The Payette National Forest offers the visitor over 2.3 million acres to enjoy. Everything from the deep recesses of Hell's Canyon to peaks reaching elevations of almost 9,500 feet.
Dry desert grasslands compliment heavily forested acres. Gateways to the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness lead the visitor to experience the solitude of seldom traveled trails.
To the west is the Hell's Canyon National Recreation Area, the deepest river gorge in North America. Stand on the canyons east rim and in some places you gaze down 8,000 feet to the Snake River that carved this canyon. Gaze across the ten mile wide chasm into the neighboring state of Oregon.
Located entirely within Idaho, the Payette NF shares lands with Adams, Idaho, Valley, and Washington Counties.
FACILITIES AND ACTIVITIES OVERVIEW
Welcome to the Payette National Forest's Recreational Fishing Site. The Payette National Forest contains about 400 lakes and reservoirs and 4000 miles of fish-bearing streams. About forty-six different species of fish inhabit our waters. They vary from warm water bass, crappies, and catfish in Hell?s Canyon Reservoir to native and introduced salmonids in colder waters. Native species, such as northern pikeminnow, mountain whitefish, and suckers, provide diversions from trout fishing. The Snake and Salmon Rivers contain white sturgeon that are regulated as a catch and release fishery.
The fishing opportunities abound so every angler is sure to find the fishing just to their liking. Numerous developed campsites are located in close proximity to some hot fishing spots. If you prefer a more remote experience, pack your float tube and waders and head up trail to one of the many high mountain lakes. Enjoy fishing areas that the Idaho Fish & Game Department are managing as trophy lakes for a chance to catch and release a fish that will become one of your campfire stories. Visit the Idaho Fish and Game website for state regulations.
The southern most reaches of the Payette Forest are accessed from Hwy 95. Ranger Districts located in the cities of Weiser and Council administer these lands. It provides the fastest routes to the Hell's Canyon Area. Many visitors begin their approach to the forest's northern sites from Boise, Idaho and reach the forest by traveling the Payette River Scenic Byway (Hwy 55). McCall, Idaho, 100 miles north of Boise is home to the McCall Ranger District and the Krassel Ranger District offices, along with the Supervisor's Office. Continue traveling north to the Hwy 55 junction with Hwy 95 to the city of New Meadows and the location of the fifth ranger district office. The New Meadows Ranger District lands are bisected by Hwy 95 as it heads north to Riggins, Idaho and the Salmon River country.