The Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir is a BLM-managed lake and recreation area near Greys Landing in Idaho. Salmon Falls Creek itself is a tributary of the Snake River and has its main source high in the mountains of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. The reservoir was formed by the construction of the Salmon Falls Dam in the early 1900s and when at full capacity, the serpentine lake it creates meanders for almost seventeen miles through Twin Falls County. The dam is an impressive structure of curved concrete that when first built was one of the largest dams in the world.
The Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir is a popular place in Idaho for all water-oriented sports. It's well-renowned for the quality of its fishing and is one of the best spots in the state to fish for trophy-sized walleye. You can explore the reservoir by motorized boat, under sail, or by paddling a kayak or canoe. Off the reservoir waters and on Salmon Creek, there are whitewater opportunities from spring through to early summer too. Alongside the lake in Salmon Falls Creek Canyon there are multi-use trails for hiking and off-roading. Though there are no defined trails as such, quieter hikes, uninterrupted by motorized vehicles, can also be made around the shoreline and through the surrounding flatlands.
Around the lake, there are some flat, beach-like spots that are ideal for dispersed tent camping, but not accessible in an RV. Close to the dam, on the northernmost shore of the reservoir, the BLM manage a small recreation site, the Lud Drexler Park, which is where most RV campers at the Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir head to pitch up.
The US 93 runs adjacent to the entire length of the eastern shore of the Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir. Just south of the rural community of Amsterdam - Idaho, not Holland - you'll find the turn-off onto the 1500 North Road. Along this road, you'll come across the signs for the Lud Drexler Park which is on the north-east side of the lake. The signs will lead you a short way down Salmon Dam Road to the park entrance. The roads to the campground in the Lud Drexler Park are asphalted and maintained in a decent condition. The campground's internal roadways, however, are dirt-surfaced and can be tricky to negotiate after heavy rain.
If you're motoring up to the Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir for a spot of fishing after RV camping in the Great Basin National Park in Nevada, you can join the US 93 northbound in Mayors Place. From there you'll be on the road for about another four hours. If you've been camping out in the arid lands of the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve and are in need of some waterside chill-out time, you can hit the US 93 southbound in Shoshone and be at the lake in under an hour and a quarter.
Most RV campers heading to the Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir pitch up in the BLM-managed Lud Drexler Park. The campground is located on the north-east tip of the reservoir and easily accessed from Salmon Dam Road. The campground is a few miles drive from local stores and gas stations so fill up and stock up before you arrive. The closest large town is Idaho Falls which is a twenty-two-mile drive.
The campground at the Lud Drexler Park has twenty campsites for RVs. Most pitches are suitable for rigs up to twenty-five feet in length only, but there are a few that can accommodate rigs of thirty-five. The campground is open all year and operates on a first-come, first-served basis throughout the twelve months.
All of the campsites are primitive with no utility hook-ups, though they do have grills, sheltered picnic tables and fire rings. Pitches are quite close to each other so it's a case of love thy neighbor as there's not a lot of privacy. On-site amenities are basic but adequate. Drinking water is available and there are vault toilets and a dump station. Pets are welcome.
The Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir is an angler's paradise. It's great for both shore and boat fishing. There are lots of level areas around the shoreline where you can set up your tackle, plus there are several boat ramps where you can easily get your craft out onto the water.
Walleye is the one catch most fisherfolk aim for as the reservoir has plenty of trophy-sized examples, but anglers should be aware the bag limit is six. You could also hook some crappie, bluegill or bass. The reservoir is a popular spot in winter for ice fishing too and even though you might need to wrap up like an Eskimo, a decent catch is pretty much guaranteed.
The Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir is an immense lake to explore by kayak or canoe. It's best to set out early as there are often crosswinds blowing in the afternoon that can make paddling over the reservoir more like hard work than an enjoyable pastime.
Paddlers seeking more of an adrenaline thrill than the calm waters of the reservoir offer should head out onto Salmon Falls Creek from around April through to mid-June. That's when the increased flow produces class II and III rapids that are great challenges for intermediate and experienced kayakers.
RV campers pitched at the Lud Drexler Park who are traveling with their ATV in tow will want to head out of the campground and down to Salmon Falls Creek Canyon. Running through the base of the canyon they'll find a four and a half-mile long trail which is ideal for off-roading.
Expect a rough ride over some harsh terrain that's covered with loose rocks and sagebrush. It is a multi-use trail, though not one overly favored by hikers, so it's a good idea to keep an eye out for any pedestrian traffic.
The Minidoka National Historic Site is a memorial to the many Japanese-Americans who were incarcerated at the site during WW2. Take a stroll around the installation on a one and a half mile walking track to view the buildings where the prisoners were forced to eke out their daily life under the scrutiny of the guards in the watchtowers. The site is a sad and poignant reminder of how war can affect the lives of many.
Take a trip into Idaho Falls for a visit to the Museum of Idaho. The museum is dedicated to science and history and has multiple interactive exhibits to delight both adults and children.
Explore a cave, tipi or miner's cabin, marvel at the size of a mammoth or discover all you ever wanted to know about Darwin or dinosaurs. It's a fascinating place to spend a few hours.
If you're RV camping at the Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir with youngsters and are unlucky enough to experience bad weather, take them to Pocatello for some indoor time at the Outer Limits Fun Zone.
Challenge them to a game of laser tag, or a nine-hole game of mini-golf on a black light course, then show off your skills in the bowling alley. They'll love it so much they'll be wishing for rain every day.