PAYETTE NATIONAL FOREST
Located in west-central Idaho and consisting of two huge tracts of land, Payette National Forest covers a wild area of steep and rugged mountains with elevations over 9,000 feet.
There are cirques and horns, rock domes and outcrops, granite walls, and deep canyon gorges, along with countless streams, lakes, and some major rivers, including the Salmon and several other National Wild and Scenic Rivers.
Throughout the region are pine and spruce forests, with fir and aspen, plus meadows and grasslands. Among the wildlife are elk, deer, moose, black bear, bighorn sheep, and mountain goat.
Payette also has 782,000 acres of the largest designated wilderness area outside of Alaska: the
2,361,767-acre Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, which continues on into five nearby National Forests.
Activities: There are over 1,400 miles of trails for hiking and backpacking. Difficulty ranges from
easy to strenuous. Many trails are open to horseback riding.
Cross-country skiing and ski mountaineering are possible here in the winter. Rafting is available on a section of the Salmon River. Fishing is permitted, as is hunting in season.
Camping Regulations: Camping and campfires are allowed throughout the National Forest, except near public recreation areas or where otherwise prohibited. No permits are necessary.
For Further Information: Payette National Forest, P.O. Box 1026, McCall, ID 83638; (208)634-8151.
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