Boasting 4 million acres of diverse landscape, the Nez Perce National Forest offers rugged canyons, endless forests, and beautiful rivers for just about all your camping interests. This forest in west-central Idaho offers many activities for campers, from biking and hiking to fishing and boating. Nez Perce has a rich history, with the forest being the traditional home for the indigenous Ni Mii Puu, which translates to "The People." The Lewis and Clark expeditions would later call the Ni Mii Puu the Nez Perce Indians, and this is where the history of this forest has its roots.
If you are looking to keep an eye on the water throughout your adventure, this trail often runs in tandem with the Ten Mile Creek. In fact, they run so close together that you should take caution during wet weather as there may be a fair amount of mud. This versatile trail can serve as an enjoyable day-hike along a creek, or it can be part of a much longer trail for hiking and backpacking.
Length: 10.5 miles
Another trail that crosses water is the Twentymile Creek Trail. Unlike its cousin, the Ten Mile Creek Trail, this trail can be incorporated as a quick and easy journey or as a part of a much longer hiking trail. For the most part, this trail is easy to cross for people on foot. It crosses early on with a creek before curving uphill and downhill and then merging into other trails.
Length: 2.9 miles, one way
If you are ready to take the challenge of a day-hike that climbs just under one mile in elevation, then the Stillman Point Trail may be for you. This one-way trail leads to an old fire lookout at roughly 4,840 feet in elevation, which is a sharp rise from the 1,580 feet elevation the trail begins at. The hiking path is adorned with wild ginger, shrubbery, and cedar trees.
Length: 6 miles, one way
Near the town of Dreary, there is an old railroad bed that's now the Potlatch Canyon hiking trail. In addition to the old railroad bed, this quiet and peaceful trail is decorated with meadows and wildflowers, pines and cedar trees, and as you pass through the forested land, you will come across the view of the canyon. It begins with a paved surface for the first half-mile, giving way to forested surroundings along the canyon’s edge.
Length: 5.3 miles, looped
The Lynx Creek Trail will take you past the Three Prong Mountain as well as The Drop Off. Both offer spectacular views for those who wish to focus on their surroundings. The trail passes through a small area of Lynx Creek, offering a view of it in conjunction with the Lynx Meadows. While parts will climb up steeply, most of the trail is easy to moderate.
Length: 8 miles, one way
The forest also offers quite a bit for fishing. There are spots where you can focus your fishing on lakes and ponds or in rivers and streams. Some places may also have a catch-and-release only policy. Fishing licenses will often be required. Fish that you can find include brook trout, steelhead, salmon, and rainbow trout, among others.
Geocaching is welcome on some parts of the trails. If you are planning on geocaching while you are at the park, you should be mindful to follow proper etiquette and respect the environment and surroundings.
Far away from the light pollution common in most large cities, Nez Perce National Forest has clear and open night skies. If the weather permits, stargazing should be available to anyone and everyone who chooses to sit back, relax, and watch the sky.
Address: Salmon River Ranger District/Slate Creek Ranger Station, 304 Slate Creek Road, White Bird, ID 83554
Fee: Entry fee $0
With mountains, forests, meadows, and canyons that spread farther than your eyes can see, the Nez Perce National Forest is truly a spectacular destination for nature lovers. Whether you enjoy watching wildlife or are more interested in fishing, hiking, and even snow activities, there is something for everyone to do. In fact, there is so much to do that traveling there in an RV is a great way to experience everything the forest has to offer without feeling too far away from home.