Top 10 things to do in Salmon for 2023
Salmon, Idaho is a rugged western town that attracts tourism while supporting a thriving community that maintains its own authentic flavour. Tucked between the Lemhi Mountain Range and the Beaverhead Mountains, this scenic town offers stunning views and easy access to the renowned Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness. It also holds a unique place in history. Modern-day comforts, including cozy accommodations, a variety of restaurants, and the bustle of Main Street add to the appeal of this wilderness gateway. Adventurers of all stripes will find Salmon a worthwhile visit. Here are ten suggestions for experiencing what makes Salmon, Idaho a special place.
#10: ATV and Dirt Bike TRAIL RIDING
Salmon 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. Local ATV repairs and sales locations are available to support rider needs. Whether you come to town as a part of an organized ride, or as a solo rider, Salmon is the perfect basecamp for an off-road adventure.
Just what makes a good photograph? Somewhere in Salmon, you will find the answer. Among the absolutely breathtaking views, adventure sports, and genuine Western flair, exists the perfect subject matter to inspire any artist, from amateur to professional. For some inspiration, check out local galleries showcasing contemporary photographers, or take a stroll through the Lemhi County Historical Museum to see how photographers have been capturing the valley for centuries. If a picture is worth a thousand words, you could write no shortage of epics here in the valley!
Salmon is brimming with potential outdoor activities. There’s no better way to make the most of your time in the area than to spend all your time outside! There are campgrounds, complete with pools, restaurants, and RV hookups. For those searching for something more remote, USFS, Idaho BLM, and other established camping areas abound along the trails and waterways of the area. From backpacker to RV enthusiast, every outdoor sleeper can find a place to lay, or park, their bedroll here in the valley.
#7: 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 life, mining, ranching, and contemporary life, there is an abundance of information on the area. The Sacajawea Interpretive, Cultural, and Educational Center offers a variety of tours, programs, and classes to deepen connections to the area. The Lemhi County Historical Society and Museum is another endeavour dedicated to connecting Salmon’s present to its past. Through knowledge of the past, visitors will gain a deeper appreciation of Salmon’s present.
#6: BIKE RIDING
Lemhi County and the Salmon, Idaho area is truly bike riders' dream. Beautiful views, clean air, and unclogged roads and trails set us apart from pretty much everywhere. The fact that there are very few people and bicyclers here is also why it is so important to wear bright, highly visible attire like safety vests and helmets. Follow the rules of the road, dress brightly and plan to stay at some of the unique and friendly Salmon area hotels or B & Bs while you enjoy your overnight trip!
#5: DOWNTOWN SALMON
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. There are also several restaurants and bars, ready to cook up a good meal or a great time! 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 the Christmas Parade.
For a town the size of Salmon, Idaho most folks are surprised to see just how many dining options there are! Some of our restaurants have been featured on national food shows and many articles in national publications. Some people may think dining should be #1 on this list... you'll have to decide for yourself. It is sooo much fun to partake of the delicious places to eat in Salmon, Idaho!
#3: WILDERNESS AREA
It's amazing to us that so many people are unaware that Salmon, Idaho is the gateway to the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness area. At 2.367 million acres, it is the largest designated Wilderness area in the lower 48 states. If you have high expectations for what it's like to experience this amazing American gem, they probably aren't high enough. But don' worry, one of the Salmon area's many professional guide services will be glad to show you around and 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.
As the name implies, Salmon is an angler’s paradise. The Lemhi flows into the mighty Salmon just at the outskirts of town. When these waterways are combined with the various tributaries and mountain lakes, you can find a fishing opportunity 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..
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, the local half- and full-day rafting options 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.