Riggins & White Bird

September 12, 2023

The communities of White Bird and Riggins lie deep within river canyon walls.  Life in these communities center around the rivers and the abundant recreational opportunities that surround them.  

Riggins offers access to the legendary Salmon, the River of No Return and whitewater capital. Just to the west is the famed Hells Canyon and the Snake River that runs through it. This unique mix of rivers, streams, high mountain lakes, rugged canyons, alpine meadows, and forests offers a variety of wildlife, wildflowers, and wilderness access.

In any season Riggins offers you the facilities to enjoy a myriad of recreational opportunities. Many commercial outfitters are located right here to guide and assist you in your Idaho adventure. Riggins is also the host to many annual events that are fun for the whole family. Enjoy the atmosphere of a small town, awesome beauty of the canyon, and good old western hospitality. 

Don’t miss one of the few accesses to Hells Canyon—Pittsburg Landing near White Bird provides a boat launch ramp into Hells Canyon, the deepest river gorge in North America. A campground, restrooms, and trail head complete the site. The scenic mountain road from Hwy 95 to Pittsburg Landing is graveled and maintained year-round with some steep pitches near the top. It offers spectacular views into the center of Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. The Pittsburg Landing hike, best in spring or fall, takes you up the river 6 miles to Historic Kirkwood Ranch. This is a popular scenic drive access for visitors as well as recreationalists.

Find Lodging near Riggins and White Bird

There's plenty of history and culture here as well. The first battle of the Nez Perce Flight of 1877 took place on White Bird hill, just above the town of White Bird. An interpretive shelter on Highway 95 South describes the battle. There is also a trailhead with a self-guided hike on River Road at the bottom of the battlefield.

You can even hop on a guided jet boat tour in White Bird and visit Hells Canyon, North America's deepest river gorge. It's a spectacular experience with wildlife, outrageous tales of miners and ranchers, wild rapids, steep canyon walls, and white sandy beaches for swimming.

Riggins is the gateway to the Seven Devils Mountain range and Heavens Gate Lookout.


Drift boat fishing on the Salmon River © Frank's Photos

This is a beautiful season in the Salmon River canyon. The fall colors are spectacular and the temperatures are perfect for exploring. Fishing on the Salmon River is phenomenal! Fall steelhead and Chinook salmon are plentiful. Hike into the backcountry and fish one of the area's alpine lakes stocked with bass and trout before the snow flies.


Heaven's Gate Lookout

The winter season is mild in the Salmon River canyon. The Salmon River steelhead fishing continues typically October through April unless the river freezes. Being at the base of the Seven Devils Mountain Range provides the perfect opportunity to access loads of snow. Snowmobiling, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are popular.


Summer brings loads of fun and outdoor recreational opportunities. The Salmon River of No Return is well-known for epic whitewater trips. Outfitters offer 1/2-day to multi-day experiences. There's nothing like experiencing the pristine beauty of the Salmon River on a multi-day trip. The whitewater and rugged canyon beauty is unmatchable. And, when night comes and the stars come out, you're left speechless. Outfitters take care of cooking delicious meals, setting up your tent, and provide the best experience.

Several wilderness areas are located nearby offering plenty of opportunities for hiking, camping, and getting away from it all.

The more than 200,000 acres of Hells Canyon Wilderness is accessed 10 miles west of Riggins. High mountain peaks (Seven Devils), canyon rim-rocks, and breaktaking views offer quiet solitude.

The Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area is composed of steep, rugged mountains, deep canyons, and whitewater rivers. The more than 2 million acres comprises the largest contiguous wilderness area in the lower 48 states.

The Gospel Hump Wilderness (a little over 2 hours drive time from Riggins) is over 200,000 acres of rugged country where no motorized vehicles are allowed.

Main Events

February - Women With Bait Fishing Tournament

April - Salmon River Jet Boat Races

May - Sacred Salmon Ceremony | Riggins Rodeo

June - Big Water Blow Out | Rattle the Canyon Music Fest | White Bird Days & Rodeo

July - Hot Summer Nights



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