Caribou-Targhee National Forest
Moose crossing 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.
A typical river view in the Forest
Caribou-Targhee is home to or is crossed by several national historic, recreational and scenic trails, backways and byways. Among them are:
- Oregon Trail
- Lander Trail
- Continental Divide National Scenic Trail
- Hudspeth Trail Cutoff
- Palisades Creek Trail
- Nez Perce National Historic Trail
- Big Springs Trail
- Wright's Creek Trail
- Highline Trail
- Mesa Falls Scenic Byway
- Pioneer Historic Byway
- Bear Lake-Oregon Trail Scenic Byway
- Fort Henry Historic Byway
- Lost Gold Trails Loop
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 Curlew National Grassland sage grouse lek
Sage grouse drumming in the snow
Fall Creek Falls