White Cloud Mountains, Idaho

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White Cloud Mountains

The White Cloud Mountain Range can be found north of Sun Valley in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area.

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  • Although open all year, most roads into the White Clouds close in the winter.
  • Summer and early autumn are good times to visit.
  • Activities include horseback riding, fishing, hiking, backpacking, wildflower and wildlife viewing.
  • This area is also home to a herd of 500 elk, mule deer, black bear, bighorn sheep and mountain goat.

Overview

The White Cloud Mountains are public land, managed by the US Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. The White Cloud Mountains of Idaho is an area where clear, sparkling rivers are born and mountain peaks rise above the mountain range to touch the sky.

The White Cloud Mountain Range is beautiful, rugged and characterized by high alpine lakes nestled in glacial formed basins. The area is spotted with lush green valleys, which are scattered with forests or covered with wildflowers. The tops of the mountain areas have many peaks over 9,000 feet, which provide fantastic scenic vistas, and in the deep valleys are found the wildlife that call this area home.

Location & Information

The White Cloud Mountains are part of the Rocky Mountains of the western United States, located in central Idaho, southeast of Stanley in Custer County. The range is located within the Sawtooth National Recreation Area.

Sawtooth National Recreation Area
Phone: (208) 727-5013
Season: All Year

Most roads into the White Clouds close in the winter. High passes may not be clear of snow until mid-June. Summer and early autumn are good times to visit. Some areas are open to cross country skiing in the winter. Expect cold temperatures at night no matter what the season.

Activities

The White Cloud Mountain Range is an excellent location for many types of recreation. People traveling in the White Clouds can enjoy horseback riding, fishing, hiking, backpacking, wildflower and wildlife viewing, and many other outdoor recreational activities.

Rivers & Fishing
The snowpack, which accumulated in the high mountains of the White Cloud Range, feeds the flow of four major rivers in Idaho: East Fork of the Salmon, North Fork of the Big Lost, Big Wood River and North Fork of the Big Wood River. These high mountain streams and lakes provide excellent fish habitat. Anglers in the area can expect to catch Brook Trout, Golden Trout, Arctic Grayling, Cutthroat Trout, Rainbow Trout, and Bull Trout.

Wildlife Viewing
This area is also home to a herd of 500 elk who call the area in the eastern White Clouds near Herd Creek their home. In addition to the elk, frequently spotted wildlife includes mule deer, black bear, bighorn sheep and mountain goat. Occasionally you will also see gray wolves and some cougar. There is a large variety of songbirds in the area and some rare birds can be spotted which include the northern goshawk, and owls.

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