Riverside Campground, Idaho

On July 9, 2022, my wife and I left for Riverside Campground on the Henry’s Fork River. We’ve stayed in this campground but never before in site A16. This site is deep and wide enough to put the trailer at a significant angle blocking views from the campground road to our table and tent area. The only downside to this site is that the tall trees between the trailer and the river blocked enough sunlight to make solar useless. However, with our new batteries and inverter/charger, we have several days of energy and can charge the batteries quickly when depleted. We ran the air conditioning several times on this trip and then simply charged the batteries for a couple of hours at a convenient time. So despite the shade, the place was lovely, and we enjoyed our eight-night stay.

Some friends joined us for most of this trip. Together, we floated the Henry’s Fork River from the boat launch below Big Springs, at 44.497066, -111.271497, down to the highway 20 bridge. The float is simple and very slow. Relaxed paddling results in a two-hour float, while just floating might take three hours. We pulled our kayaks out at the bridge and had a nice lunch at Cafe Sabor, an excellent Mexican restaurant. While on the river, we saw a mother and baby moose standing on the bank. As we carefully approached, the two launched into the water just downstream. We quietly slipped by, hoping to avoid angering the mother. Unfortunately, we came within 20′ of the mother, and she became slightly irritated but remained where she was as we slipped downstream.

On two occasions, we traveled north from our campsite to Cliff and Wade Lakes in Montana. On the first trip, we launched our kayaks from the north shore of Cliff Lake, 44.793543, -111.557453, and paddled for a couple of hours down into a small cove near the southeast corner of the lake, 44.764693, -111.539338. This area has a small boat launch, a small dock, and several small motor boats. We had lunch on the shore and then paddled back to the north beach. The lake is quite clear and has a beautiful turquoise color where it is shallow over the white sand bottom.

On our second trip to Cliff Lake, we went to the Wilderness Edge Resort to see about renting one of those motor boats we saw the previous day. The owner, Mark, was very kind, showed us to the boats, gave us some brief instructions, and sent us on our way. We fished for four or five hours, had our lunch, swam a bit, and returned to settle our bill. Our five-hour jaunt cost us about $65. We didn’t catch any fish, but we had fun. We escaped the lake just in time to miss a significant thunderstorm – good timing.

We decided to fish the Madison River, near the Three Dollar Bridge, on the third trip to Montana. We got a late start and found ourselves at the river about noon. Others were leaving, claiming the fishing had slowed. We went down into the water and immediately caught two fish each. Then we spent several more hours not having any luck at all. We should arrive earlier and give up about noon. The river was much larger than I expected, but it was beautiful and fun to fish.

We spent eight nights at Riverside and never fished in Idaho; that’s funny. We had a great trip playing with friends, eating good food, enjoying lake and river fishing, and just being away. We look forward to fishing the Madison River again and floating a faster portion of the Henry’s Fork River.

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