Part of Idaho's Big Wild, the Clearwater National Forest covers 1.8 million acres from the jagged peaks of the Bitterroot Mountains in the east to the river canyons and the rolling hills of the Palouse Prairie in the west.
The North Fork of the Clearwater and the Lochsa rivers provide miles of tumbling white water interspersed with quiet pools for migratory and resident fish. The mountains provide habitat for elk, moose, whitetail and mule deer, black bear, gray wolf, cougar, mountain goats, and many smaller mammals.
The ridges between the deep canyons have provided travel corridors across the mountains for centuries. These routes were used by the Nez Perce Indians and, in 1805-1806, the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Today the main travel route is U.S. Highway 12 following the dramatic canyon of the Middle Fork of the Clearwater River and its tributary the Lochsa River.