America's Best Swimming Holes
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Redfish Lake, Stanley, ID
In an area where salmon outnumber people, Redfish Lake, outside Stanley (population: 106), is a jaw-dropping example of why you explore the backcountry. Legend has it, there were once so many sockeye salmon spawning in the lake that it appeared red. Hence the name. Now it’s better known for its vast bird population, including peregrine falcons and songbirds like yellow-flecked Townsend’s warblers and ruby-crowned kinglets. Laze on the south-shore beach for staggering views of the snowcapped Sawtooth Range reflected in the pristine waters. Once you’ve been here, the words “untouched wilderness” will have a whole new meaning.