2015 National Forest Tour – Part 1

12 days, over 1200 miles, one National Park, a National Monumont and Five National Forests, I’d say my 2015 National Forest Tour was a success. I wanted to see Idaho, so I did just that, I got out and traveled.

Boise National Forest

I left Boise July 23rd 2015 and headed for Stanley on highway 21, past Lowman Idaho I pulled into my first campground of the trip. Located along the Payette River this campground is a nice stop when your not in a hurry.

Mountain View Campground
Mountain View Campground

Mountain View campground is a fee based campground, $15.00 a night but with my disability pass, cut that price in half for all the National Parks. Very clean and spacious campgrounds, the area sits right on the Payette River for that soothing river sound. Fire pits and tables accommodate each space with ample space to park. Though not heavily wooded, you still feel comfortable with other campers around.

Mountain House backpacking Food | 2015 National Forest Tour
Mountain House. Freeze dried backpacking food.

Dinner was Mountain House Jamaican Chicken with Rice. Let’s just say, if your really hungry it tastes just fine, period.
Checked out of Mountain View campground and pointed my truck towards Stanley Idaho, the Red Fish Lake area in particular. Great weather and beautiful views all the way.

Sawtooth National Forest

I found a campground on Red Fish Lake, well as close as I could get to during this time of year. This very popular area stays pretty busy through the summer and can be a waiting game to find a site. I believe all but one campground is on a reservation basis around the lake area. So it’s first come first served.

Mt. Heyburn Campground | 2015 National Forest Tour
Mt. Heyburn Campground, Redfish Lake

Mt. Heyburn Campground. I spent Four days  at this campground, $8.00 a night, a small price to pay with the provided amenities, bathroom, water, fire pit and table. Also a clean and spacious area. Thunder storms at about 2:00 every afternoon, a short downpour, enough to rinse everything off and then allow me to get back to whatever I was doing, a nice break never the less.

I met a few folks here. The Mexican guys across from me invited me to dinner twice while I was there. They came up from around the Twinfalls area. The menu, fried chicken and tacos, both excellent meals, very traditional tasting and much appreciated. They were cooking in a large pan called a Disco or something, basically a large regional pan of Mexico similar to a woke and sits atop a large burner, like what someone would use when deep-frying a turkey. The setup works great.

This is where I caught the most fish in a short period of time. Just down from Red Fish Lake on highway 75 and on the right hand side of the road, stop at the bridge and into the pullout. This is the Salmon River.  I caught rainbow trout with my setup, but there are salmon as well.

Salmon-Challis National Forest

Wood River Campground sits 10 miles north of Ketchum Idaho on the Big Wood River. Very Conveniently located on highway 75 and is yet another nice place to fish. Fee based at $7.00 with my pass, this campground is clean, organized and comes with all the amenities you’d expect. I stayed 2 days here, read some books, walked, caught some fish and slept. Exactly what I needed.

GizmoI would like to mention that Gizmo has been a great camping companion, you can just tell that he really enjoys traveling with me. A few of the camp hosts along the way just adored him and even commented on his well behavior.


Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve

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Part 2 of the National Forest tour up on the next post

  • Caribou-Targhee National Forest

  • Salmon-Challis National Forest

  • Yellowstone National Park/Forest

Photos along the way


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