Harriman State Park, Idaho

2009 Visitors: 78,000.

Apr 20, 2010
Outside Magazine
Idaho's Snake River

Idaho's Snake River    Photo: Photograph by Tom Montgomery/Getty

Main Drag: Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
2009 Visitors: 2,580,081
The Rockefellers may have chosen Jackson Hole for their personal retreat–cum–public park, but the Guggenheims and Harrimans recognized a good thing in 1902, when they and other investors started buying up 11,000 acres on the west side of the Tetons. Today, that land—Idaho's Harriman State Park—hosts eight miles of a justifiably famous spring creek, the Henrys Fork of the Snake. The Ranch, as it's called, is known for clear water and spot-and-stalk dry-fly fishing for 22-inch rainbows—especially in mid-June, when the green drake hatch is on. If you haven't fished spring creeks before, get a guide ($490 for two people; henrysforkanglers.com) and plan to wade. Off the water, Harriman offers 24 miles of nonmotorized trails and one horsepacking outfitter (half-day trips from $50; dryridge.com). Unfortunately, the park recently had a close call: Governor Butch Otter proposed dissolving Idaho's entire Parks and Recreation Department but soon relented under public pressure. I bet he fishes with worms. BEST CAMPSITE: The Forest Service's Riverside Campground ($12 per night; 208-652-7442), off Highway 20 on the downstream edge of the park. BEST LODGE: The park features three restored historic cabins for group rental (from $165 per night; 208-558-7368).