Clearwater National Forest was combined administratively with the Nez Perce National Forest in 2012. Today, these national forests are known as the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests and are collectively compromised of 4 million acres in north-central Idaho. These forests are the traditional home of the Nez Perce native peoples, and much of the area is designated wilderness. The forests are bordered by Oregon on the west, Montana on the east, the Idaho Panhandle National Forest on the north, and the Salmon River on the south. The habitats are diverse and range from arid canyons at the Salmon River to the humid cedar forests in the Selway region to the heavily forested Palouse area. Visitors often come to float and to raft down the Selway, Lochsa, and Salmon rivers; popular recreational opportunities include fishing, hunting, hiking, camping, boating, snowmobiling, skiing, and other outdoor activities.
Elk Creek Falls is a loop trail located near Elk River, ID, that has a waterfall with access views for the upper, middle, and lower drops of water. Each of these access points is gained by a spur that branches from the main trail. The upper falls path is steep and has switchbacks. The middle falls is the highest falls in Idaho, and the access trail is short and slightly elevated. The path to the lower falls is long and slopes downhill. The trail has several benches. Dogs are allowed if they are leashed.
Length: 2.6 miles
Jerry Johnson Hot Springs is an in-and-out trail located near Lolo, MT, that has a waterfall. The trail ends at the location of three hot springs, one of which is called "Nates Hole." Hiking in the winter is fun when you have time to sit in the hot springs after hiking in the snow. Dogs are allowed if they are leashed while on the trail.
Length: 2.6 miles
Feather Creek Short Loop is a loop trail located near Deary, ID, that follows a creek for a portion of the hike. The trail travels through stands of firs and cedars and is an easy and level walk for most ages and skill levels. Some hikers recommend taking the trail counterclockwise in order to end the hike with a 1-mile path through an attractive meadow. Dogs can be taken on the trail if leashed.
Length: 4.6 miles
Kelly Creek is an in-and-out trail located near Orofino, ID, that features several creeks along the way. The trail follows a creek, but there are minimal trees for shade. Hikers often like to camp beside the creek and fish. Dogs are allowed on the trail if they are on a leash.
Length: 7.5 miles
Black Mountain Lookout and Black Lake is an in-and-out trail located near Orofino, ID, that is best undertaken over the course of two days. The last mile is a steep climb up the highest mountain in the Mallard-Larkins Pioneer area, and it ends at a manned lookout that is next to Black Lake. There is a primitive camping area at the lake. Dogs are allowed on the trails and must be leashed.
Length: 17.2 miles
All national forests allow geocaching inside their preserves.
These vast national forests have minimal light pollution, and visitors can enjoy exceptional stargazing as a result. A popular spot for viewing the sky is at the Bald Mountain Lookout.
Address: 104 Airport Rd, Grangeville, ID 83530
Fee: Entry fee $0
The Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests are located in northern Idaho and have large and diverse landscapes. This wilderness preserve provides unparalleled opportunities for experiencing the native habitats of northern Idaho. Choosing to drive an RV through these wild and rugged regions will allow you to access these areas readily and comfortably, and there are numerous RV campgrounds in these forests that offer various amenities and activities.