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The Place

Click on the map to zoom. Samuel Ross map.

The Wild Clearwater Country is a significant part of the traditional hunting, fishing and gathering grounds of the Nimiipuu or Nez Perce Tribe. It is also the northern half of the “Big Wild,” which contains the largest stretch of remaining roadless and undeveloped wildlands left in the Lower 48. Besides containing all or portions of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, Gospel-Hump Wilderness and the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, the Clearwater also contains 1.5 million acres of undeveloped wildlands crucial for large carnivores, anadromous fish, and endemic plants. Places like Weitas Creek, Pot Mountain, Kelly Creek, Cove-Mallard, and Meadow Creek, along with many other irreplaceable roadless wildlands, deserve permanent protection.

Wild Clearwater Country is a place of dense, moist forests of ancient fir and cedar, parted by crisp, cool streams. It’s a special place where you can listen to swift water flowing through intimate, deeply-cut canyons, and you can smell aromatic, spacious stands of ponderosa pine climbing the ridges above. It’s a landscape where gray wolves, wolverines, lynx, bears, and mountain goats roam far-reaching ridge tops and lush, river-bottom valleys. Unlike many other places, the Clearwater still allows individuals to immerse themselves in solitude and inhale the soft breath of untrammeled wildness. Only Alaska has more ecologically intact and wild country.

This is the Wild Clearwater Country – the land and water feeding the Clearwater Basin of North Central Idaho. This irreplaceable landscape lies between the forests of the St. Joe River to the north, and the rapids of the Salmon River to the south, with the spine of the Bitterroot Divide and the border with Montana to the east.

Learn about the Inland Temperate Rainforest.