Ashton / Island Park Ranger District - Caribou-Targhee

Ashton / Island Park Ranger District - Caribou-Targhee

What makes Island Park such a memorable experience? When considering weekend and vacation destinations, nature viewing locations, and recreation hot spots, the place to be in Island Park. Recreational opportunities are surrounded by nature, area trails, lakes, historical structures, area campgrounds, and more on this seven hundred thousand acre haven. Popular recreational activities are known to include bicycling, camping-cabins, hiking, snowshoeing, fishing, horseback riding, swimming, photography, birding, ohv riding, outdoor learning, snowmobiling, canoeing, kayaking, backpacking, cross country skiing, water skiing, hunting, and taking a stroll surrounded by nature. Harriman State Park rests about 14 miles from Bishop Mountain, both ideal destinations for a day outing with the greater Henry's Fork Caldera Region.

Part of the Yellowstone Ecosystem, large portions of this region is covered in a blanket of fragrant wildflowers during the Spring months. In autumn, enjoy the unforgettable bright and colorful Fall foliage. Below are a few ideas to get the creative list of possibilities started when visiting the territory.

Prominent features for this region include Taylor Mountain, Sawtell Peak, Lionhead Peak, Mount Two Top, Bishop Mountain, and Big Bend Ridge.

This unforgettable region provides an in-depth experience with an integrated explanation of its creation by volcanic activity. Combine the countless daytime activity opportunities with an evening under the vast open starry-filled skies unique to Island Park, and the memories are likely to abound. The splendor found in the central portion of Southeastern Idaho proves time and again to be a favorite pastime for many! Dramatic landscapes, world-renowned fishing and hunting, winter retreats, breathtakingly beautiful hot springs, spectacular waterfalls, year-round trails, wildlife, backcountry sites, and overnight lodgings await—some of the best natural wonders in Idaho's Southeastern Region.

The wild wilderness provides a home to some of nature's most incredible creatures, such as the mule deer, moose, black and grizzly bear, mountain lion, pronghorn, bison, and wolf.

Now for those who might enjoy taking a step back in time while discovering the compelling and rich history that accounts for this area, there are quite a few destinations made available to explore.

As always, be sure to check area notices and advisories before heading out to the desired destination.

Big Springs Bridge Wildlife Viewing Site - May 15th until March 30th unless otherwise noted

Big Springs is one of the headwaters of the Snake River. Nestled alongside the interpretive trail and viewing bridge sits the first magnitude spring responsible for over 120,000 million gallons of water produced each day. This area is most famous for the rainbow trout or kokanee salmon that reside in the crystal clear waters of Big Springs, which eventually connects with the waters at Henry's Fork.

Wildlife viewing and photoshoot opportunities might include birdlife such as the sandhill crane, great grey owl, osprey, Canadian geese, trumpeter swans, and the bald eagle. Wildlife spotted at this location have been known to include muskrats, moose, and deer.

The Big Springs Interpretive Trail is an excellent vantage point for enjoying the scenery. Stretching one mile in the distance, starting at the bridge, the first half of the trail is paved, with the second portion unpaved and ends at the boat launch. There are interpretive signs with information about how the water cycles to the surface at Big Springs, bringing tremendous value to the area and state.

Bishop Mountain Cabin

Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1938, and situated at 7,800 feet on the summit of Bishop Mountain, sits this neat one-room cabin that was once responsible for housing employees of the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. The nearby vicinity is home to a lookout tower used by the forest service to monitor the area and provides a beautiful birds-eye view over the tops of the pine trees. The mountain is delicately decorated by wildflowers, area tree life, rock formations, streams, and the wildlife that call this area home.

This location is made available to the public by reservation as a mountain cabin retreat for overnight accommodations. Imagine the sounds and smells of a crackling fire, the wind rustling through the forest pine, and a fire-roasted meal cooking to perfection. Choosing to reserve the Bishop Mountain Cabin opens the possibilities to mountain exploration and enjoyment right in the heart of the woods.

Registered Squirrel Meadows Guard Station provides the ultimate getaway feel surrounded by area greenery in the warmer months and transitioning into a wintery escape during the snow season. Not for the faint of heart, the snow season imposes upon guests the requirement to accommodate for the 10-mile trek during the winter months from the parking lot to the cabin by either snowmobile, cross country skiing, or similar. Winter is an excellent time of year to bring out the snowman-making skills or toss a snowball. Situated at 6,500 feet, the two-bedroom cabin makes for the ideal secluded location.

Sightseeing, birding, outdoor adventures, horseback riding, mushing/skijoring, and prime relaxation are a few things to do when visiting Squirrel Meadows Guard Station. Mountain biking, off-road vehicle use, game bird hunting, hiking, and backing might be desired activities while in the mountain. A popular seasonal activity at this location happens to be berry picking, though it's best to be aware you might be required to share with one of the neighboring creatures.

Wildlife sightings have been known to include grizzly bears, mountain lions, black bears, elk, moose, cougar, and wolf.

Upper Coffee Pot Rapid Trail & Campground - Idaho 83429

This destination is located approximately 88 +/- miles from Idaho Falls and about 62 +/- miles from the city of Rexburg.

Drenched in seasonal wildflowers during the start of the spring season is a likely welcome when visiting Upper Coffee Pot Campground. Experience the extraordinary relaxation that comes with removing yourself from the everyday hustle and bustle to the stunning world-class vistas and life-changing adventures offered in Southeastern Idaho. Within the wide-open spaces of Southeastern Idaho provides a diverse set of ecosystems that offer some of nature's best. The camp is surrounded by lodgepole pine and sits adjacent to the floatable sections of the renowned Henry's Fork of the Snake River. The 13 single reservable units and 1 re-enable double unit campsites await, all of which offer the chance of a lifetime to hook a trophy fish or get that peace you've been waiting for. Be sure to research the best times to camp at the preferred campground of choice for the best outcomes.

Warm River Cabin Camp - Caribou Targhee National Forest, Forest Rd 097, Ashton, ID 83420

This destination is located approximately 63 +/- miles from Idaho Falls and about 37 +/- miles from the city of Rexburg.

Warm River Cabin offers sweeping views across the Forest at around 6'000 feet and is located a mere twenty miles from the nearby city of Ashton, Idaho. Adopting this location for a weekend could provide the terrain for a rugged mountain adventure, an excellent place for a game of flashlight tag, or perhaps become the setting for campfire songs and stories. Pack all the extras and essentials, especially water, if considering a stay at the Warm River Cabin; this location provides shelter.

Settled within the 2.3 million acres of the Caribou Targhee National Forest and part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the Forest is a masterpiece of geological treasures and an outdoor sportsman's paradise. The possibilities begin with 1,600 miles of trails, steam, and lakes with what is said to be some of the best fishing areas in the world, in addition to magnificent landforms including Darby Canyon, Mesa Falls, and the Alaskan Basin Trail.

The Wind River Cabin sits nestled at an elevation of 6,000 feet with wide-open spaces filled with greenery and dotted spectacularly with a dramatic conifer forest. Escape into nature along adventurous area trails (ohv use, equestrian, and mixed-use) with opportunities to check our wildlife that might include rabbits, moose, wolves, and bears.

Well worth the effort, the reward of heading out for a day of picking berries will have you ready to catch a fireside dinner right from the Warm River! The Warm River is most famous for its trout. Visitors may also choose to access game and game bird hunting during the season. Don't forget to check the weather before heading out and check your packing list to ensure you've packed for a successful trip.

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