Can You Camp Anywhere in Sawtooth National Forest?

Sawtooth National Forest is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. With more than 2.5 million acres of public lands available for exploration, this forest is a must-see for anyone looking to experience wilderness in its most natural state. The Sawtooth National Forest encompasses the Sawtooth Mountains, the White Cloud Mountains, and the Salmon River high country. It also includes many rivers and streams, as well as lakes and reservoirs providing ample opportunities for fishing, boating, camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities.

The Sawtooth National Forest is divided into five Ranger Districts with each district having designated camping areas open to the public. Each district has its own set of regulations that govern camping so it’s important to check these before planning your trip. Generally speaking, you are able to camp anywhere on National Forest lands but there are certain restrictions and guidelines that must be followed in order to ensure the safety of everyone involved.

If you’re looking to camp outside of a designated campground or area then you will need to obtain a free permit from the Ranger District Office.

This permit will allow you to camp anywhere on public lands within the boundaries of the national forest as long as you follow all regulations set forth by each ranger district. You will also need to make sure that any fires are kept small and contained and that all trash is disposed of properly.

In addition to camping in designated areas or obtaining a permit for dispersed camping, there are also several backcountry cabins available throughout the forest that can be rented from private companies or from the US Forest Service itself. These cabins provide a unique way to experience wilderness without having to worry about setting up tents or building a fire every night.

Overall, camping in Sawtooth National Forest can be an incredibly rewarding experience for those who wish to get away from it all and experience nature at its finest. With plentiful opportunities for dispersed camping with a permit or renting out one of the many backcountry cabins available throughout the forest, there truly is something for everyone who wishes to explore this beautiful land.


Yes, you can camp anywhere in Sawtooth National Forest with a valid permit but it’s important to check with each district regarding their specific regulations before planning your trip. You can also rent out one of many backcountry cabins available throughout the forest if you want an even more unique wilderness experience.

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Jennifer Watson