About the Forest

Caribou-Targhee National Forest

Caribou-Targhee National Forest is located in the states of Idaho and Wyoming, with a small section in Utah.  The forest extends over 2.63 million acres.  To the east the forest borders Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park and Bridger-Teton National Forest.  Most of the forest is a part of the 20 million acre Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

Caribou and Targhee National Forests were combined from original forest lands created in 1891.  Two designated wilderness areas are located in the easternmost sections of the forest.  The 123,451 acre Jedediah Smith Wilderness is known for karst limestone formations and has many caves and provides excellent views of the less often seen west face of the Teton peaks.  The smaller 10, 715 acre Winegar Hole Wilderness was set aside primarily to protect prime grizzly bear habitat.

While western sections of the forest have a mixture of sagebrush and grasses, the higher elevations in the east support lodgepole pine, and numerous species of spruce and fir.  In addition to grizzlies most of the major megafauna associated with Yellowstone National Park can be found in Caribou-Targhee National Forest.  Black bear, wolf, elk, moose, mule deer, bison, grizzly bears, mountain lion, and pronghorn have all been seen on forest lands.  An active peregrine falcon recovery program was begun to return this bird species to some of their ancestral range.  Native cutthroat trout and other trout are found in the streams and lakes and the forest is considered one of the best fishing areas in the world for cutthroat trout.

Dozens of campgrounds and 1,600 miles of trails allow access to much of the forest. 


Landscape Diversity

The Caribou-Targhee National Forest is a very diverse forest with 16 ecological subsections.  We are located in the Greater Yellowstone Area which is one of the largest intact ecosystems in the earth's temperate zone.


Curlew National Grassland

Curlew windmill

The Curlew National Grassland comprises 47,000 acres of public land.  This grassland is administered by the Forest Service, and managed to promote and demonstrate grassland agriculture and sustained-yield management of forage, fish and wildlife, water and recreation resources.

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