Get Ready For 2024 Summer Adventure: Top 15 Things To Do Swan Valley Idaho

Nestled in one of Idaho’s scenic valleys, you will find a summer playground filled with adventure and relaxation in nature. Your top 2024 Things To Do Swan Valley, Idaho, is here, with something for everyone this summer.  Swan Valley is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and those seeking a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, with its breathtaking landscapes, abundant wildlife, and many recreational activities.  Swan Valley has it all, whether you’re a thrill-seeker craving adventure or simply looking to unwind amidst nature’s splendor. Here’s your official summer 2024 guide to making the most of your visit:

  1. Hike Palisades Creek Trail to the Lower Palisades Lake

Hike Palisades Creek Trail to the Lower Palisades Lake.  This is an out-and-back trail from the base of the Palisades Creek campground to the West side of the Lower Palisades Lake.  It is a moderate hiking trail that is about a 14-mile round-trip hike.  The trail is mostly an easy hike with a steep section right at the end of the lake, but well worth the view.  Wildlife frequents the area:  Watch for a glimpse of deer, elk, cougar, mountain goats, and black bears.

  1. Float the Southfork of the Snake

Float the Southfork of the Snake on a Drift Boat Fly-Fishing Trip.  Put-ins for boats are in three convenient locations in the valley, with awe-inspiring scenery along the way.  Palisades Dam, Irwin Bridge Boat Ramp, and Spring Creek Bridge are the most convenient locations.  The takeout goes to the farthest end of the valley to the Conant Boat Ramp takeout off of Highway 26.  

  1. Take a Scenic Drive

Indulge in the beauty of Swan Valley with a scenic drive from Palisades Dam to the Spring Creek Bridge. The drive parallels the Southfork of the Snake River, following the backside of Fall Creek. Pause at the overlook on Fall Creek Route for a scenic lunch and panoramic views of Swan Valley and the Southfork of the Snake River. Keep your eye out for deer, moose, elk, and bald eagles. 

  1. Enjoy Lunch with a View

Grab a picnic lunch from River Retreat Lodge and enjoy a scenic outdoor view while indulging in a gourmet meal. Visit Falls Creek Road Lookout or even stop along the 70 miles of shoreline of Palisades Creek.

  1. Visit Fall Creek Falls

With an elevation of 5,280 feet and a 60-foot cascade over a cliff into the Snake River, you will not want to miss the opportunity to explore Fall Creek Falls and take a refreshing swim at the base (in the summer), or photograph a beautiful sunset or sunrise. Accessing the falls is easy. From US-26 E, exit onto the Snake River-Palisades Road (gravel road) and proceed 1.4 miles to a wide parking area on the road. It is a short walking distance to the falls. 

  1. Hike Big Elk Creek Trail

The Big Elk Creek Trail, an approximately 11-mile roundtrip trail, is situated in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, spanning southeastern Idaho, western Wyoming, and northern Utah. It is most accessible from July through September and is dog-friendly. You will discover streams, creeks, and possible wildlife viewing, gaining 780 feet in elevation on the full round-trip hike.

  1. Try Paddleboarding or Kayaking

With a picturesque backdrop, Palisades Reservoir is idyllic for paddleboarding or kayaking. River Retreat Lodge can point you in the right direction for paddleboard and kayak rentals in Swan Valley, Idaho, and Alpine, Wyoming.

  1. Motorboat Ride and Water Skiing

For those craving more excitement, rent a boat (or bring your own) out on Palisades Reservoir and enjoy exhilarating water skiing or a lovely cruise during the summer. With over 16,000 acres and a quieter lake, you have plenty of space to roam about!

  1. Horseback Trail Ride

Explore the scenic banks of West Pine Creek with a horseback trail ride, offering a unique perspective of Pine Creek Pass on the East side of Swan Valley.

  1. Attend the Summertime Swan Valley Art Fair

Immerse yourself in the local culture by joining the community for the yearly Summertime Swan Valley Art Fair in June. Hosted by Swan Valley American Legion Post 97, this event showcases the region’s vibrant arts scene.

  1. Celebrate the 4th of July

Join in the festivities with the Swan Valley community during the 4th of July celebration, complete with fireworks, a 1,000 Golf Ball Drop (literally 1,000 golf balls are dropped from a helicopter!), and family-friendly fun at Irwin Park in nearby Irwin, Idaho.

  1. Shop Local

Support local businesses and browse unique items at the Swan Valley General Store and mini-mall, located at the heart of the valley. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the area’s renowned fly fishing gear and accessories.

  1. Mountain Biking

For outdoor mountain biking enthusiasts, tackle the Echo Canyon Trail, one of Swan Valley’s best-loved blue trails. Enjoy eight miles of exhilarating terrain through forests and meadows, perfect for mountain biking enthusiasts of all skill levels. Echo Canyon Trail is approximately 7.5 miles and has a climb of 1,605 feet and a descent of 1,996 feet.

  1. ATV Adventure

Rent a locally available ATV and embark on the moderately challenging South Fork Snake River OTV Trail. Ride to your heart’s content along this 14-mile trek, exploring the rugged beauty of the region. Ask River Retreat Lodge about ATV adventures.

  1. Relax at River Retreat Lodge

End your adventure-filled day with a stay at River Retreat Lodge, nestled near the city of Irwin. Unwind with great food, friendly service, and the promise of the best night’s sleep in the heart of Swan Valley. You will love the expansive cabin-style rooms. River Retreat is great for couples, families, and friends traveling together. Tour the rooms.

Discover Swan Valley, Idaho. Idaho’s hidden treasure is located minutes from Jackson Hole, WY, and Idaho Falls, ID—Swan Valley is a convenient drive-to getaway destination from Salt Lake City, Boise, and Helena. Discover the best things to do Swan Valley, Idaho, this summer with River Retreat Lodge