2015 National Forest Tour Part 2

2015 National Forest Tour Part 1 – Read More >

Caribou-Targhee National Forest

I continue with my 2015 National Forest Tour part 2 leaving Craters of the Moon National Monument Arco_Atoms_Photo on my way to Idaho Falls. What a long boring drive through the desert. The most exciting thing other than Craters was the town of Arco and Graduation Mountain that looms over the town. Which is interesting in its self, in a different sort of way I think?  maybe a little? Arco on the other hand “was the first community in the world ever to be lit by electricity generated solely by nuclear power” (Wikipedia). I guess you needed to be there.

I stopped at Cabela’s in Idaho Falls for some fishing gear then pointed my truck North on highway 20 to Island Park Idaho to find a campground. Great scenery on the drive north, nice highway, a pleasant not in a hurry type of drive. I found myself at Buffalo Campground in Island Park. Lots of water up here

Highway 20 north from Ashton Idaho for about 25 miles.
GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
44.42639, -111.36889
44°25’35″N, 111°22’8″W.

A few miles before the campground is the Mesa Falls scenic byway, I’ll catch that road on my way back to Boise at a later date.
I stayed at The Buffalo campground for two days. This is a clean well-kept campground, with all the amenities for tent and RV camping and it sits right on a river.
The first day I took it easy, did some fishing on the Buffalo River, read, played with Gizmo and took naps, lots of naps.
The next morning we – Gizmo and I – had breakfast and drove to Yellowstone National Park, about 30 miles from my campground.

2015 National Forest Tour Part 2July is a busy time for Yellowstone. That was obvious to me by the consent stop and go traffic and the line of cars along the road as I made my way slowly to Old Faithful. It took me about 3.5 hours to drive 16 miles, but who’s in a hurry, Right? I got some decent photos and the park is as beautiful as I remember, it was well worth the time. I left the park and on to the Henerys Fork to fish. A few hours and a few fish later I got back to camp for a fish dinner once again. How do I love trout?

2015 National Forest Tour Part 2_mesa Falls I left my campground and back South to the Mesa Falls scenic byway. The Falls are awesome, much more than I expected. Gizmo and I spent a few hours there, had lunch and then headed towards home. I had been getting tired during the day more often and had a feeling I should be getting home. I had been gone 11 days now. So that was it, the Forest Tour was coming to an end.

Salmon-Challis National Forest

I turned off at Ashton onto highway 33. Now this is a long boring drive, strikingly similar to highway 95 across the desert. Oh yah, it’s the same desert as highway 95, only miles apart – great –. North on highway 93 to Challis. On the way I passed Mount Borah, the highest mountain in Idaho. Stopping in Challis for a few supplies and some gas I then drove south on 75 to Stanley and Red Fish Lake. From Challis to Stanley the drive gets back into the real mountains. I love this type of area, you know? Trees, water, fishing, shade, that kind of stuff. I do enjoy the mountains compared to barren landscape. Yet there are some attractions to the arid places I’ve been.

Sawtooth National Recreation Area

I stayed at a dispersed campground for the night next to the Salmon River. The next morning I left for Boise, back the same way I came. The time went by so fast getting back to Boise, the last 12 days seemed to come to an end so abruptly, but isn’t that the way it goes? I certainly got to see much more of Idaho then I have in the past and for that I am grateful.

I hope others have the desire to get out and see what this country has to offer and maybe – I hope – spend some time without the conveniences of back home while away.  It really gives me an appreciation for the outdoors, roughing it in some way. It’s something you can’t compare to living in a home or apartment and it is well worth the effort.


There’s so much to see – So little time. Get out and make it happen.


Hey! What’s Up

My last trip to the City of Rocks confirmed my worst fears. I can’t handle the cold like I use to. Better put, my mind is willing but the body, well that’s another issue, guess what wins? So i suppose that will put an end to my winter camping trips, I’ll just have to wait until spring to get back out there. What should I write about in the mean time?

  1. Equipment
  2. Camp cooking
  3. Any suggestions?




Photos along the way


View Photo Galleries

Leave a Reply

Please follow and like us:

2 thoughts on “2015 National Forest Tour Part 2

  1. Write about winter access to local Hotsprings…see if you can find one that I haven’t gone to in the winter.

  2. I use to love to go to hot springs in the winter, great idea. I’ll start researching places out of the way and not well known if that’s possible.

Comments are closed.