The Sawtooth Completion

Lying adjacent to the congressionally-protected Sawtooth Wilderness is roadless country, equally wild, if not wilder. Idaho conservationists propose congressional protection of this, the Sawtooth Completion. Most of this roadless area is steep and rugged mountains in the northern part of the Sawtooth Range and in the Salmon River Mountains to the west of the Wilderness area.

Much of the northern part of the range has been semi-protected as the Forest Services' proposed Hanson Lakes addition. Here are some photographs of the northern Sawtooths.

The northern Sawtooths from near Flat Creek
The Northern Sawtooths from the east. Late May
© Ralph Maughan

Copper Mountain

The north end of Copper Mountain, the northmost peak
in the Sawtooth Range. © Ralph Maughan

To the west of the Sawtooth Wilderness, the mountains are lower (although so are the canyon bottoms). They consist not of the pink igneous rock of the Sawtooth Batholith, but the older generally gray igneous rock of the vast Idaho Batholith, which covers much of central Idaho.

Here the visitor finds a greater abundance of wildlife and fewer backcountry travellers.

Here are some photos:

South Fork Payette River near Grandjean
The South Fork of Payette River near
Grandjean, a few miles downstream from
the Sawtooth Wilderness. The River is
swollen with May snowmelt.

Copyright Ralph Maughan


Under construction. June 10, 1997