Idaho Travel Destinations

CLEARWATER NATIONAL FOREST

Situated in Idaho’s northern panhandle, Clearwater National Forest includes a portion of the ruggedly beautiful Bitterroot Range. In addition to rocky mountains there are deep canyons, buttes, and grassy prairies, along with the Lochsa and Clearwater National Wild and Scenic Rivers.

Throughout the region are forests of Douglas fir, ponderosa pine, larch, and virgin cedar, plus hundreds of lakes and countless creeks with waterfalls. Wildlife includes elk, moose, deer, black bear, mountain goat, and mountain lion.

There’s a single designated wilderness area, consisting of 259,000 acres of the 1,337,900-acre Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, which is shared by some nearby National Forests.

Activities: Clearwater has about 1,100 miles of trails for backpacking and hiking, including the 35-mile Eagle Mountain Trail. Trails at high elevations are likely to be free of snow only from July through September.

I Horses are allowed on many trails, as are mountain bikes except in the wilderness area. Crosscountry skiing is available in the winter.

White-water rafting, kayaking, and canoeing are possible on the North and Middle Forks of the Clearwater River, and also the Lochsa River. Fishing is available, as is hunting in season.

Camping Regulations: Camping is allowed freely here, as are campfires, except near public recreation areas or where otherwise prohibited. No permits are necessary. Campsites should be at least 200 feet from lakes.

For Further Information: Clearwater National Forest, 12730 Highway 12, Orofino, ID 83544; (208)476-4541.

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