Before You Go
The Snow Peak WMA is a large non-motorized area along the upper North Fork of the Clearwater River drainage. Forest Service roads along the St. Joe River, and coming out of Avery, ID, provide access to 50 miles of trail in the area. Most people hike or ride horses to travel within the WMA. It is open year-round to the public, however, it is only accessible from late June until mid-November due to snow.
Panhandle Regional Office
Primary Purpose: Fish and wildlife habitat; backcountry hunting and fishing
Habitat: Conifer forest
- 32,292 acres
- Shoshone County
- Established in 1990
things to know
Snow Peak WMA is non-motorized only.
Forest Service roads along the St. Joe River, and coming out of Avery, ID, provide access to trailheads for Snow Peak WMA.
Visitors can rent the historic Surveyors Lookout, which is owned and managed by the US Forest Service.
There is a 14-day limit on camping on the WMA.
Exploring Snow Peak WMA is by foot or horseback only. The vision for the WMA is to protect and manage wildlife habitats and to provide high quality non-motorized backcountry recreational opportunities. Fifty miles of trail provide hunters, anglers, backpackers, horseback riders, and hikers access to explore this rugged WMA. Volunteers actively maintain the most popular trails.
Mountain goats commonly seen near the Snow Peak Lookout make it a popular destination for wildlife watchers and photographers. Other wildlife species commonly seen include elk, mule deer, black bear, moose, forest grouse, pileated woodpeckers, and cutthroat trout. The WMA provides important winter range habitat for elk and deer.
Elk is the most sought after big game species on the WMA. Hunters also pursue white-tailed deer, mule deer, moose, black bear, mountain lion, and wolf on the WMA.
All three species of native forest grouse - ruffed grouse, dusky grouse, and spruce grouse - occur on the WMA.
Be sure to check Idaho’s Seasons and Rules for up-to-date hunting information.
Streams and rivers in the WMA support populations of native westslope cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, mountain whitefish, and bull trout.
Trapping is allowed on the WMA, however, access to the area from mid-November until late June is challenging due to snow.
Trappers must register with the Panhandle Regional Office or WMA staff before setting out traps on the WMA.
Snow Peak is a destination for wildlife viewing, especially for those hoping to catch a glimpse of mountain goats in and around the WMA.
Approximately 50 miles of trail are found within the borders of the WMA.
Huckleberry picking is a great activity at the higher elevations in late July and August.
Unimproved campsites are available. There is a 14-day camping limit on the WMA.
Campers can rent the historic Surveyors Lookout with views of the WMA and access to nearby trailheads. Lookouts are owned and managed by the US Forest Service.
Snow Peak WMA has approximately 50 miles of maintained trails that are great for horseback riding.The trailheads at Bathtub Meadow (Trail 55) and Sawtooth Saddle (Trails 40/100) have feeding troughs and hitching posts. Sawtooth Saddle also has a corral.