Picture the Payette

Dreaming of summer plans? Want a picture view before choosing your campground destination this season?  Not only will you get an idea of what the campground offers, these photo pages will provide you with photos of some of the interest points in the area.  Nearby trailheads, views from the trails, and favorite spots on each of the Payette's diverse Ranger Districts.  Please remember that the photo pages will take longer to download, but we promise a picture is worth a thousand words.

District Spotlight:

Krassel Ranger District

Photo of a view looking up the South Fork Salmon River.The Krassel Ranger District Office is located in the city of McCall, Idaho – population 2,500. The District employs approximately 10 people year-round and expands to approximately 60 employees in the summer. These employees work in fire management, fisheries management, hydrologic management, recreation and wilderness management.

The Krassel Ranger District covers 1.2 million acres, with 400,000 acres general forest and 800,000 acres of the Frank Church- River of No Return Wilderness. The elevation of the District ranges from a low of 2,400 feet at Mackay Bar to a high of 9,545 feet at Mormon Mountain. Temperatures range from -20 degrees in winter in McCall to 105 degrees at the Krassel Work Center during the summer. McCall area summer daytime temperatures are in the low 80’s to mid 90’s with cooling night time temperatures in the lower 40’s to mid 50’s. The District does not have a lot of roads. Travelling across the district requires a full day. The Krassel Work Center is a 1.5 to 2.5 hour drive from McCall. The community of Yellowpine Idaho is a 2 hour drive with Big Creek Idaho being a 3 -3.5 hour drive.

The district also maintains three historic fire lookouts at Sheepeater, Williams Peak, and Miners Peak.  The South Fork of the Salmon River is the dominant feature of the non-Wilderness portion of the district. The SFSR is home to wild and hatchery bred Chinook Salmon which draws thousands to its shores every summer.  The "South Fork" has a storied past involving Native Americans, miners, Chinese traders, River Runners, and early homesteaders who settled along its banks. 

There are six back country airstrips on the Krassel Ranger District. These airstrips provide access to wilderness and back country sites located in Chamberlain Basin, Cold Meadows, Cabin Creek, Big Creek, Soldiers Bar, Reed Ranch and Krassel Work Center

Much of the District is inaccessible by vehicle because of snow until the first of July – some higher areas cannot be reached until after the middle of July. Timber varieties include ponderosa and Lodgepole pine, western larch (tamarack), Engelmann spruce, Douglas fir, and alpine fir.

Wild animals include elk, deer, black bear, cougar, bobcat, coyote, wolf, porcupine, skunk, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, wolverine, weasel, marten, chipmunk, squirrels (ground & tree), badger, cottontail rabbits, fox, beaver, muskrat, pika, and deer mouse. Fish includes spring and fall Chinook salmon, Steelhead and Bull Trout. Local creeks and mountain lakes contain cutthroat trout and, golden trout.

Recreational activities on the district include camping, hiking, backpacking, hunting, fishing, rockhounding, horseback riding, boating, canoeing, berry picking, mushroom gathering, photography, and bird watching. There are seven developed campgrounds on the District. There are also many undeveloped sites suitable for camping. 976 miles of trail attract day hikers, motocycle enthusiasts, kayakers, multi-day backpackers and many others. The district offers a more backcountry experience as compared to its neighbors to the west and hosts several outfitters and guides that offer guided explorations and hunting trips through some of the most stunning and rugged terrain that Idaho has to offer.