An adventure beyond your wildest dreams in one of the last wilderness areas in America, and the largest. Yes, you will have to drive but every mile of breathless and stark beauty is worth it. Idaho means something like "sun rising over the mountains" in Nez Perce. You will trade this wonder for your cell phone (signal is only 20 miles away if you're that desparate). We joke that the Idaho tourism slogan should be "welcome to Idaho, you're on your own"...and you really can be if you want, but Jody the lodge manager and the ROW staff will take care of your every need and then some.
The food in the cafe is not what you expect in north central Idaho. (if you want that drive 6 miles up river to Ryan's Wilderness Inn). It's a range of mediterranean to clean healthy northwest fare. The wine list is not exhaustive, but is satisfying and includes unusual and tasty items like Townshend Cellars Huckleberry Blush. The breakfasts are late on the weekdays, so plan to bring your own and eat in your cabin before your raft trip. You will be well sated the rest of the day whether you want the beers on tap, an interesting salad, or just the huckleberry pie and a nice cuppa brew.
The cabins come with a grill and a hot tub. You can fish for your supper and cook it right up. Or get some of the great range fed beef in Stites (a nearby community) and grill that up. When you slip into bed, let the mountain air in and you will sleep better than you have in your whole life.
Fitness center? Who needs it. You have the earth gym at your disposal.
Take full advantage of the whitewater. The guides are skilled and helpful. If you don't see what you want, ask. They are very adaptive and accomodating. If you're feeling frisky, there is time to do the water and the land every day.
There are many opportunities for hiking, horseback riding and of course river fun on some of the most continuous whitewater in America. Remember, it's not a walk through central park. The uninitiated may want a guide. You will see wildlife and you may need to know how to respect it in close quarters, but where else can you be trully alone in the mountains and return to a nice soak in a clean hot tub?. We saw timberwolves, cougar tracks, a bear on a near ridge, a badger, deer, elk, osprey carring trout, eagles, hawks, margranders, meadowlarks, mountain bluebirds, hummingbirds, magpies, grouse, quail, pheasants, turkeys running wild, turkey vultures, chipmunks, and a myriad of others.
There are waterfalls to explore: from the many spring sprouts that cascade down the steep granite and gneiss faces of the near vertical hills to the mystical snowshoe falls to the mighty Selway falls surging in tight quarters around house sized boulders.
There are goat trails to hike up rock bluffs where you see nothing but mountain upon mountain to what seems the end of the earth. Here in the most rugged country in America, the hiking and whitewater are some of the most challenging anywhere. But also some of the most peaceful. Hike until the spot is right, and then sit and get your zen on.
For us, it is coming home when we go to the RiverDance Lodge. the perfect combination of adrenalin sport and stillness, all in the lap of luxury. And the bonus is, your work can't reach you and by the second day you'll even forget what a blackberry is.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located on the banks of the Clearwater River, the River Dance Lodge is Idaho's adventure hotel and resort. Enjoy rustic luxury and take advantage of guided fly-fishing, whitewater rafting, kayaking, horseback tours and hiking adventures. Each log cabin has a private hot tub and is decorated with creative and tasteful furnishings and local artwork. Mediterranean cuisine is available at an onsite restaurant, the Syringa Cafe. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- River Dance Hotel Kooskia