Print Page

Upper Snake Field Office

Map and Facilities

Whether fishing or floating the internationally-renowned South Fork of the Snake River, taking an exhilarating buggy ride on the St. Anthony Sand Dunes, or a quiet stroll on the Cress Creek Nature trail, visitors will find an impressive variety of recreational activities for enthusiasts of all ability levels.

The St. Anthony Sand Dunes is the largest tract of sand dunes in Idaho, covering approximately 175 square miles. This 10,000-acre off-highway vehicle (OHV) playground offers dunes ranging from 50 to 400 feet in height. Exploration of this area’s sandy grounds can also be done on foot or horseback. Adjacent Egin Lakes Campground offers facilities for overnight guests. This popular dune-riding destination is also home to one of the largest wintering elk herds in North America.

The majestic South Fork of the Snake River flows for 66 miles through high mountain valleys, rugged canyons, and broad flood plains. This section of the Snake River supports the largest riparian cottonwood gallery forest in the West and is among the most unique and diverse ecosystems in Idaho. It is a birdwatching paradise that is home to 126 bird species, including 21 raptors (birds of prey) and is designated as a National Important Bird Area. The river also supports the largest native cutthroat fishery outside of Yellowstone National Park. The South Fork is known throughout the country as a premier blue ribbon trout fishery, and was selected as the host site for the 1997 World Fly-Fishing Championship. Multiple access points are available to float the South Fork. Take your own boat or go with a guide. To get a bird’s eye view of the South Fork of the Snake River, take a stroll along the beautiful 1¼-mile Cress Creek Nature Trail.

To discover more about the area’s environment, try one of the four interpretive trails. Each trail system incorporates educational information along the trail route. Visitors can learn about the geology, recreation opportunities, local plant communicates and common wildlife species viewed in that area.

Hikers will also enjoy challenging ascents through this area’s geologic past. Big Southern Butte is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world, yet is one of the youngest (300,000 years old). Hikers who trek to the top of this 7,550-foot high summit will be rewarded with spectacular panoramic views stretching for miles. The Hell’s Half Acre lava trail crosses the Snake River Plain desert through the rough terrain and contorted landscapes created by multiple lava flows. This flow is the most recent in eastern Idaho, having erupted about 4,100 years ago.

South Fork of the Snake River (copyright: Mark Lisk)
Copyright: Mark Lisk

Last updated: 03-13-2013