CHALLIS NATIONAL FOREST
Enormous Challis National Forest in south-central Idaho encompasses several high mountain ranges, with precipitous peaks, cirque basins, and canyons. Idaho’s highest elevation, 12,655-foot Borah Peak, is located here.
There are areas of alpine tundra, meadows, forests of conifers, and grasslands, with many lakes and streams. Wildlife includes elk, deer, moose, black bear, antelope, bighorn sheep, and mountain goat.
Challis has one designated wilderness area, consisting of about 780,000 acres of the 2,361,767-acre Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, which extends into five other National Forests, and is the largest wilderness area in the country outside of Alaska.
Activities: Hiking and backpacking are available on over 1,600 miles of trails, including the 59-mile Highline Trail. Many trails are open to horses. Difficulty varies from easy to strenuous. High trails may only be snow-free from July-Sep-tember.
There’s rafting on the Salmon River, a National Wild and Scenic River. Cross-country skiing is available on many trails in winter. Hunting and fishing are permitted in season.
Camping Regulations: Camping is allowed throughout the National Forest, as are campfires, except near public use areas or where posted otherwise. No permits are necessary.
For Further Information: Challis National Forest, HC 63, Box 1671, Challis, ID 83226; (208)879-2285.
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