Idaho's National Forests and Grasslands
Begin a tour of the national forests & grasslands of Idaho by choosing a forest from the list below.
Bitterroot National Forest
Boise National Forest
Caribou National Forest
Salmon-Challis National Forest
Clearwater National Forest
Idaho Panhandle National Forests
Nez Perce National Forest
Payette National Forest
Sawtooth National Forest
Targhee National Forest
In total, Idaho has no fewer than twelve national forests, which translates to hundreds of miles of sage grasslands rolling up to pine-covered slopes and snowy granite peaks.... dozens of rivers jumping with trout and salmon, tumbling over boulders through steep green canyons.... abundant elk, deer and moose grazing in meadows and marshes, songbirds and raptors nesting in the trees, and waterfowl gathering at the water`s edge.
Many tribes enjoyed the bounty of these forests for hundreds of years. Although Lewis & Clark included descriptions of the deep forests and rushing rivers in their reports, most settlers were captivated by tales of lush land and gold in Oregon and California. Eventually, Americans did settle in Idaho, and set about harvesting the rich and diverse resources. Timber, gold, silver, iron, and other minerals could be brought out of the forests, while cattle could be easily fattened by sending them in to graze.
In the sixties, great tracts of forest land were set aside to be preserved as wilderness, and recreation became the most popular use of the forest. Today, hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians head into Idaho`s forests to enjoy the solitary splendor and wild natural beauty. Hunters and fishermen set out for trophy game, and return triumphant with their limit of big game, upland birds, salmon, and trout. Paddlers test their skills on the whitewater and relax on the quietwater. Naturalists record unique ecosystems and study the diverse forest types, adventurers test the limits of their skills, and really smart people seek out the multitude of natural hot springs.
If you would like more information about specific recreational opportunities on Idaho`s southern National Forests, please follow the links below (will open in a new window):
For information on responsible recreation, please visit