The Payette National Forest spans 2.3 million acres of some of west-central Idaho's most beautiful and diverse country. In one day you can travel from hot desert grasslands through cool conifer forests to snow-capped peaks.The Payette National Forest offers the visitor over 2.3 million acres to enjoy. Everything from the deep recesses of Hell's Canyon to peaks reaching elevations of almost 9,500 feet - the ecology of the Payette is fascinating.
Dry desert grasslands compliment heavily forested acres. Gateways to the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness lead the visitor to experience the solitude of seldom traveled trails.
So much to do
Come visit the Payette National Forest spring, summer, autumn, or winter as a wide range of recreational activities abound during any of the four seasons: hiking, fishing, camping, hunting, skiing, snowmobiling. You can find a spot on the forest to indulge your recreational interest.
The Payette's five Ranger Districts offer a variety of camping opportunities. Deep, low-elevation canyons and high peaks can keep the more adventurous camping almost year round. Campground information is divided by ranger district. The Payette also has numerous trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and motorized use.
Fishing opportunities abound on the Payette. Is your preference for rivers or do you prefer a hike up to a high elevation lake? Or is it steelhead season on the Salmon River along the forest's northern boundary or fishing for trout in the high mountain lakes?
For wildlife watchers, more than 300 different species of wildlife make their home on the Payette National Forest. Some are common and easily spotted from roads and trails, while others are more reclusive and require perseverance to see.