The South Fork River Basin of the mighty Snake River begins high up in the Grand Tetons of Wyoming. As the river flows south and across the Idaho border, it is retained by Palisades Dam creating the 18-mile picturesque Palisades Reservoir. Several campgrounds and boat launch areas are located along Highway 26. The Palisades Reservoir and the South Fork of the Snake River provide the angler some of the most outstanding native cutthroat fishing in the west.
Waters that bubble from the ground or fall on the alpine slopes of Greater Yellowstone end up in the South Fork of the Snake River. Exiting from Palisades Dam the Snake River flows through lush and scenic cottonwood bottom lands abounding with wildlife including great blue herons, Canadian geese and resting bald eagles. Attractions include a scenic river drive, a sizable fishery, and 126 species of birds, including a large bald eagle population. Hiking, fishing, and floating are popular. The South Fork of the Snake River is considered to be Idaho’s number one unique wildlife ecosystem. For back country adventure, hike or travel by horse into the Lower and Upper Palisades Lakes. Both lakes are stocked with trout and provide great fishing.
For whitewater rafting, the Snake River provides wild and scenic high powered excitement. Licensed outfitters offer a variety of guided trips along the South Fork. A scenic raft trip down the South Fork can be a great way to spend some quiet reflective time. The South Fork from Palisades Dam to the confluence with the North Fork offers as many as six days fishing without fishing the same water twice. The South Fork Canyon is one of the most popular trips with excellent fishing and splendid scenery. Drift boats are popular for South Fork fishing trips. The South Fork is a native cutthroat fishery, but also holds rainbow and record breaking German Brown Trout.
The Byington Boat Access east of Ririe on the South Fork offers an attractive convenient boat launching area for boaters. A beautiful recreation area with cottonwoods surrounding it lies across from the access area. Many drift boaters use this access for their float trips. Larger boats, inboard, outboard and jets also use this beautiful boat launch area. In addition to Byington, the following boat ramps are accessible on the South Fork of the Snake River: Conant Valley, Cottonwood Landing, Irwin Access, Menan Bridge, Spring Creek, Twin Bridges Park and Wolf Flat. Spring Creek and Twin Bridges offer camping.Scenic River Drive, Whitewater Rafting, Wildlife