River's Fork Lodge is located within the Salmon-Challis National Forest, a large and diverse wilderness area that is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including many species of birds, mammals, fish, and reptiles. Our area is also unique because it's just outside a designated wilderness (The Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness), the U.S. government's highest level of land protection. Because these areas are remote and lack modern conveniences (like roads), they provide visitors with the opportunity to see a wide range of species in their natural habitat, and you'll likely see more wildlife than you would in a national park.
The Salmon River is well known for world-class fishing, but our forests are also home to a wide range of birds and is a popular destination for birdwatchers. Some of the common species of birds that can be seen in the forest include bald eagles, golden eagles, ospreys, red-tailed hawks, great horned owls, wild turkeys, herons, and sandhill cranes.
Iconic mammals are another important part of the ecosystem in the Salmon-Challis National Forest. You'll see elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose, and possibly black bears. We have black bears hanging out across the river from us at least a couple of times per year, and there have been confirmed sightings of grizzly bears in recent years.
When viewing wildlife, keep a safe distance and leave them alone. Never approach or try to feed the animals, as this can be dangerous for both you and the animals. Instead, take the time to appreciate the natural beauty of the forest and wilderness.
People always tell us that they wish they could stay longer. If you've never been to River's Fork Lodge and experienced the great outdoors, do yourself a favor and plan your trip now!