Exploring North Central Idaho from River Dance Lodge

In the heart of North Central Idaho, nestled in the trees East of Kooskia, you’ll find River Dance Lodge. While many might consider it the ultimate ‘middle-of-nowhere’, ‘no-cell-service’ retreat for those eager to ‘get away from it all’, you’d be surprised to learn just how many hidden Idaho gems surround this riverside property. In every single direction, you’ll find adventure knocking at your door, and the only thing these adventures will cost you is gas and a packed lunch (which we will happily provide)!

A view of Dworshak Dam in Idaho

To the Northwest, just outside of Orofino, Idaho is Dworshak Dam. Only one hour away from River Dance Lodge, Dworshak is the third tallest dam in the United States and was completed in 1973. Have a picnic at the Big Eddy Recreation Site or Bruce Eddy’s Recreation Area, and take pictures from the top of the dam at Viewpoint Road or from the bottom from Northfork Drive.

Just 45 minutes to the South is Grangeville, Idaho, which is home to the remains of a Columbian Mammoth. Discovered in 1994, at nearby Tolo Lake, the bones are now on exhibit next to the Grangeville Chamber of Commerce at Eimers-Soltman Park.

Stunning views from Heaven's Gate in Hells Canyon National Forest

Almost two hours Southwest of River Dance Lodge, is Riggins, Idaho. Just South of the town is a  long dirt road up the mountain, through Hells Canyon National Forest, to a place called Heaven's Gate. At the top, you get an incredible 360 degree view of surrounding peaks, not just in Idaho, but in all of the surrounding states; Washington, Oregon & Montana. Snow often makes your long drive up the mountain difficult, which is why we recommend visiting July through September if at all possible.

Trail on the way into Jerry Johnson Hot Springs in the Clearwater National Forest

To the East, you’ll find Jerry Johnson Hot Springs. Part of the Clearwater National Forest, Jerry Johnson is a natural hot spring that requires a short (less than 1 mile), fairly flat, hike into the forest. There are three pools to choose from and it’s open from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm. This adventure is only one hour and twenty minutes from River Dance Lodge, and it’s a very popular location. We recommend going early if you want to avoid crowds.

Guided by River Dance Lodge staff or self-explored, find yourself on the Lewis and Clark trail, located just a few miles North of the lodge. Several points on this part of the trail were documented in Lewis & Clark’s journals.

Even closer than all of these adventures are the ones that River Dance Lodge can provide for you as add-ons for your stay at the lodge. All-inclusive options are available, with amazing guide-provided food, rafting adventures, hiking excursions and much more. Of course, options can be individually added to your Glamping or Cabining experience, so be sure to check out our seasonal rafting, kayaking, fly fishing, mountain biking and hiking opportunities.