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Cottonwood Recreation Site

Name: Cottonwood Recreation Site

Cottonwood Recreation Site is located north of Challis, Idaho, along the Salmon River. The hills around are sage brush covered and dry while the mountains above are forested. The campground itself has many cottonwood trees which provide much needed shade. The Salmon River runs very close to the site and many of the campsites are right on the river. The sites away from the river can be fairly secluded because they are sheltered by both the cottonwood trees and a rim of rock which runs along that side of the site. There is a 14 day stay limit and quiet time from 10 pm to 8 am.

Campsites: There are 14 tent / RV camping sites, each having a picnic table, barbecue stand, raised tent square, and a fire ring with an attached grill. The road and driveways are paved and overall, the grounds are well groomed. The area around the table and fire ring is graveled.

Host on Site: Yes.

Water: Potable water is available by a pressurized system.

Garbage Services: Garbage service is available.

Electricity Available: No.

Restroom: There are vault style outhouses with electric lights!

Handicap Accessible: This campground is very handicap accessible.

Firewood: There was no indication of firewood for sale at the campground so bring your own.

Pets: Pets are allowed but must be leashed.

Picnic Area: Cottonwood Recreation Site has a large nice picnic area with a group shelter, 2 horseshoe pits, and a large lawn. The group shelter can be reserved for your event by calling 208-879-6200.

Recreation: Recreation includes camping, fishing, and floating the river. Playing horseshoes and photography is always a great activity.

Fishing: Fishing the Salmon River is very popular. Check the regulations here.

Boating: There is a boat ramp at Cottonwood Recreation Site to access the river.

Swimming: If you are comfortable swimming in a river, I am sure you can find a swim hole.

Wildlife: We didn't see any wildlife other than a few birds but one could easily see deer, coyote, fox, or maybe a cottontail rabbit.

Additional Camping Opportunities: We have reviews for these nearby campgrounds; Morgan Creek Recreation Site, Little West Fork Campground and Bayhorse Recreation Site. If you are into free, there are free primitive camping sites 4.9 miles south of Cottonwood Recreation Site with a vault style outhouse. It is right on the river and dogs were running free.

Phone service: Cell reception is spotty along Hwy 93, but good in Challis where there would also be a pay phone.

Nearby Services: For camping supplies such as gas, food, pop and ice, I would drive to Challis, Idaho. Challis is 15.0 miles to the south.

RV Dumping Site: There is a RV dumping station at Cottonwood Recreation Site. There is a $3.00 fee.

Location/Driving instructions: Cottonwood Recreation Site is on Hwy 93 between Challis and Salmon Idaho. From Challis, drive north 15.0 miles. Cottonwood Recreation Site will be on your left. From Salmon, drive south 43.1 miles.

Coordinates: 44.667512,-114.078673

Elevation: 4680 Feet

Reviewed Date: July 2010

Fees And Reservations: Per the info signs, the only thing one can reserve here is the group picnic area. The campsites are $10.00 per day for 2010. The group shelter can be reserved for $25.00.

This information is accurate as of the date of the review.

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7 Day forecast for Cottonwood Recreation Site

High: 64°FHigh: 62°FHigh: 66°FHigh: 69°FHigh: 74°FHigh: 73°FHigh: 72°F
Partly cloudy throughout the day.Possible light rain in the afternoon and evening.Mostly cloudy throughout the day.Clear throughout the day.Clear throughout the day.Clear throughout the day.Clear throughout the day.
31% chance of rain73% chance of rain56% chance of rainNo precipation during the dayNo precipation during the dayNo precipation during the dayNo precipation during the day
Low: 40°F Low: 41°F Low: 41°F Low: 38°F Low: 37°F Low: 34°F Low: 34°F
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A few yrs back my husband and I visited this site. Yrs ago there was a house on that spot. My husband lived there with his family. He told me a lot of stories about the place. He was very impressed with what was done with the area. We went back in 2019 and it was still the same. I hope to make back again.

Very nice place. Well maintained. Nice camp host. 
Dennis I think is his name.  Had small fish after 
my bait fly fishing. No fish landed but you  can see 
Smaller fish in the river so there must be larger ones.
This place gets a A+ but no electric service and only 
Verizon phone service and it’s one bar out four.