Top 10 Things to Do in Salmon, Idaho

Known for its breathtaking views and easy access to outdoor recreation, Salmon, Idaho offers an eclectic mix of activities sure to please any visitor. For a taste of this vibrant community, starting at number 10, here are the top ten suggestions for 2024:

#10: Biking & Hiking

fat tire bicycle riders on snowy trail

Whether by foot or by bike, trail users enjoy the extraordinary views, clean air, and unclogged roads and trails around Salmon that set us apart. For something close to town, make sure to check out The Discovery Hill Trails for hiking, biking, and disc golf. When enjoying our remote paradise, make sure to plan accordingly by accessing trail maps and packing proper gear. When cycling, wear brightly colored clothing and follow the rules of the road or trail. To rest and recharge after an excursion, plan to stay at some of the unique and friendly Salmon area hotels or B & Bs and make a weekend of it!

#9: Eating & Drinking

Eating and Drinking in Salmon, Idaho

Though a small town, Salmon, Idaho packs a punch when it comes to drinking, dining, and socializing. In fact, local establishments have garnered attention from national food shows and publications. Whether you're in the mood to grab a quick pizza or enjoy three courses in a classic steakhouse, you'll find it here. After dinner, grab a beer and enjoy a rousing night of karaoke, or have a quiet sip in a cocktail lounge. It's easy to see why some people argue that dining should be #1 on this list... you'll have to decide for yourself. Whatever your flavor, make sure to check out several places to eat in Salmon, Idaho!

#8: ATV and Trail Riding

ATV riding in Salmon, Idaho

Salmon, Idaho is at the center of some of the most beautiful and untouched natural spaces in the United States. With such a vast area to explore, many turn to the freedom and excitement of ATV riding. Hundreds of miles of nearby trails, including the Sacajawea Motorsports Park in town, attract riders from all over the nation. Whether new to the sport, or a seasoned pro, you'll find everything you need at Wild Side Rentals. If bringing your own rig, check out locally owned Cycle, Sleds, and Saws for any service and repair needs. Salmon is the perfect basecamp for an off-road adventure.

#7: Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area

Frank Church Wilderness River of No Return, Salmon Idaho

Salmon, Idaho is the gateway to the largest designated Wilderness area in the continental US. At 2.367 million acres, the Frank Church - River of No Return Wilderness Area will defy even the highest expectations. Don't be worried by the daunting size,one of the Salmon area's many professional guide services will be glad to show you around or help you plan an experience into the Idaho wilderness that you will never forget! Check out our new Wilderness area landing page for more info.

#6: Island Park Area

Island Park, Idaho

Island Park is a local favorite recreation area, situated at the heart of downtown. As the name implies, the park is an island that divides the Salmon River. A bridge and footbridge provide easy access for vehicles and pedestrians. Though small, this park boasts several amenities including a walking path, boat launch, dog park, and skatepark. The crown jewel of the park is the newly established Salmon Whitewater Park, which features a man-made wave for kayakers, surfers, and boaters. Onlookers can get in on the excitement by watching from the terraced shore or grab an aerial view from the footbridge.

#5: Traveling the Byways

Salmon, Idaho area Byways

No matter your route, you will arrive at Salmon via a national scenic byway! The Salmon River Scenic Byway winds through the Salmon-Challis National Forest, offering stunning views, natural hot springs, and access to ghost towns. The Sacajawea Historic Byway follows Highway 28, running parallel to the continental divide as it traverses a corridor rich with history, before coming to an end in Salmon. Take the time to explore fossils of the extinct North American lion, Native American rock art, and stories of the Lemhi-Shoshone people. For those with a spirit of adventure (and good tires), a jaunt to the Lewis & Clark Backcountry Byway will not disappoint. The 39-mile gravel road is accessed 20 miles south of Salmon and provides access to Lemhi Pass, the site of the Lewis and Clark Expedition's first crossing of the Continental Divide. To sweeten the deal, you'll also pass Sharkey Hot Springs. Even the journey to Salmon is an experience!

#4: Area History

Salmon, Idaho Area History

A rich cultural and natural history exists in the Salmon and Lemhi River Country, beginning with the Agaidika Shoshone-Bannock people, continuing to the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and through to frontier times, mining, ranching, and contemporary life. The Sacajawea Interpretive, Cultural, and Educational Center offers a variety of tours, programs, and classes to deepen visitors' connections. The Lemhi County Historical Society and Museum also dedicate themselves to conserving the history of the area. For a fun day trip, check out nearby ghost towns and imagine the logging and mining heyday of their former glory! Through knowledge of the past, visitors will gain a deeper appreciation of Salmon's present.

#3: Fishing

Fishing in Salmon, Idaho

As the name implies, Salmon, Idaho is an angler's paradise. The Lemhi River flows into the mighty Salmon River just at the outskirts of town. These waterways combine with various tributaries and mountain lakes to provide fishing opportunities nearly any day of the year. Locals and visitors alike explore this word-class fishery via walk-and-wade or float boat fishing. A visit to the Salmon River Fly Box, or other local outfitters and guide services will surely get you set up for a memorable day on the water via a guided trip or provide equipment rentals for a self-directed adventure.

#2: Downtown Salmon

Downtown Salmon, Idaho

While visiting the area, be sure to carve out some time to explore downtown Salmon, centered around a picture-perfect Main Street. The historical backdrop hosts traditional businesses with a contemporary spin. A selection of the offerings includes an artisan bakery, custom western hatmaker, and several gift and jewelry stores. If you plan carefully, you can time your trip to coincide with any of several local downtown events, including the Farmer's Market, Salmon River Days, or casting lessons at Veteran's Park.

#1: Guided River Trips

White-water rafting & float trips in Salmon, Idaho 2024

Many people know Salmon as the starting off or end point for multi-day rafting adventures on the Middle Fork or Main Salmon Rivers. These wilderness journeys are jam-packed with excitement. If you don't have the opportunity to spend nearly a week floating downstream, there are local half- and full-day rafting options that will easily fill your adventure cup! The range of river adventures offered provide an opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to share in the wilderness experience. A host of friendly outfitters and guide services will help you book a safe and affordable adventure!