3 Bedroom / 2 Baths. Additional beds in bunkhouse. Sleeps a total of 12.
Only 20 miles from Yellowstone, this historic cabin sits right on the banks of the pristine Snake River just below its source at Big Springs and upriver from Macks Inn. Literally 30 feet from the river, it is closer to the river than any other in the area. Fish, kayak, raft or swim almost right off the front porch. Located on 4 wooded acres, the main cabin sleeps 6, the guest house sleeps 4 and the garage loft sleeps up to 4. There are two bathrooms, both in the main cabin, a kitchen, a dining room with a river view through french doors, a living room, a loft and a bedroom. The guest cabin sits in the woods behind the main cabin. The cabins are only a few yards away from the 6 million acre Targhee National Forest and only 22 miles from Yellowstone National Park. Wildlife sightings are frequent. There is plenty of room to explore and enjoy the beautiful view of the river and mountains. Float down the peaceful river in rafts or kayaks.
A children's play set is close by. This cabin has everything your group needs to enjoy the mountain air. Grocery stores, golfing, restaurants and other amenities are within 2 to 5 miles away. The cabin has kayaks, internet, washing machine and drier, fire pit, barbecue and much more.
You are right on the river and the fishing is phenomenal. You are also within easy reach of a number of other famous fly fishing rivers: the Madison, the Yellowstone, Warm River, Fall River, and Box Canyon on the Snake, to name some of the main ones. Henry’s Lake is also great for fishing from a boat.
Large rubber boats, kayaks, and inner tubes are available for rent nearby at Macks Inn. They will drop you off at the boat ramp just below Big Springs, where the Henry’s Fork of the Snake (a.k.a. the North Fork – the river our Cabin sits next to) comes up out of the ground (technically, the Yellowstone Aquifer finds its way to the surface at that point). It’s a 4 mile float back down to the Cabin. We also suggest a rubber raft trip down Box Canyon, further down on the Snake, coming out at Last Chance.
Be sure to visit the bridge at Big Springs where the headwaters of the Henry’s Fork originate. While there, tour the John Sack Cabin – a short walk away, through the campground south of the Springs. There are some truly massive rainbow and hybrid trout that rest under the Big Springs bridge during the summer. The best food for tempting them out from under the bridge is whole kernel corn. As you might suspect, Big Springs is a rigorously enforced no fishing area.
There are endless trails for ATV, motor cycles, bikes and walking in the area. Many local shops have an excellent hiking guide. A car drive to the top of Sawtelle Peak gives breathtaking views of the whole area. For hikers, we recommend Targhee Creek Trail, which is signposted off Highway 20 heading north, a few miles after the junction with Highway 87. The trail is moderate and the spring wildflowers in July are abundant.
There are a couple of rodeos around, depending on the timing of your stay. A very fun one is located on Red Rock Road (about 3 miles north of Mack’s Inn, on Highway 20), then west to the Meadow View Ranch. Tickets include a Dutch oven dinner.
The Island Park Reservoir and nearby Hebgen Lake offer water sports. You can rent boats and wave runners at Last Chance. There are also various types of ATVs. Local shops in Island Park Resort, much closer to the Richards Cabin (~1 mile north on Highway 20), rent similar equipment.
Harriman State Park, just south of Last Chance on Highway 20, has great nature trails, historical old ranch buildings built by the Harriman family of New York, and is home to a large trumpeter swan flock on its Golden Lake. The $5 fee per car is also good at Mesa Falls.
A MUST SEE is Mesa Falls, both Upper and Lower. Walk the boardwalks around the magnificent falls, and visit the animal exhibit in the lodge next to the Upper Falls. The road to Mesa Falls takes off from Highway 20, down by Harriman State Park.
Eagle Ridge Ranch offers horseback riding for all ages.
Try a hike to the Coffee Pot rapids. The trail leaves the Coffee Pot Campground, then follows the river for 2 miles to the rapids. It is a truly beautiful hike. In late July and August, there are often ripe huckleberries along the trail.
Golf at Island Park Village.
To visit Yellowstone National Park – take Highway 20 north. Just past Henry’s Lake, the highway will turn east and cross the Continental Divide, entering Montana. The Park’s west entrance is in West Yellowstone.
West Yellowstone has a number of fun attractions:
- A Grizzly and Wolf Center
- A Ropes and Zip Line course
- White water rafting on the Gallatin River
- An IMAX theater
Seriously consider the Playmill Theater in West Yellowstone, a regional summer theater drawing its talent mostly from Brigham Young University Idaho. You will need reservations'
Back at the cabin, relax on the porch. Wave to the floaters drifting down from Big Springs. Offer them homemade cookies. You will make lots of new friends. Enjoy the view of Sawtelle Peak. Watch for wildlife. Besides moose, animals we have spotted include River otters, beavers, muskrats, mink, pine martins, skunks, squirrels and many bird species, including ospreys, sandhill cranes, blue herons and bald eagles.