DescriptionIn the northeastern part of the state, large stands of tall trees and many miles of clear, fast-running streams and rivers characterize the rugged, mountainous Clearwater National Forest. Scenic Lewis and Clark Highway (US 12) runs a few miles south of but roughly parallel to the Lolo Trail, the Native American route across the Bitterroots to buffalo-hunting country.
A portion of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, the second largest wilderness area in the continental United States, makes up part of Clearwater's 1.8 million acres. US 12 follows the rugged Lochsa Wild and Scenic River, where kayak and raft enthusiasts challenge the stream's white water. Recreation information is available at ranger stations in Kooskia, Orofino, Potlatch and Powell.
Lolo Pass Visitors Center, along US 12 at the crest of the Bitterroots on the Idaho-Montana border, and the restored Lochsa Historical Ranger Station, halfway between Powell and Kooskia on US 12, are open Memorial Day weekend through late September. For further information, contact the North Fork Ranger's Office, 12730 US 12, Orofino, ID 83544; phone (208) 476-8267.