Explore the most popular river trails in Challis National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
8 months ago

Very difficult, good thing it wasn't too long. Beautiful lake at the top.

great hike. so much elevation but it is so worth it in the end.

Very steep at the beginning but then levels out. It was beautiful. A great hike for kids. Mine loved exploring around the lake.

hiking
8 months ago

Great and a steep hike. View at destination is just amazing. If you have a Fitbit smart tracker, it would take approx. 11000 steps and 200 floors to reach at the top.

Beautiful hike! It's a must do!

backpacking
9 months ago

Water is cold the fish are fun and the views are fantastic! Many wildflowers on the way as well.
Take a high clearance vehicle as there are a couple rocky spots.

Great hike to enjoy solitude. Trail can be easy to lose in the snow - be sure to bring your map. GPS was also extremely helpful!

backpacking
10 months ago

Great short hike. Crosses a couple of streams during the first 3/4 mile. Pretty steep for the first 1/2 mile as well. Great views and lots of fish at the lake. Nice campsite with 4-5 foot snow drifts in places on July 9th at the inlet.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Great hike into a few different lakes. Had a great time hiking in this beautiful area.

hiking
Thursday, August 25, 2016

Hiked from 4th of July trailhead to Washington lake and made camp there. Then off to upper Chamberlain Lakes for a night. That was approximately 6 miles with the last 2 up hill and require decent conditioning on the hikers part. We then traveled back to 4th of July Lake for the last night. That was 7.2 miles or so and made for a tiring hike. After sleeping there it was a brisk 1.2 or so downhill back to the trailhead. We saw seven mountain goats at the upper chamberlain. Once during the first evening there and the they revisited the morning we left. Also saw a health doe while trekking back to 4th of July.

hiking
Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Very scenic with lots of wildflowers.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Great first hike in this area. Beautiful and easy. Very first part just a slight hill, then just an easy hike with defined trail. Would do again.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

it was steep climb... but fishing is great!! we continued to fish pole lake this time... says 2b trophy fish there... but iron bog had more fish.. the views are amazing!!

hiking
Friday, July 15, 2016

Very beautiful. Loved the hike.

hiking
Sunday, July 10, 2016

Quick but steep hike. It starts off kind of hard if you haven't hiked in awhile. Eventually it levels off and the views are amazing. The steepness means you gain elevation pretty quickly and the breeze off the lake was a little chilly.

Saw a couple pika while on the mountain and only one other person was fishing on the other side of the lake. Fish were biting at the little bugs so a good, peaceful fishing spot!

Definitely will do it again and will bring fishing gear.

hiking
Friday, July 08, 2016

It is a strenuous hike but worth the effort. Beautiful views and a lot of shaded areas. Hiked it on a hot morning but was a pleasant experience

backpacking
Monday, July 04, 2016

We hiked into Iron Bog Lake last year and liked it so much we planned an overnight trip with family. Short hike is a plus, the first bit is steep, and then gradual rise from there. From Iron Bog to FishPole is pretty short, just be careful of the rocks and uneven terrain. Our group had good luck with a total of 7 fish, with the biggest just over 12 inches. (None at FishPole with trophy restrictions 20"+ only, seemed over fished to me). Great spot for a day fishing around the lake, or camping. Seemed like a popular spot given the traffic we came across. We'd do it again.

hiking
Monday, June 13, 2016

It was beautiful. My husband and I enjoyed the hike. The elevation gain going in was hard but ok. It was totally worth it when we got to the lake. It was beautiful there was still a small amount of snow on the ground.

scenic driving
Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Beautiful drive along the Salmon River from Challis, ID to Stanley, ID. Cool ghost towns to see along the way.

hiking
Saturday, May 28, 2016

I hiked Iron bog May 27th, there was about 4ft of snow at 3/4th mark and the rest of the hike and more. The beginning of the hike had clear paths, I'd say June and later is the best time to go.

hiking
Friday, August 14, 2015

A pleasant uphill grind, with a harsher climb over a tall ridge to a pretty bowl with lakes. Most interesting was sunset sun or alpenglow on the ridges. A nice buck visited our campsite for breakfast before the dogs scared it off. My 11-year old daughter hiked over the 10,000' ridge and had fun despite the midnight downpour. The lower trail is quite busy and includes bikes.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Beautiful

camping
Thursday, July 09, 2015

It was a steeper hike in than we expected, it was hot so maybe that made it seem worse. It was also busier than we'd heard. We caught several 8-12" trout and camped next to the inlet. It was beautiful. Next time we'd like to make it to Fishpole Lake.

hiking
Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Beautiful area, great lake and camping spots. Easy hike to Fishpole Lake. Hike itself was very short (1.6 miles). but first 1/4 mile or so was very steep and trail was slick with small rock or I would give it 5 stars!

hiking
Sunday, March 01, 2015

There is a camp on the right fork of fall creek just as the trail splits to go to Moose Lake or up to Surprise Valley. The trail has a steep section at the beginning then crosses the creek. You then follow up the right fork drainage and on up. The trail of the Right Fork ends at the fork to Moose Lake.

05 August 2014
Amazing spot - worth the trip in if you can reach the Shower Bath Hot Springs. The hot springs book we were using for directions was dated. Falcon Guides had the best directions in to the trailhead. Off the highway turn onto Main Street that takes you into Challis, ID. Go less than a mile and take a right onto 7th Street (Challis Creek Road) and travel 9 miles to where pavement ends. After this, it's a 20 mile shot up a dirt road that would be impassable in wetter/snowy seasons over the pass at Twin Peaks. The Custer County road is bone-jarringly slow driving. Lehmi County down the other side is smoother, albeit, narrow with steep drop offs at places. Both offer pretty views but road conditions make the trip in long. There was a person in a week before us and we still cleared parts of the road of windfall and rock. Trailhead is almost exactly 20 miles from when pavement turns to dirt on the left, a few miles past Fly Creek Mountain Lookout/Parker Mountain turnoff. We didn't see a campground, as advertised, but it may have been farther down the road.

We saw trail had been registered as used by roughly 20 or so people in last two years. The hike follows the creek, and subsequently is a decently steep, knee-rattling jaunt downhill for the first two miles. While the last three miles aren't as steep, you're still dropping enough elevation consistently to notice the climb back up will be a calf-straining climb.

Trail was clear - kudos to those who worked on trail. The steep initial drop takes you to a weathered/abandoned forest service cabin and beaver pond where you'll follow the trail right. Once you come down to the creek and cross it, the trail becomes partially a runoff stream. As is true with most parts of the trail as it follows the creek - you can see how it might be possible to lose it in higher water. As the trail jumps to opposite side of the creek (no troubles crossing it this time of year) - you'll hike through and along dry/wet runoff streams, tall, wet and high grass, exposed hillsides, prickly bushes, windfall and a constant supply of damp ground from runoff. The area is burned so once the sun is high enough you're exposed to it and the elements as well. About four miles down from the trailhead you reach a junction where the water pours into Warm Springs Creek (out of sight). Follow sign (left) for Trapper Creek. Here is a mild .5 mile walk to another Forest Service cabin that would provide protection from rain. Follow the trail and it will split up the hillside or down into a meadow. Going down, one is supposed to be able to find Sitz Bath Hot Spring - 20 yards upstream from the horse corral and meadow. We found hot water bubbling up on a bend in the river, but the pool had been washed out and never rebuilt. The girlfriend dug it out and we relined a pool with river rock - but it's a temporary fix, for navigational purposes at the very least, until high water comes again.

From this point Shower Bath is only another half mile at most. You can see where Warm Springs Creek spills out of The Narrows. This is the start of the hike that takes you (literally) upstream. It is at the mouth of The Narrows you cross to the opposite side of the river and start to head upstream. From here, it's all about how much water is coming down that determines if you're able to bounce from side to side of the stream to dry spots. We were able to do so, save for the last 100 feet or so. No matter how high the water, I recommend grabbing one of the sticks graciously left at the trailhead (or anywhere along the hike) as you'll appreciate the brace against the decent push of the creek. We did The Narrows in full gear and only once came up to just below our waist (this is early August). After 300 yards or so The Narrows open up and it's just around a few bends the Weeping Walls of hot water reveal themselves. I did include a few pictures but I'll let the spot reveal itself naturally. Suffice to say it made all the elevation loss/gain worth it.

All the guidebooks indicated we should camp at Sitz Bath. I'm glad we didn't. In low water a beautiful camping spot sits right below the main pool/waterfall and next to the creek. Perfect. There isn't much for firewood unless you want to pull out some thorny brush packed from high water - but there is a fire ring.

Very low use trail if the trailhead sign in sheet was any indication. We didn't see anyone else, though there was indications of use by stock. You cross private property driving in and there is another Hot Spring nearby that may be on private property. Default would be, as in all cases, to tread lightly and leave no trace. There were no indications where Wilderness began or ended. Shower Bath is beautiful - and if the water level allows, makes a worthwhile trip no matter the climb out.

camping
Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Amazing hike - very steep but also short well worth the hike the lakes are beautiful - great camp sites and fishing

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

It is a beautiful trail, with a gorgeous lake at the end. I highly recommend it to families.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

First part is the toughest to nice beginner hike take your fishing pole and actually had over to fish pole from ironbog another three quarters of a mile 20 inches or bigger you can keep anything less giveback

scenic driving
Saturday, February 15, 2014

Beautiful drive along the river of no return

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