My family moved to Idaho when I was just a kid. My father could not take all of the humidity back in Illinois. I can remember by first trip into Stanley Basin. I had never seen such beautiful mountains and clear streams where you could actually see under the water. The highest point in Illinois is only a couple of hundred feet above sea level and the streams were extremely muddy.
I moved to Idaho nearly 65 years ago. Things were quite different then. We lived in Twin Falls, and the pavement heading North ended at Ketchum. From that point on it was a gravel road all the way to Stanley Basin. The pavement from Boise to Stanley ended at Idaho City.
The massive trailers and motorhomes had not arrive on the scene yet to the shores of Stanley Lake were lined with a few tents and pickup trucks with camper tops. There was plenty of room and the fishing was fantastic. The last time I went to Stanley Lake (which my father loved more than anything) in the summer time it was extremely crowded with huge trailers, noisy ATV’s and there was no fish in the streams and lakes to be caught..
Luckily you can still get a sense of what it used to be like if you wait until after Labor Day, or before Memorial Day for that matter. You may have to put up with colder temperatures and the occasional hunter, but you will see lots of wildlife, and may even catch some fish. The wild Idaho is still out there, you just have to be clever enough to find it.