Cramer Lakes Sawtooths backpacking retreat

This Idaho backpacking retreat leads you to the heart of the Sawtooth Mountains located near Stanley, Idaho. You’ll find high elevation passes, alpine basins, and meadows covered with wildflowers. The rugged mountain spires towering above pristine lakes will awe you during the day, and a sky full of dazzling stars will lie overhead each night. We’ll be swimming in alpine lakes, gliding down river rock slides, crossing streams, and creating memories in a pristine, secluded area. Participants must be physically capable of carrying a 30 to 40 pound backpack while hiking 5 to 10 miles each day. On the last day of the retreat, guests will enjoy soothing their sore muscles in a private, natural geothermal hot spring overlooking the mountain range they just spent the past four days in. We are partnered with the skilled and well-rounded Sawtooth Mountain Guides at this beautiful location.

What to expect on this retreat

Day 1

Our meeting place is the Sawtooth Mountain Guide office where we hold orientation and gear check. We distribute your gear and pack savory snacks for the first hike in. Then, we take a boat shuttle across Redfish Lake as you take in a taste of what the next four days will bring. Hiking the Sawtooths is remarkable.

We exit the boat shuttle and begin an approximately four-mile hike to our first basecamp. A delicious fireside meal fills you up as you relish the river beside you and the night sky hovering above.

  • Orientation, gear check & pack bags
  • Boat shuttle across Redfish Lake & 4-mile hike in
  • Set up camp & Make dinner

Day 2

Wake up to sunshine pouring into the canyon over rugged peaks. Warm breakfast and hot drinks wake you up, and we’ll prepare for the next adventure with a navigation lesson and mini topography class. Then, we pack up camp to make our approach through Redfish Canyon heading toward the Cramer Lakes. There’s a steady uphill grade with beautiful views. Once we arrive at our camp, we take our time setting up and relaxing; you can even jump right into the lakes or play in the waterfall minutes away.

  • Warm breakfast and hot drinks
  • Navigation lesson and mini topography class
  • Pack up camp & hike towards Cramer Lakes
  • Set up camp, swim & relax, make dinner

Day 3

Open your tent to jewel-blue skies, fresh air, and a nice stretch. Start the day with warm drinks and fresh-cooked breakfast. We prepare our day packs and lunch, getting ready to explore. Look forward to alpine lakes — perfect for a swim — and more wildflowers than you can count! Our Sawtooth Mountain hike on day three showcases views of Temple and the west face of Mount Cramer. After we’ve soaked the landscape all in, we hike back to camp for downtime and swimming. The evening is topped off with dinner and chats by the campfire.

  • Warm breakfast and hot drinks
  • Day hikes to alpine lakes with views of Temple and Mount Cramer
  • Downtime, swimming & dinner

Day 4 

Wake up to hot breakfast and drinks. Pack up camp and prepare to descend to the last campsite — Flat Rock Junction and Redfish Creek five miles away. Enjoy laughs and storytelling on the hike out, appreciating the memories you’ve made already. Approach natural rock slides and beautiful clear water where fish swim up to you as you immerse yourself in these natural features. The day ends with our last meal together by fireside. The trek back begins the next day.

  • Warm breakfast and hot drinks
  • Pack up camp & hike
  • Natural rock slides
  • Fireside meal

Day 5

Waking up and putting on a pack that is half the weight is sometimes the best feeling during a multi-day hiking trip as this one. However, bittersweet feelings will come over you as you take in the final moments of this beautiful area. Sawtooth, Idaho will always have a place in your heart.

It’s the last day. Hop on the boat shuttle across Redfish Lake and head back to the Sawtooth Mountain Guide office. Turn in your gear and prepare for a private session at Mountain Village Hot Springs. We usually head into town to enjoy a delicious burger, fries and an ice cold drink to celebrate an outdoor adventure like no other!

  • Hike out, Boat shuttle across Redfish Lake
  • Turn in gear at Sawtooth Mountain Guide office
  • Mountain Village Hot Springs
  • Optional: lunch in town

"I respected and enjoyed our leaders. They were tuned into the emotional state of each of the group members. They were very good at creating a positive, fun, accepting atmosphere. They supported and trusted each other. They navigated effectively. Were properly certified and had plans in place so I felt safe when it came to health issues or emergencies." 

Sign Me Up!

We are very fortunate to partner with Sawtooth Mountain Guides as they believe in our mission. Founded in 1985, Sawtooth Mountain Guides is rooted in a long history of mountain adventure. The organization was first established by the original Sawtooth pioneers and homesteaders who explored the local mountains and rivers. Heading into the wilds with a Sawtooth Guide, you are accompanied by professionals who have first-hand knowledge of the area, having lived and explored here for years.

  • FAQs
  • Refund Policy
  • Packing List

Which airport should I fly into?

Sun Valley's closest major airports are Boise (BOI) and Salt Lake City (SLC). Boise is located 2.5 hours west of Sun Valley. The drive from Boise crosses over the Bennett Hills and through the Camas Prairie before turning north into the mountains. The Boise Airport services all major car rental companies.

Will someone be there to pick me up or do I need to arrange my own transportation to our meeting point?

You will need to make your own arrangements. Participants are encouraged to carpool. You will receive a link with information and tools to communicate with other participants when the retreat gets closer.

When will the retreat begin & end? I'm trying to book my flights and need to know my time frame.

Each retreat will begin at 3pm and conclude around 2pm in Stanley, Idaho. We normally eat a really mouthwatering meal and enjoy a cold drink at the nearby restaurant as we're waiting for our reservation at the springs. However, the last day I would give or take an hour in case something happens that delays our departure.


It is your responsibility to read and understand our cancellation policy before making a reservation.

Naturally, no one books with the intention of cancelling or postponing their retreat, but unexpected things do happen, so please purchase travel cancellation insurance once you have made your reservation.


If you cancel your trip, AndShesDopeToo does not offer refunds for any reason. A portion of your payment may be used as credit for another retreat to be taken the next calendar year.

Depending on when you cancel, cancellation penalties may apply.

Fees are determined by the following schedule:

  • If you cancel more than 90 days before your retreat start date, 100% of your payment may be applied to another Retreat.
  • If you cancel 89 – 60 days before your retreat start date, 75% of your payment may be applied to another Retreat. You will forfeit 25% of the price of your retreat.
  • If you cancel 59 – 30 days before your retreat start date, 40% of your payment may be applied to another Retreat. You will forfeit 60% of the price of your retreat.
  • If you cancel 30 days or less before your retreat start date, you will forfeit your entire payment.

Exceptions to our policy cannot be made for any reason. We do not offer credit for a guest arriving late or leaving early.


If AndShesDopeToo must cancel a booked retreat date for any reason, you may transfer your full retreat payment to another retreat, or you may request a refund of your payment to us.

AndShesDopeToo is not responsible for your expenses incurred in preparation for any cancelled retreat, such as airline tickets, loss of work, and/or other costs associated with preparing for your trip.

Here is a list of personal essentials we encourage all participants to bring on this retreat:

- 32 oz Water bottle to keep your filtered water stored

- Hiking shoes/boots that are already broken in

- Water shoes (Chaco type that have a strap)

- Toiletries/keep it simple

- Sun cover: sunglasses, hat with brim

- lip balm

- lightweight waterproof jacket/pants

- quick drying shorts/shirt

- long thermals, top and bottom( synthetic, no cotton)

- insulated layer (light puffy or fleece)

- lightweight gloves

- 2/3 pairs of hiking socks (no cotton)

- quick drying underwear/sports bra

Optional Items for comfort:

- swimsuit

- lightweight pack-able camp pillow

- journal/notebook

- camera