Caribou-Targhee National Forest


Moose crossing a river in Caribou-Targhee National Forest
Moose crossing in Caribou-Targhee National Forest
Lower Mesa Falls in Caribou-Targhee National Forest

Caribou-Targhee National Forest occupies more than 2.63 million acres across southeastern Idaho with some small sections crossing into Montana, Wyoming and Utah. A large part of Caribou-Targhee National Forest is included in the 20-million-acre Greater Yellowstone Natural Ecosystem. This is an area of rugged mountains, volcanic landscapes, fertile valleys, raging rivers, abundant and varied wildlife, wilderness, campgrounds, solitude, scenery and adventure.

Typical of the Yellowstone area, wildlife in the Forest includes moose, elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, grizzly bear, black bear, gray wolf, bison, mountain lion, bobcat and pronghorn.

The western portions of the Forest tend to be sage grasslands while the eastern prtions rise up in the mountains to be covered with big pines, firs, spruce and aspen.

There are more than 1,600 miles of trails to explore the forest and dozens of campgrounds to assist in that exploration.

Typical river view in Caribou-Targhee National Forest
A typical river view in the Forest
Mountain goat on the Caribou-Targhee National Forest

Staff at Caribou-Targhee National Forest also manage Curlew National Grassland, a 47,790-acre property in Oneida and Power Counties, in southern Idaho against the Utah border. The Grassland acreage was assembled between 1934 and 1942 with a plan to improve the soil and vegetation in the area. Today Curlew National Grassland is rather famous for its sage and sharp-tail grouse breeding grounds, sometimes with up to 60 grouse strutting their stuff on a single lek (breeding area). "Drumming season" happens during the months of March and April.

A sage grouse lek at Curlew National Grassland
A Curlew National Grassland sage grouse lek
Sage grouse drumming in the snow
Sage grouse drumming in the snow
 
Photos and small icons courtesy of the US Forest Service
 
Campgrounds
Another moose in the river at Caribou-Targhee National Forest

In developed campgrounds, most individual sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis, with fees calculated on the facilities provided. The maintenance and improvement of campgrounds and facilities is paid for with a percentage of those fees. Selected recreation and camping sites may be reserved by calling the National Recreation Reservation Service at 866-444-6777. Service charges and user fees can be paid with a major credit card or by check. Phone operators can either take your reservation or help you to find a site that suits you.

Dispersed camping is allowed in most areas of the Forest, just be at least 1/4 mile from any developed campgrounds or campsites. Dispersed camping tends to be free and also tends to have no amenities available. The stay limit for dispersed camping in any one spot is 16 days. Remember: "Pack it in, Pack it out."

Ashton Island Park Ranger District

Campground Name When Closed Elevation Picnic Areas Tent camping available Hiking trails available Fishing available nearby Reservations available available Drinking water available Handicapped Accessible Toilets available
Big Springs 9/30 6,400' 16 16 Yes No Yes Yes Yes Vault
Buffalo 9/30 6,200' 105 105 No Yes Yes No Yes Pit
Buttermilk 9/30 6,200' 52 52 No Yes Yes Yes Yes Vault
Cave Falls 10/30 6,200' 23 23 No Yes No Yes No Vault
Flat Rock 10/30 6,400' 38 38 No Yes Yes No Yes Vault, Flush
McCrea's Bridge 9/30 6,200' 24 24 No Yes Yes Yes Yes Vault
Riverside 10/30 6,200' 55 55 No Yes Yes Yes Yes Vault
Coffee Pot 9/30 6,300' 14 14 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Vault
Warm River 10/30 5,200' 29 29 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Vault
West End 9/30 6,200' 19 19 No Yes No No No Vault
Grandview 10/30 5,800' No 7
Group Sites 2
Yes No No No Yes Pit
Box Canyon 9/30 6,400' 17 17 Yes No No No Yes Pit

Dubois Ranger District

Campground Name When Closed Elevation Picnic Areas Tent camping available Hiking trails available Fishing available nearby Reservations available drinking Drinking water available Handicapped Accessible Toilets available
Steel Creek open 6,680' No No No Yes Yes Yes No Vault
Stoddard Creek open 6,200' 21 21 Yes No group site Yes No Vault

Montpelier Ranger District

Campground Name When Closed Elevation Picnic Areas Tent camping available Hiking trails available Fishing available nearby Reservations available drinking Drinking water available Handicapped Accessible Toilets available
Cloverleaf open 7,100' 18 18
Group Sites-1
Yes No Yes Yes No Flush
Porcupine open 6,900' 17 17 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Vault, Flush
Summit View open 7,200' 18 18
Group Sites-3
Yes No Yes Yes Yes Vault
Willow Flat open 6,300' 51 51
Group Sites 3
Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Vault, Flush
Montpelier Canyon open 6,400' 17 15 No Yes Yes No No Vault
St. Charles open 6,500' 6 6
Group Sites 1
Yes Yes Yes Yes No Vault
Beaver Creek open 8,000' 5 5 Yes Yes No No No Vault
Albert Moser open 6,000' 9 9 Yes Yes Yes Yes No Vault
Paris Springs open 6,000' 9 9
Group Sites 3
Yes No Yes Yes No Vault
Eightmile Canyon open 6,500' 7 7 Yes No No No No Vault
Cold Springs open >6,500' 3 3 Yes Yes No No No Vault
Emigration open 7,100' 23 23
Group Sites 2
Yes No Yes Yes Yes Vault, Flush

Palisades Ranger District

Campground Name When Closed Elevation Picnic Areas Tent camping available Hiking trails available Fishing available nearby Reservations available drinking Drinking water available Handicapped Accessible Toilets available
Alpine 9/30 5,800' No 16
Group Sites 3
No Yes Yes Yes No Vault
Big Elk 9/30 5,800' No 18
Group Sites 3
No Yes for group site Yes No Vault
Blowout 9/30 5,800' No 16 No Yes No Yes 2 Vault
Calamity 9/30 5,800' 3 41 No Yes Yes Yes 1 Vault
Falls 9/30 5,100' No 24
Group Sites 1
No Yes Yes Yes 2 Vault
Palisades Creek 9/30 5,700' No 8 Yes Yes No Yes No Vault
McCoy Creek 9/30 5,800' No 18 No Yes No Yes No Vault
Riverside Park 9/30 5,300' No 22 No Yes No Yes 2 Vault
Table Rock 9/30 5,800' No Group Site 1 Yes No Yes Yes 2 Vault

Soda Springs Ranger District

Campground Name When Closed Elevation Picnic Areas Tent camping available Hiking trails available Fishing available nearby Reservations available drinking Drinking water available Handicapped Accessible Toilets available
Pine Bar open 6,300' 5 5 Yes Yes No No No Vault
Tincup open 5,800' 5 5 No Yes No No No Vault
Gravel Creek open 6,600' 7 10 No No No No No Vault
Diamond Creek open 6,800' 0 open No No No No No Vault
Mill Canyon open 6,400' 10 10 No Yes No No No Vault

Teton Basin Ranger District

Campground Name When Closed Elevation Picnic Areas Tent camping available Hiking trails available Fishing available nearby Reservations available drinking Drinking water available Handicapped Accessible Toilets available
Mike Harris 9/30 6,200' 12 12 Yes No Yes Yes No Vault
Pine Creek 9/30 6,600' 9 9 No No No No No Vault
Reunion Flat 9/30 6,900' 9 9 No Yes Yes Yes Yes Vault
Trail Creek 9/30 6,600' 11 11 No Yes Yes Yes Yes Vault
Teton Canyon 9/30 7,200' 20 20 Yes Yes Yes Yes No  

Westside Ranger District

Campground Name When Closed Elevation Picnic Areas Tent camping available Hiking trails available Fishing available nearby Reservations available drinking Drinking water available Handicapped Accessible Toilets available
Big Springs open 6,300' 29 29 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Vault
Cherry Creek open 4,800' Yes 5 Yes No No No No No
Curlew open 4,700' Yes 32 No Yes Yes Yes Yes Vault
Mink Creek open No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Vault
Malad Summit open 6,100' 10 13 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Vault
Scout Mountain Campground and Picnic Area open 6,900' 22 25 Yes No Yes Yes Yes Vault
Third Creek open No Yes Yes Yes Yes group site Yes Yes Vault
Twin Springs open No Yes Yes Yes No No No No Vault
Dry Canyon open No Yes Yes Yes No No No No Vault
A view of Fall Creek Falls
Fall Creek Falls