Featuring a fantastic campground and easy access to the Salmon River, Morgan Bar Recreation Site is a wonderful place to call home on your next RV getaway. Located near the Montana border around six miles north of the town called Salmon, Morgan Bar Recreation Site is a unique BLM area since it just consists of the campground, which also requires a fee to use. The campground is well worth the few dollars that it costs to use it and will allow you to set up a camp to come home to after you go out and explore the area.
One of the most popular recreational hubs in the area is the Salmon River that is located behind the site. The river is a fantastic fishing destination, but it can also be used for boating and swimming during the summertime. Picnicking is another great way to enjoy the warm days in Idaho, but when the winter months arrive you will have to put the picnic rug away and think about doing some snowshoeing or skiing.
If you are interested in exploring more of the BLM destinations within the area there is more land close to the Morgan Bar Recreation Site that is under BLM control, along with three day-use areas and two other recreation sites. Morgan Bar Recreation Site is open all year round.
Getting to and from Morgan Bar Recreation Site is fairly straightforward since it is only six miles from Salmon. Morgan Bar Recreation Site is located just off Diamond Creek Road, but you will have to travel down a short gravel road in order to get to the campground. This shouldn't be too hard to access, but if it has been raining you may need to take it slow since the road could be washed out.
Apart from Salmon, there aren't many other towns located close-by that will have any supplies. You will have to travel down to Challis (around 65 miles away) or head to some larger cities, such as Missoula (around 138 miles away) or Butte (around 146 miles away).
During the wintertime there can be very large snowfalls, so be prepared for delays and road closures if you choose to travel during this time. We recommend that you call the park office if you are planning to visit the Morgan Bar Recreation Site during winter so that you can get confirmation that it will be accessible.
Since Morgan Bar Recreation Site just contains the campground there are no other parking facilities. If you are just visiting for the day to use the river you are welcome to keep your RV parked here, but you will have to pay the day-use fee.
The main attraction to the Morgan Bar Recreation Site is the campground, which is a great facility suitable for RV's of all shapes and sizes. Unlike most of the campgrounds that are operated by the BLM, there is a small fee that you will have to pay in order to stay here, but it will be worth it.
Despite being a fairly large campground there are only eight sites to choose from, so your stay should be fairly quiet and peaceful. All of the sites within the campground are primitive, so there are no water, electric, or sewer hookups. You do have access to well-kept pit toilets and there are also picnic tables, shade shelters, and a fire pit located at each site. Pets and generator use are allowed and you should be able to get reception on all of the major networks.
All of the sites at Morgan Bar are available on a first-come, first-served basis only, so plan to arrive early in the day if you want the best chance of securing a specific site. We recommend staying at site number four if you are able to since it will have a lovely river view. The campground is open all year round.
Another BLM managed camping option within the Salmon area is the Shoup Bridge Recreation Site. This campground is smaller than the one at Morgan Bar and is located around 12 miles south. Mostly used by anglers and RV travelers, the campground is relatively shady thanks to the large cottonwood trees and it is known for being a clean and quiet place to stay.
There are only five campsites to choose from if you wish to stay here, and like Morgan Bar, they are all primitive with no electrical, water, or sewer hookups available. The campground also features picnic tables, but there may not be fire rings at each site.
The campground at the Shoup Bridge Recreation Site is available on a first-come, first-served basis all year round, but during the wintertime, you may have trouble accessing it depending on the snowfall level. If you get to the campground early enough we recommend choosing one of two sites tucked beneath the trees that are located directly next to the river.
During the warmer months, there's no better way to cool off than by going for a swim in the Salmon River. The river is located right behind the Morgan Bar Recreation Site and it is perfect for a quick dip since the water will be quite cold.
Please note that there are no lifeguards on duty in the river and to be wary of strong currents when swimming as the river can sometimes be unpredictable.
For those interested in exploring some of the local environment that surrounds the Morgan Bar Recreation Site you are in luck. There is a mile-long looped trail that starts here that will take you through the wetlands area and provide you with a fantastic view of the Beaverhead Mountains.
Since this area used to be the homestead of the Morgan Family (who the park is named after) you may even see some of the remains from their time living here, including an old orchard.
The Morgan Bar Recreation Site is one of the many BLM operated recreation sites or day-use areas within the greater Salmon region that is perfect for picnicking at. While there aren't any fancy amenities such as electric BBQs, the Morgan Bar Recreation Site will be the perfect place to throw down a picnic blanket and watch the river go by.
If you have a larger group there is one big shade shelter that is equipped with picnic tables that you are free to use. You can't make any reservations for the shelter, so it is available on a first-come, first-served basis only.
The area in and around the 12 acre Morgan Bar Recreation Site is a fantastic birding destination thanks to its location near the river and wetlands. There are plenty of birds for you to spot during your visit, including mallard, common merganser, and Canada goose.
You may also get to see Bald Eagles in the area all year round if you are lucky! For more information on birding in the area, we recommend contacting the Salmon Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Love to get out on the water? If so, you will be pleased to know that there are some great boating opportunities to be had on the Salmon River. Along with being located right on the river, the Morgan Bar Recreation Site is also equipped with a boat launch so you can have easy access to the waterway.
Kayaking is the most popular boating activity, but you may also see smaller fishing boats during your visit. If you do plan on going boating, remember to bring your own watercraft as no reservations will be available.
Another great activity to do on the Salmon River is to pack your fishing pole and try land a big one. Fishing is a great way to spend a relaxing day, and you will have plenty of great spots to try and catch some fish if you visit the Morgan Bar Recreation Site.
Fishing is the most popular recreational activity in the area, and common species caught include various species of steelhead, trout, and of course, salmon. Make sure you have a current fishing license before casting a line and remember to dispose of fishing line properly.