Sawtelle Peak - Kabino

Sawtelle Peak


About Sawtelle Peak

Sawtell Peak is a mountain in the Rocky Mountains. It is known for its elevation and scenic views. The Sawtell Peak Scenic Drive is a short, twelve-mile route that climbs to the top of the 9875-foot summit of Sawtell Peak. The route follows a well-conditioned gravel road, called Sawtell Peak Road, between the town of Island Park, Idaho, and Sawtell Summit.

From the summit, the views of the surrounding area are magnificent. From the top, the visitor gets superb views of Yellowstone National Park, the Centennial Valley in Montana, Henrys Lake in Idaho and the Madison Valley in Montana. The Grand Tetons in Wyoming and the Pioneer Mountains in Montana are also visible way off in the distance.

From Island Park, the route heads to the northwest, passing by some summer homes on the flat section of the drive. After a few miles, the road enters the national forest and begins a steep climb toward the summit of Sawtell Peak, gaining more than 3000 feet of elevation.

The reason there is such a well-conditioned road up to the top of a lonely mountain is because the FAA operates a flight traffic control radar station from the summit. The area right around the radar station is fenced and not open to visitors.

Things to Know


Use caution, pull off to the side when stopping, and be aware and considerate of traffic coming from both directions. It can get very windy on top, so bring an extra layer. This road is open in Summer and Fall.


The Sawtell Peak Road, while in good condition, does climb quite steeply and has many sharp turns and switchbacks. Due to the steep nature of the climb, cars with trailers, while not prohibited, aren’t advised. A normal passenger, however, will have no problems driving the route except during periods of extremely wet weather.


The Sawtell Peak Road is closed between November 1st and June 1st. Although the road is maintained during the winter to allow access to the FAA station, the road is gated during the winter months to prevent unauthorized access to the top of the mountain. Additionally, snowmobiles are also prohibited from using the road during the winter.
From Hwy-20, go West at “Robins Roost” (now called Sam’s Patch Grocer) & the Chevron gas station. The road is called Sawtelle peak Rd.

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