10,751 ft (3,277 m)
Coordinates 44°08′30″N115°00′36″W / 44.141533°N 115.009969°W / 44.141533; -115.009969
Dimensions
Length43 mi (69 km)N/S
Width25 mi (40 km)E/W
Area678 sq mi (1,760 km2)
Geography
USA Idaho location map.svg
Red triangle with thick white border.svg
Country United States
State Idaho
Range coordinates 43°57′12″N114°59′26″W / 43.95333°N 114.99056°W / 43.95333; -114.99056 Coordinates: 43°57′12″N114°59′26″W / 43.95333°N 114.99056°W / 43.95333; -114.99056 [1]
Parent range Rocky Mountains

The Sawtooth Range is a mountain range of the Rocky Mountains in central Idaho, United States, reaching a maximum elevation of 10,751 feet (3,277 m) at the summit of Thompson Peak. It encompass an area of 678 square miles (1,756 km2) spanning parts of Custer, Boise, Blaine, and Elmore counties, and is bordered to the east by the Sawtooth Valley. Much of the mountain range is within the Sawtooth Wilderness, part of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area and Sawtooth National Forest. [2]

Contents

The mountains were named for their jagged peaks. [3]

Peaks

There are 57 peaks with an elevation over 10,000 feet (3,000 m) in the Sawtooth Range, all falling between 10,000 to 10,751 feet (3,048 to 3,277 m) on Thompson Peak, the highest point in the range. Another 77 peaks fall between 9,000 and 10,000 feet (2,700 and 3,000 m). [4]

Climbs range in difficulty between the 9,150-foot (2,790 m) Observation Peak, a Class 1 hike, and 8,980-foot (2,740 m) King Spire, a rock route rated Class 5.10 on the Yosemite Decimal System. [4] [5]

Geology

The northern Sawtooth Range formed from the Eocene Sawtooth batholith, while south of Alturas Lake the mountains formed from the Cretaceous granodiorite of the Idaho Batholith. [6] [7] The Sawtooth Range has a history of alpine glaciation, but while no surface glaciers exist today, perennial snow fields and rock glaciers remain, usually on north or east facing slopes. There have been 202 perennial snow fields mapped in the Sawtooth Range. [8] The Sawtooth Range was last extensively glaciated in the Pleistocene, but glaciers probably existed during the Little Ice Age, which ended around 1850 AD. [9] [10] Evidence of past glaciation given remnants of the glaciers such as glacial lakes, moraines, horns, hanging valleys, cirques, and arêtes. [9]

Seismology

In 2010, scientists from Idaho State University discovered the Sawtooth Fault near the base of the mountains, running for 40 mi (64 km) near Stanley and Redfish Lake. The most recent large quakes along it occurred around 4,000 and 7,000 years ago. It is estimated the fault could produce a 7.5 magnitude earthquake, potentially felt as far as Boise. [11] [12]

Waterways

McGown Peak and Stanley Lake Stanley Lake.JPG
McGown Peak and Stanley Lake
Edna Lake Edna Lake.JPG
Edna Lake
Sawtooth Mountains and Toxaway Lake Sawtooths and Toxaway Lake.JPG
Sawtooth Mountains and Toxaway Lake

The Sawtooth Range is home to hundreds of lakes created by vanished alpine glaciers, with nearly 400 lakes in the Sawtooth Wilderness. [13] Five of the six largest lakes in the range are located outside the wilderness (Redfish, Alturas, Pettit, Yellow Belly, and Stanley lakes), while Sawtooth Lake is within the wilderness. [2]

Most of the east side of the Sawtooth Range is drained by the main stem of the Salmon River and the west side by the South Fork Payette River. Small portions of the northern and southern ends of the range are in the watersheds of the Middle Fork Salmon River and Boise River, respectively. [2]

Recreation

There are 40 trails totaling nearly 350 miles (560 km) in the Sawtooth Wilderness that can be used for day hiking, backpacking, and horseback riding and accessed from 23 trailheads. [14] Additional trails traverse the foothills of the mountains outside the designated wilderness. Camping is permitted anywhere in the wilderness. There are several developed campgrounds on the western side of range, outside the Sawtooth Wilderness, including at Redfish, Little Redfish, Alturas, Pettit, and Stanley lakes, as well as at Iron Creek. Restrictions on fires and animals apply in some areas. [2]

Sawtooth Panorama 1.JPG
Sawtooth Mountain Panorama.
Sawtooth Mountains, ID, USA, panorama as seen from Stanley.jpg
Sawtooth Range as photographed in Stanley

See also

Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap  
Download coordinates as: KML  ·  GPX

Related Research Articles

Boise National Forest national forest in the US state of Idaho

Boise National Forest is a National Forest covering 2,203,703 acres (8,918.07 km2) of the U.S. state of Idaho. Created on July 1, 1908, from part of Sawtooth National Forest, it is managed by the U.S. Forest Service as five units: the Cascade, Emmett, Idaho City, Lowman, and Mountain Home ranger districts.

Sawtooth Wilderness a wilderness area in the US state of Idaho

The Sawtooth Wilderness is a federally-protected wilderness area that covers 217,088 acres (87,852 ha) of the state of Idaho. Managed by the U.S. Forest Service in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it was designated the Sawtooth Primitive Area in 1937 to preserve the exceptional scenic beauty of the Sawtooth Mountains. On August 22, 1972 Public Law 92-400 designated the Primitive Area as the Sawtooth Wilderness and part of the newly created Sawtooth National Recreation Area. As part of the National Wilderness Preservation System, the Sawtooth Wilderness is an area where human development and use are restricted and people are to remain only visitors. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Sawtooth Wilderness has some of the clearest air in the lower 48 states.

Sawtooth National Forest national forest located in Idaho and Utah in the United States

Sawtooth National Forest is a National Forest that covers 2,110,408 acres in the U.S. states of Idaho and Utah. Managed by the U.S. Forest Service in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it was originally named the Sawtooth Forest Reserve in a proclamation issued by President Theodore Roosevelt on May 29, 1905. On August 22, 1972 a portion of the forest was designated as the Sawtooth National Recreation Area (SNRA), which includes the Sawtooth, Cecil D. Andrus–White Clouds, and Hemingway–Boulders wilderness areas. The forest is managed as four units: the SNRA and the Fairfield, Ketchum, and Minidoka Ranger Districts.

Sawtooth National Recreation Area A national recreation area managed by the US Forest Service in the US state of Idaho

The Sawtooth National Recreation Area (SNRA) is a National Recreation Area located in central Idaho, United States that is managed as part of Sawtooth National Forest. The recreation area, established on August 22, 1972, is managed by the U.S. Forest Service, and includes the Sawtooth, Hemingway–Boulders, and Cecil D. Andrus–White Clouds wilderness areas. Activities within the 730,864-acre (2,957.70 km2) recreation area include hiking, backpacking, White water rafting, camping, rock climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, fishing, and hunting.

Thompson Peak (Idaho) highest mountain in the Sawtooth Range in the US state of Idaho

Thompson Peak, at 10,751 feet (3,277 m) above sea level is the highest peak in the Sawtooth Range of Idaho. The summit of Thompson Peak is located within Custer County, although some of the lower portion of the mountain is in Boise County. Thompson Peak is also located within the Sawtooth Wilderness portion of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, a unit of Sawtooth National Forest. The town of Stanley, Idaho is about 6 miles (9.7 km) northeast of Thompson Peak.

Mount Heyburn mountain in the Sawtooth Range in the US state of Idaho

Mount Heyburn, at 10,229 feet (3,118 m) is one of the many 10,000-foot (3,050 m) peaks in the Sawtooth Range of central Idaho. Mount Heyburn is located in Custer County and within the Sawtooth Wilderness portion of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. The town of Stanley is located eight miles (13 km) north-northeast of Mount Heyburn. Grand Mogul, 9,733 ft (2,967 m), and Mount Heyburn are the two signature peaks that frame the southwest end of Redfish Lake ; all are in the Salmon River watershed.

Williams Peak (Custer County, Idaho) mountain in the Sawtooth Range in the US state of Idaho

Williams Peak, at 10,636 feet (3,242 m) high is the 6th highest peak in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho and is located within the Sawtooth Wilderness portion of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. The peak lies 0.75 mi (1,210 m) north-northwest of Thompson Peak, the highest peak in the range.

Alice Lake (Sawtooth Wilderness) lake in Blaine County, Idaho, USA

Alice Lake is an alpine lake in Blaine County, Idaho, United States, located high in the Sawtooth Mountains in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. The lake is one of the largest in the Sawtooth Wilderness and is most easily accessed via the trailhead at Pettit Lake, accessed from State Highway 75 via Sawtooth National Forest road 208.

Alpine Lake (Central Sawtooth Wilderness) lake in Custer County, Idaho, USA in the Central Sawtooth Wilderness

Alpine Lake is an alpine lake in Custer County, Idaho, United States, located high in the Sawtooth Mountains in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. The lake is approximately 11.4 miles (18.3 km) southwest of Stanley.

Edna Lake

Edna Lake is an alpine lake in Boise County, Idaho, United States, located high in the Sawtooth Mountains in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. The lake is approximately 17 miles (27 km) southwest of Stanley and 14.5 miles (23.3 km) southeast of Grandjean. Located in the remote central Sawtooth Wilderness, Edna Lake can be reached by trails from many directions, including the Sawtooth Valley (east), Grandjean (northwest), Redfish Lake (north), and Atlanta (south).

Vernon Lake is an alpine lake in Boise County, Idaho, United States, located high in the Sawtooth Mountains in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. The lake is approximately 17 miles (27 km) southwest of Stanley and 14.5 miles (23.3 km) southeast of Grandjean. Located in the remote central Sawtooth Wilderness, Vernon Lake can be reached by trails from many directions, including the Sawtooth Valley (east), Grandjean (northwest), Redfish Lake (north), and Atlanta (south).

Virginia Lake (Sawtooth Wilderness)

Virginia Lake is an alpine lake in Boise County, Idaho, United States, located high in the Sawtooth Mountains in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. The lake is approximately 17 miles (27 km) southwest of Stanley and 14.5 miles (23.3 km) southeast of Grandjean. Located in the remote central Sawtooth Wilderness, Edna Lake can be reached by trails from many directions, including the Sawtooth Valley (east), Grandjean (northwest), Redfish Lake (north), and Atlanta (south).

Sawtooth Valley valley in Idaho, United States of America

The Sawtooth Valley is a valley in the Western United States, in Blaine and Custer counties of central Idaho. About 30 miles (50 km) long, it is in Sawtooth National Recreation Area (SNRA) in the Sawtooth National Forest. It is surrounded by the Sawtooth Mountains to the west, White Cloud Mountains to the east, Salmon River Mountains to the north, and Boulder and Smoky Mountains to the south. The valley contains the headwaters of the Salmon River, the city of Stanley, and community of Sawtooth City.

El Capitan (Idaho) mountain in the Sawtooth Range of Idaho

El Capitan is a mountain in the western United States, in the Sawtooth Range of central Idaho. Located in the Sawtooth Wilderness of Sawtooth National Recreation Area in Blaine County, it is 1.2 mi (1.9 km) south-southeast of Peak 10,052, its line parent.

Idaho Batholith ecoregion

The Idaho Batholith ecoregion is a Level III ecoregion designated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the U.S. states of Idaho and Montana. It is contained within the following biomes designated by the World Wild Fund for Nature (WWF): Temperate coniferous forests; Temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands; and Deserts and xeric shrublands.

Mount Hinman mountain in United States of America

Mount Hinman is located on the border of Snoqualmie and Wenatchee National Forests in the U.S. state of Washington. Mount Hinman is less than 2 mi (3.2 km) west of Mount Daniel and both are within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Hinman Glacier is situated on the north flank of Mount Hinman and Foss Glacier is to the northeast. The mountain was named in 1934 for Dr. Harry B. Hinman, a founder of the Everett branch of The Mountaineers club.

Chiwawa Mountain

Chiwawa Mountain is an 8,459-foot (2,578-metre) mountain summit located in the Glacier Peak Wilderness of the North Cascades in Washington state. The mountain is situated on the crest of the Cascade Range, on the shared border of Snohomish County and Chelan County, also straddling the boundary between the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and the Wenatchee National Forest. Its nearest higher peak is Fortress Mountain, 1.12 mi (1.80 km) to the west. Chiwawa Mountain is a triple divide peak, so precipitation runoff from it drains northeast to Lake Chelan via Railroad Creek; northwest into Miners Creek which is a tributary of the Suiattle River; and south into the Chiwawa River headwaters. The mountain's name is taken from the river's name, which was applied by Albert Hale Sylvester (1871-1944), a pioneer surveyor, explorer, topographer, and forest supervisor in the Cascades. Chiwawa comes from the Columbia-Moses language and means a kind of creek.

Colchuck Peak

Colchuck Peak is an 8,705-foot (2,653-metre) mountain located in the Stuart Range, in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness in Chelan County of Washington state. The nearest higher peak is Dragontail Peak, 0.49 mi (0.79 km) to the east, and Argonaut Peak lies 0.9 mi (1.4 km) to the southwest. The Colchuck Glacier which lies on the northeast slopes of the peak melts into Colchuck Lake. The mountain and glacier take their name from the lake, which in Chinook jargon means "cold water". Precipitation runoff from the peak drains north into Mountaineer Creek, a tributary of Icicle Creek, or south into Ingalls Creek, all of which winds up in the Wenatchee River.

Four Brothers (Cascade Range)

Four Brothers is a 6,485 ft (1,980 m) mountain summit located in Kittitas County of Washington state. It is set within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness on land managed by Wenatchee National Forest, which is part of the Cascade Range. Four Brothers is 4 miles (6.4 km) northeast of Snoqualmie Pass, on Chikamin Ridge, 0.73 miles (1.17 km) southeast of its parent, Chikamin Peak. The Pacific Crest Trail traverses the west slope of Four Brothers. The mountain was named in the 1890s for brothers John, Tom, Vic, and Lawrie Denny, miners who lived in a cabin at the base of the four peaks. The mountain is within the Yakima River drainage basin. Precipitation runoff from the mountain drains west into headwaters of Gold Creek, or east into Glacier Lake.

References

  1. "Sawtooth Range". Geographic Names Information System . United States Geological Survey . Retrieved June 23, 2013.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Sawtooth National Forest (Map) (2012 ed.). 1:126,720. Sawtooth National Forest, U.S. Forest Service.
  3. Rees, John E. (1918). Idaho Chronology, Nomenclature, Bibliography. W.B. Conkey Company. p.  109.
  4. 1 2 "The Complete Sawtooths List". SummitPost. Retrieved August 9, 2015.
  5. "Observation Peak". Idaho: A Climbing Guide. Retrieved August 9, 2015.
  6. Taubeneck, William H. (July 1971). "Idaho batholith and its southern extension". GSA Bulletin. Geological Society of America. 82 (7): 1899–1928. doi:10.1130/0016-7606(1971)82[1899:IBAISE]2.0.CO;2. ISSN   1943-2674.
  7. "Idaho Batholith" (PDF). Idaho State University. Archived from the original (pdf) on February 12, 2013. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
  8. Cannon, Charles (August 24, 2011). "Glaciers of Idaho". Portland State University. Archived from the original on February 12, 2013. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
  9. 1 2 Thackray, Glenn D.; Lundeen, Kari A.; Borgert, Jennifer A. (March 2004). "Latest Pleistocene alpine glacier advances in the Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho, USA: reflections of midlatitude moisture transport at the close of the last glaciation". Geology . Geological Society of America. 32 (3): 225–228. doi:10.1130/G20174.1. ISSN   1943-2682.
  10. Mijal, Brandon (2008). "Holocene and latest Pleistocene glaciation in the Sawtooth Mountains, central Idaho". Bellingham, WA: Western Washington University.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  11. "Scientists find new seismic fault in Rocky Mountains". BBC News. May 20, 2012. Archived from the original on February 12, 2013. Retrieved November 20, 2010.
  12. Wall, Tim (November 19, 2010). "Large Seismic Fault Found in the Rockies". Discovery News. Archived from the original on February 12, 2013. Retrieved November 20, 2010.
  13. "Sawtooth Wilderness". U.S. Forest Service. Retrieved August 9, 2015.
  14. "Wilderness" (PDF). U.S. Forest Service. Retrieved July 1, 2012.