Discovering Palisades Reservoir
Countless remarkably scenic destinations in Idaho ultimately end up flying well below the radar of many in search of such phenomenal locations. Imagine the crystal clear waters of Palisades Reservoir that ideally reflect the bright blue colors of the sky above, encompassed by hillsides adorned by soaring lodgepole pine, spruce, aspen, and fir trees. This enchanting location is one that words can't easily justify the extent of the true beauty, and tranquility that may be found here. Picture a place where some of the earth's rarest natural colors come alive. This is a destination worth making the visit to in person, especially if you happen to be in the area. Find that extra time that you've been searching for to take a break and enjoy the world around you in a destination that will likely leave you refreshed and revitalized.
The reservoir sits in southeastern Idaho around 82 +/- highway miles from Idaho Falls and approximately 82 +/- from the Rexburg area. Palisades Reservoir rests in Bonneville County and is nestled amid the mountains of the Caribou-Targhee National Forest of Idaho with around 70 miles of shoreline, and prime beach locations waiting to be enjoyed. The reservoir stretches across an expansive 15,957.9 +/- acres near the borders of where Idaho and Wyoming meet. If there were ever a time, this would be a destination to embark on a brilliant adventure, of an ideal mix of land and water that you may not have known existed. There is nothing that beats reconnecting with nature in Idaho's grand outdoors among the breathtaking beauty of the rippling waters of a lake, river, or reservoir while being surrounded by picturesque landscapes combined with stunning terrain.
Palisades Reservoir could easily be described as a destination where curiosity is met by sheer admiration for the remarkable beauty that may be found here. Don't be surprised if you fall in love with this idyllic location. The reservoir's shoreline boasts a mix of sandy beaches lined with tree groves, coves, and inlets complimented by sprawling grassy areas. You may very well easily forget that a civilized world still surrounds you. The beauty and peacefulness of this area will likely leave you captivated. Surrounding area wildlife has been known to include peregrine falcon, pronghorn, black bear, elk, mule deer, wolf, mountain lion, rabbit, and moose. For those who enjoy birding, the area is known to have visitors, including raptors, shorebirds, waterfowl, songbirds, and various others. A few examples would be the great blue heron, western grebe, the long-billed dowticher, quail, coot, chukar, dove, grouse, snipe, goose, duck, pheasant and wild turkey.
Discover one of the six access roads that lead to the water's edge for a day of fun in the sun and perhaps in the water. Find five campgrounds ideal for those interesting in making their travels into an extended stay, with a mix of RV camping, dispersed camping, and group camping. The reservoir boasts five picnic areas great for breaking out the picnic basket for a meal or snacking throughout the day. For those considering Palisades Reservoir, it's definitely one that tops the list of one of the leading scenic destinations that may be found in Idaho. If planning a stay at Palisades Reservoir or one of the various surrounding campgrounds or overnight amenities opportunities, you may consider packing a cooler stocked with extra meal options and snacks for maximum comfort as there isn't much in the way of grocery stores nearby. Another helpful extra that you may consider bringing along is a folding chair or similar.
The nearest town is Swan Valley, a top-rated stop for passerbyers from across the nation that stop in to get a helping of the ever so famous square scooped ice cream that has become a tradition for many. If you find yourself in the area below the dam, near Swan Valley, be sure to check out the spectacular Fall Creek Falls, located along the river where Fall Creek makes its way into the river near the Swan Valley Bridge. There's no limit to the fun that can be had while visiting Palisades Reservoir and the surrounding destinations. Just think, some people spend months preparing to travel halfway across the world to find destinations with similar qualities as Palisades Reservoir. Surrounding area activities have been known to include horseback riding, trails, backcountry adventures, hunting, and birding. Come the colder months; area activities include cross country skiing, snowmobiling, and depending on the freeze levels, sometimes ice fishing.
On any given day, taking to the reservoir, one may find activity opportunities to include fishing, boating, swimming, water skiing, windsurfing, kayaking, sailing, jet-skiing, stand up paddleboarding, wakeboarding, or simply enjoying the water from the shoreline. For those who enjoy fishing, cutthroat trout are stocked here, though other common fish in the waters include brown trout, kokanee, and lake trout. Be sure to check the Idaho fishing planner for daily bag limits and current rules and regulations. Fishing below the dam in the South Fork of the Snake River is prevalent, so you may consider checking out the various locations ideal for fishing opportunities. For those who are planning a day of boating below the dam, boat access points include Palisades Dam, Palisades Creek, Mike Walker, Lorenzo, Wolf Flats, Byington, Heise, Twin Bridges, Spring Creek, Fullmer, and Conant.
Idaho is home to an abundance of beautifully serene lakes, springs, waterfalls, and reservoirs scattered across the entire state. Searching for new scenic lake, river, or water destinations in Southeastern Idaho? You may also consider adding a few of the following destination options to the go-to list:
Fall Creek Falls - 20-30 +/- miles Palisades Reservoir in Swan Valley.
Heise Hot Springs
Island Park Reservoir
Upper Mesa Falls
Lower Mesa Falls