Salmon-Challis National Forests

Quick Facts

Salmon-Challis National Forests


(208) 756-5100


Things To Do


The Salmon-Challis National Forest covers over 4.3 million acres in east-central Idaho. Included within the boundaries of the Forest is 1.3 million acres of the Frank Church-- River of No Return Wilderness Area, the largest wilderness area in the Continental United States. Rugged and remote, this country offers adventure, solitude and breathtaking scenery. The Forest also contains Borah Peak, Idaho's tallest peak, the Wild & Scenic Salmon River and the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. The Salmon-Challis National Forests also boast the impressive crests of the Bitterroot range forming the east boundary and the Idaho-Montana border. Elevations vary from 2,480 feet at the mouth of Horse Creek in the Salmon River Canyon, to 12,662 feet on top of Bora Peak. Visit the Salmon River Mountains in early spring as new bunchgrass blends with the old, casting a silver-green shadow across the hillls. Ride a raft down the bluegreen water of the foaming Middle Fork. Spot the mountain goat silhouetted against the sky; he has already been watching you. Fish for the mighty salmon as it migrates to the spawning beds in the head waters of the Salmon River. The really ambitious sportsman or sportswoman can fish for steelhead (ocean-going rainbow trout) in the Salmon River on Monday, then on Tuesday climb the peaks to hunt deer and elk as November snows mark winter's beginning.

Map of Salmon-Challis Nat'l Forests

Latitude, Longitude: 45.218808, -114.227600



  • Boating

    Boating is permitted.

  • Bicycling

    With an array of biking trails, there is somehting for every biker.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    Travel plan maps and motorized trail maps have the most accurate information regarding trails that are open to ATV's and motorized recreational vehicles. These maps are available at most Ranger District and Forest Service offices.

  • Camping

    Camping for this area is divided into three different districts. These districts are the Leadore Ranger District, the Lost River Ranger District, and the Challis - Yankee Fork Ranger District. Camping reservations have to be made though each one specifically. Please see website for more details.

  • Climbing

    There are many climbing oppurtunities in the vast area of Salmon Challis National Forests

  • Fishing

    With 12 species of game fish in the area, fishing is a popular pasttime.

  • Hiking

    There are numerous hiking, backpacking, and climbing opportunities that range from short hikes on maintained trails to extended cross-country hikes requiring several days to complete.

  • Historic Sites

    The Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery went through Lemhi Pass in the Salmon-Challis National Forest on August 12th 1805.

  • Horseback Riding

    Salmon Challis National Forest has plenty of trails open to hroseback riding.

  • Hunting

    Hunting is permitted, for more information please contact the Salmon Office of the Fish and Game.

  • Off Highway Vehicles

    OHV use is allowed on designated roads and trails. Stop by a ranger office and pick up a motor vehicle use map or call ahead to check on certain trails.

  • Picnicking

    Picnicking is encouraged.

  • Water Sports

    The Salmon-Challis area boasts one of the best white water rafting areas in the entire country.

  • Winter Sports

    Wintersports range from cross country skiing, to ice fishing, to snowshoeing.

Phone Numbers


(208) 756-5100