Adventure Is Out Here

Where wanderlust takes off. Those who wander get lost in the vast beauty of Big Creek (but hopefully just metaphorically). Remote, wild, and full of transporting possibilities, set out on a big adventure right outside your door.

 

Big Creek Feats

Sort of like a scavenger hunt but with epic views and historical viewpoints, our Big Creek Feats are fun-finding expeditions that give you an inside look into this outdoor wonderland. Designed by locals and exclusive to guests, Big Creek Feats come in varying degrees of difficulty, from basic to strenuous, and can take a half day or longer to complete. Really engage in the nature and history of the area, and at the finish, we’ll give you a momento to remember it all by.

History

Big Creek is sitting on a gold mine. Literally. Though deep canyons and rough country delayed the rush, by the late 1800s, dozens of gold and silver mines attracted hundreds of miners to the area. Ranchers were drawn to the place too. You’ll find remnants from the past around every corner here. It’s like hitting historical pay dirt. (More on Big Creek history »)

Hiking

Hikes in the area range from easier, relatively level jaunts along Big Creek or Smith Creek, to treks with thousands of feet in elevation gain to explore alpine lakes and mountains. Rugged and mostly unmaintained trails take off in all directions—and a handful of trailheads are pretty easy to get to from Big Creek Lodge. Feel free to arrange for a ride to a trailhead with the Big Creek crew. Journey to Logan Lake or Lick Lake for alpine views surrounded by mountains, or explore many other areas full of natural beauty and historical insight. From Elk Summit trailhead, peak baggers can even climb Mount Elridge or Wolf Fang Peak to take in the astounding views. Relatively easy by “peak bagging” standards, these climbs require no technical equipment, with elevation gains between 500 to 1500 feet.

Find Idaho Trails »
The ultimate pathfinder for motorized and non-motorized trails statewide, Trails.Idaho.gov gives you an amazing overview of your exploration options here. Just plug in “Big Creek, ID” and see where the nearby trails take you.

Biking

Mountain bike and helmet use come gratis when you rent a room at the Lodge or Cabin. Mostly bikeable on the dirt roads surrounding Big Creek, they’re a great way to get around and even access the trailheads 2 to 3 miles away from the Lodge. Take a trip a mile down the road to Edwardsburg—a historic mining town with 30 or so privately-owned cabins still in commission. Or visit a historic cemetery off Logan Creek, and the remains of mines nearby. Keep in mind that within the boundaries of the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, biking is not permitted.

Find Idaho Trails »
The ultimate pathfinder for motorized and non-motorized trails statewide, Trails.Idaho.gov gives you an amazing overview of your exploration options here. Just plug in “Big Creek, ID” and see where the nearby trails take you.

Horseback Riding

COMING IN 2019. Horses graze in the pasture nearby Big Creek Lodge all summer long. If you’d like to bring in your own horses, pasture your stock at Big Creek for $10/night/head. Elk Creek Outfitters offers half- and full-day summer horseback riding trips for Big Creek guests. Fuel up with a hearty breakfast at the Lodge, and we’ll give you a sack lunch or snacks to take with you. Journey on a winding four-mile trail to Lick Lake (a half-day trip) for beautiful forest and mountain views. Or head out to Logan Lake (a full-day trip) high above the Big Creek Canyon. Even try your hand at fishing at either alpine lake destination. (Good news: the fish often cooperate.)

Fishing

A major tributary to the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, Big Creek and surrounding waterways host a healthy population of large native trout, as do the numerous lakes in the vicinity. Grab a state fishing license and your gear before you leave, then get out on the water when you get here. A hike or horseback ride to Lick or Logan Lake also opens up fishing access. In mid to late summer, you can witness the natural wonder of massive Chinook salmon returning from the ocean to their native waterways to spawn.

Hunting

In this remote landscape, wildlife abounds. Elk. Mule deer. Sheep. Moose. Bear. Wolves. Mountain goats. Chukar. Grouse. Get a hunting license to track down your big or small game prize in the Frank Church Wilderness, and cap off your experience with a stay at Big Creek Lodge. For a full-service guided hunt, contact Mile High Outfitters, and let them know you’d like to stay at Big Creek.

OHV

While we don’t have ATVs to rent or ride, Big Creek Lodge makes a great lunch break or overnight stopping point for off-highway vehicles doing the famed loop from McCall (where you can rent OHVs) to Warren to Big Creek to Yellow Pine and back. The Idaho Backcountry Discovery Route—a legendary 1,250-mile ride that runs the length of the state—passes nearby Big Creek, so take a ¼ mile detour for a break, meal, showers, or stay at the Lodge.

Find Idaho Trails »
The ultimate pathfinder for motorized and non-motorized trails statewide, Trails.Idaho.gov gives you an amazing overview of your exploration options here. Just plug in “Big Creek, ID” and see where the nearby trails take you.

GUIDEBOOKS & HISTORY

Trails of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness – Margret Fuller

Idaho: A Climbing Guide – Tom Lopez

Fly Fishers Guide to Idaho – Ken Retallic & Rocky Barker

Valley County Idaho: Prehistory to 1920 – Shelton Woods

Valley County: The Way It Was – Duane Petersen

Bound for the Backcountry – Richard Holm

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