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East Fork Salmon River
Wildlife Watching > East Fork Salmon River (ID) 
153 miles east of Boise; 20 miles southwest of Challis, Idaho.
The roads that parallel the East Fork of the Salmon River and its feeder streams offer visitors an opportunity to see a wide variety of wildlife, as well as engage in a multitude of outdoor recreational activities. The roads climb from sagebrush plains at 5,400 feet through alpine forests at 10,000 feet.
From Boise, follow State Route 21 north 120 miles to Stanley, then follow State Route 75 east 33 miles to East Fork Road, which parallels the river upstream.
From Challis, travel south on U.S. Highway 93 for 3 miles. Turn right (southeast) onto State Highway 75 for 17 miles and turn left (southwest) onto East Fork Road. East Fork Road terminates at Bowery Guard Station, approximately 28 miles upstream from State Highway 75.
Visitor Activities
Wildlife viewing, wild horse viewing, hiking, horseback riding, four-wheel driving, mountain biking, fishing, and big-game hunting.
Special Features
Wild horses are likely to be seen on side trips up Spar Canyon and Road Creek Roads, which link East Fork Road to State Highway 93. Chukars, red-tailed hawks, moose, and mule deer frequent the lower elevations, while Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, elk, and golden eagles can be seen at higher elevations.
Permits, Fees, Limitations
Along East Fork Road there are four wilderness study areas; travel in these areas is limited to roads which were constructed prior to their designation as wilderness areas in 1980. Winter snowfall restricts vehicle access on most secondary roads.
Accessible vault toilets are located at Herd Lake Overlook, Jimmy Smith Trailhead, and Little Boulder Creek Campground.
Camping and Lodging
Camping is available at East Fork Campground (fee charged), located at the junction of State Highway 75 and East Fork Road; at Little Boulder Creek Campground (fee charged), located on East Fork Road about 22 miles south of its junction with State Highway 75. Dispersed camping is also available. Lodging is available in Challis.
Food and Supplies
Food and supplies are available in Challis, 20 miles northeast of the intersection of East Fork Road and State Highway 75.
First Aid
The closest medical clinic is located in Challis.
Additional Information
During most winters, much of East Fork Road is open and plowed. However, the stretch of East Fork Road that begins about 19 miles south of State Highway 75 is closed from November 30–May 1 to protect wintering big game. All roads leading from East Fork Road, except State Highway 75, are gravel or dirt and are subject to intermittent closure in inclement weather.
Contact Information
BLM - Challis Field Office
1151 Blue Mountain Road
Challis, ID 83226
Tel: (208) 879-6200               
Fax: (208) 879-6219

Red-tailed hawks are adapted to live and hunt in open country, soaring over vast expanses in search of their principal prey: rabbits and rodents. A large stick nest, sometimes exceeding 30 inches in diameter, is constructed by both sexes in a large tree or on a cliff; breeding pairs often re-occupy the same nest year after year.   (BLM)

East Fork Salmon River Canyon Map

Last updated: 10-23-2009