|The Caribou-Targhee National Forest is made up of two separate forests. Together these forests occupy over 3 million acres and stretches across southeastern Idaho, from the Montana, Utah, and Wyoming borders. The Caribou-Targhee National Forest boasts rugged mountains, fertile valleys, rivers, varied wildlife, campgrounds, wilderness, adventure, solitude, and scenery enough to saturate any visitors' aesthetic cravings.Created in 1907 by President Theodore Roosevelt, the Caribou National Forest now covers more than one million acres in southeast Idaho. The forest, named for Caribou Mountain, is home to elk, deer, and moose - but no caribou.In 1870, a colorful gold miner nicknamed "Carriboo Jack" and his partners discovered gold on Mt. Pisgah. Jessie Fairchild, aka "Carriboo Jack," was famous in local mining towns for his tall tales of Canadian caribou country. Soon, Mt. Pisgah was known as "Caribou Mountain." The Mountain's 20-year gold rush produced 50 million dollars in placer gold. Abandoned relics of this era can still be found near Caribou Mountain.Several north-south mountain ranges of the Overthrust Belt characterize the Caribou National Forest. Visitors will encounter both conifer and sagebrush-covered slopes. The Curlew National Grasslands near Malad are also administered by the Caribou National Forest and are known for their upland game birds.The Caribou National Forest offers a wide variety of outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, backpacking, fishing, snowmobiling, and horseback and trail bike riding. More than a half-million visitor days are spent in recreation in the forest each year. Developed campgrounds provide a diversity of scenic atmospheres and facilities, with most sites located in wooded areas and accessible by good roads. Camping fees are based on facilities provided in the campground.The Targhee National Forest is a forest of contrasts. It consists of 1.8 million acres that encompass semi-desert, sage brush-dotted, arid land; timbered highlands peaks over 10,000 feet; streams, lakes, waterfalls, rivers, and wilderness areas. The Forest is located in southeastern Idaho, with a small portion in southwestern Wyoming. It borders Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks on the east with its northern boundary along the Continental Divide.Average summer daytime high temperatures are 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit, with evenings often 20-30 degrees cooler. Winter can be quite cold; sometimes temperatures reach -40 degrees Fahrenheit, particularly at the higher elevations. Snowfall can occur even during summer months. Visitors may need clothing appropriate for snow, rain, cold, or heat, especially for trips into mountainous areas.The Targhee National Forest's varied landscape offers wonderful scenic beauty all year long. Diverse settings allow unlimited year round recreation whether it's more developed facilities such as campgrounds, ski resorts, and boat docks, or hiking, camping, and horseback riding in the open spaces of the back country.With over 60 campgrounds ranging for primitive to developed, The Caribou-Targhee National Forest is a perfect spot for any camper. Developed campgrounds provide a diversity of scenic atmospheres and facilities, with most sites located in wooded areas and accessible by good roads. Most campgrounds are adjacent to rivers or reservoirs. Most of the undeveloped areas within the Caribou-Targhee National Forest are open to camping.Fishing and hunting are also popular activities on the Caribou-Targhee National Forest. Approximately 250 miles of streams and 8,100 acres of lakes and reservoirs are within the forest boundary. The Island Park area is world-renowned for its excellent stram and lake fly-fishing opportunities. Game fish species include rainbow, eastern brook, brown, and cutthroat trout, kokanee, salmon, whitefish, bluegill, and bass. Some of the best big game hunting in the West is found in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest. Game species include moose, elk, antelope, mule deer, mountain goat, whitetail deer, bighorn sheep, black bear, several grouse species, ducks, and geese. Hunting and fishing permits are available from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.Boating and water-skiing occur mainly on the Island Park and Palisades Reservoirs. Rafting, kayaking, and canoeing are popular sports on short stretches of the Snake River near Swan Valley and on the Henry's Fork. Dams, large falls, and irrigation canals present hazards along several stretches of streams and rivers. The Big Springs Water Trail, the first National Recreation Water Trail established by the Forest Service is on the Caribou-Targhee National Forest. This water trail offers a five-mile float on calm water where many species of wildlife can be seen.For winter recreation, counties within and adjacent to the Caribou-Targhee National Forest groom between 400 and 600 miles of snowmobile trails. The Island Park and Big Hole areas are considered a snowmobiler's paradise with their vast number of groomed trails. The well known Two Top National Recreation Snowmobile Trail is also in the area. With groomed trails and open back country areas for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing available on the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, winter recreation is a growing activity in southeastern Idaho.There are approximately 1,200 miles of hiking and backpacking trails within the Caribou-Targhee National Forest. Many trails are will maintained and marked. Some roads and trails are closed to motorized vehicles to protect soils, watersheds, and important wildlife habitat.Some sites of special interest within the Caribou-Targhee National Forest include: The Wright's Creek National Recreation Trail, The Lander Cutoff Trail, Trail Canyon, The Highline National Recreation Trail, Minnetonka Cave, Cherry Spring Nature Area, and Scout Mountain Campground.The Caribou-Targhee National Forest offers abundant back country to experience. In addition to the more common activities the are photography, rock climbing, rock collecting, bird watching, berry picking, gold panning, and mushroom collecting opportunities available. Some activities may require a permit.|
|Facilities: Caribou-Targhee National Forest provides campgrounds and picnic areas. Many of the campgrounds provide restrooms.|
Best Time To Visit: Caribou-Targhee National Forest is open year-round with a variety of recreational opportunities. Snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are available during the winter months.
Fees: Parking, camping, and/or entrance fees may be charged at some of the recreation sites within Caribou-Targhee National Forest. Camping fees are based on facilities provided in the campground.
Accessibility: Some campgrounds are handicap accessible.
Rules: Check the local fishing, hunting, and fire regulations. Do not leave campfires unattended. Fireworks and explosives are prohibited in the forests. Pets must always be restrained or on a leash while in developed recreation sites. Obey all traffic signs. State traffic laws apply to the Boise National Forest unless otherwise specified.Hunting and fishing permits are available from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.Visitors may need clothing appropriate for snow, rain, cold, or heat, especially for trips into mountainous areas. The number of days spent in campgrounds and open forest areas is limited.Some activities within the Caribou-Targhee National Forest may require a permit. When traveling in groups of 15 or more, obtain a free group permit in advance at and forest office.
Directions: The Caribou-Targhee National Forest is made up of two separate forests. It occupies over 3 million acres and stretches across southeastern Idaho, from the Montana, Utah, and Wyoming borders. The main section of the forest is located in southeastern Idaho. It can be accessed from St. Anthony, Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Preston, and Montpelier Idaho, as well as Jackson Wyoming.
Map: Click here for a map to Caribou-Targhee National Forest
Reservations: Reservations are not needed or accepted to visit Caribou-Targhee National Forest may be accepted or required for campgrounds and other recreation sites within the forest.
|Caribou-Targhee National Forest Supervisors Office|
|1405 Hollipark Dr.|
|Idaho Falls, Idaho 83401|
|General: (208) 524-7500|