National Forest has big summer plans for some recreation areas

Major improvements to campgrounds, trailheads, habitat and access roads are all on the docket this summer in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest.

Four particular construction projects start in the coming weeks and are aimed at improving recreational opportunities in the northern portions of eastern Idaho.

“The benefits of recreation are astounding,” said Kaye Orme, Caribou-Targhee National Forest recreation manager. “Not only does it have health values, but studies show communities are seeing extensive economic benefits associated with recreation as well.”

Orme said the National Forest is asking visitors to “please be patient with workers as delays and access limitations may occur during construction.”

Four larger projects include one in the Cave Falls area, one at the Trail Creek Trailhead (near Dubois), a habitat improvement project in Island Park/Ashton and access road rerouting at Packsaddle Lake.

The Cave Falls project will begin July 7 and is part of a multi-year project. The campground will be closed this summer and involve hauling in and graveling the Cave Falls Road. The campground will see major renovations.

The Trail Creek Trailhead is currently closed while the access road dries out. It is anticipated to open next week. The Forest Service enlarged the site and laid down gravel for better horse trailer access and parking. New signs were installed.

“Crews are fixing water drainage issues this week with new culvert installations and hope to have everything up and running once the road dries out,” Caribou-Targhee said.

The Caribou-Targhee plans several projects to restore habitat on about 28,000 acres in the Ashton-Island Park area this summer. Plans include restoring areas for wildlife use by planting trees, rehabilitating old roadbeds to look more natural, installing natural rock barriers, and replacing or bolstering gates. The new areas will be open for non-motorized use. For more details, go online to

The roads to the popular Packsaddle Lake west of Tetonia will get a makeover this summer. Portions of the roads and trail will be moved as well as the parking area.

“The rerouted roads and trails will meet recreation standards by reducing the steep grade and eliminating spring rain erosion and resource issues,” Caribou-Targhee said.

Find more details on these and other projects at


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