Salmon-Challis National Forest
|Paddling Salmon River (ROW Adventures)|
Challis National Forest
The Forest's scenic beauty offers unlimited recreational opportunities any season of the year! There are over 1,600 miles of trails crisscrossing the Forest, including the Knapp Creek-Loon Creek Trail and the Mill Creek Lake Trail, which have been designated as National Recreation Trails.
The Forest contains 1/3 of the 2,353,739-acre Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, the largest wilderness in the U.S. outside of Alaska. The Forest also contains two designated Research Natural Areas. These areas offer unique recreational opportunities for hikers and horseback riders to enjoy nature's solitude amid some of Idaho's most spectacular scenery.
Developed camping is available for those who prefer to drive to their campsites. There are 26 developed campgrounds on the Forest with over 260 individual campsites. Each campground has its own special attraction, such as the raft launching site for the Wild and Scenic River of the Middle Fork at Boundary Creek, fishing and boating on Mosquito Flat Reservoir at Mosquito Flat, hunting and high mountain lake fishing at Starhope, family picnicking and camping at Mill Creek, or visiting the historic ghost towns of Custer and Bonanza near Pole Flat. The Forest also has picnic sites available for family or group activities on a reserved basis. Dispersed or primitive camping is available throughout the Forest at no charge. Visitors are asked to pack out their litter and garbage.
Viewing scenery, mountain climbing, backpacking, horseback riding and packing, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing are other activities available on the Forest. Snowmobile trails are being developed in the Stanley Basin and commercial rentals and trips are available at Stanley. Firewood and Christmas tree permits may be obtained from the Supervisor's Office and the District Offices. All offices have a series of interesting pamphlets and field guides that describe the above activities. This information is available free of charge to help you enjoy your visit to the Challis National Forest.
Over 30 miles of off-road vehicle trails on the Lost River District of the Challis National Forest are the result of hard work and cooperation between the Forest and the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation. These two agencies have worked together to develop quality trails, protect the natural environment, and promote the safety and enjoyment of our recreation users. The Forest also has cooperative agreements with the Friends of Custer Museum and the Yankee Fork Gold Dredge Association for the restoration, maintenance, interpretation, and public enjoyment of these historic sites on the Challis National Forest.
Salmon National Forest
The Salmon National Forest is widely known for hunting, fishing, and recreational opportunities. Deer, elk, bear, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, and moose all inhabit the Forest. Several species of trout abound in streams and lakes, and salmon and steelhead trout make annual runs on the Salmon River as well as numerous tributaries.
The Salmon River, designated by the same Act as a Wild and Scenic River, offers excellent floating and kayaking, as does one of its major tributary streams, the Middle Fork of the Salmon.
The Forest has over 1,200 miles of trails, roughly half of which are in the wilderness. Those outside the wilderness offer all types of trail opportunities including hiking, horseback riding, and motorcycle riding. There are several Nationally designated trails including the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, Nez Perce National Historic Trail, Divide-Twin Creek National Recreation Trail, and Bear Valley National Recreation Trail.
Winter activities include snowmobiling and cross-country skiing on or off marked trails, and alpine skiing at Lost Trail Ski Area.
The Forest has limited developed facilities such as campgrounds, picnic grounds, and boating sites. Most facilities are of a primitive nature, as the primary emphasis of the Forest is on dispersed activities such as trails, wilderness, boating, hunting, and fishing.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication