South Fork Lodge

Swan Valley, Idaho

Jul 15, 2005
Outside Magazine
South Fork Lodge

A minor waterfall along Idaho's South Fork River    Photo: courtesy, South Fork Lodge

When Imax filmmakers wanted to re-create Lewis and Clark's journey to commemorate its bicentennial, they needed a western river that looked like it had in 1804. Idaho's South Fork of the Snake—a crystal torrent cutting through sheer canyons and stands of glorious cottonwoods—fit the bill. For location scouts and vacationers alike, the most luxurious base to enjoy all this prehistoric purity is the sun-splashed South Fork Lodge.

ROOM & BOARD: Imagine a quaint farmhouse, its cedar barn sitting drowsily by the river, a zinc-plated silo reflecting the blue Idaho skies. Add eight cozy rooms with private terraces (ten grander options are housed in two log cabins)—not to mention a cathedral-ceilinged dining room, with vistas of the river, where one can enjoy a lobster-and-Brie quesadilla with a French sauvignon blanc—and you've summed up this A-list resort.

OUT THE BACK DOOR: Hire a guide from the lodge's fly shop to take you to South Fork Canyon, casting a rod as you go while bug larvae drop in golden cascades from the cliffs above.

DETAILS: From $248 per person per night, including all meals; 877-347-4735,

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