Land Prices in Salmon: 6.6 acres, with views of the Lemhi River and snow-kissed peaks, run $78,000 just 10 minutes from town.
Why we love it: If the idea of a rose-red sun setting on the Bitterroot Mountains doesn’t make you weak in the knees, then maybe you should click here. But if you own the DVD of A River Runs Through It and can’t abide Montana prices, book your next vacation in Salmon.
The city of Salmon literally is surrounded by mountain ranges. In addition to the tall Beaverhead Mountains of the Bitterroots, there’s also the Lemhi and Salmon River Mountains with their iconic Bighorn Crags.
This is big-time river-rafting country; the city, in fact, sits at the confluence of the Salmon and Lemhi Rivers. The Salmon, ominously nicknamed “The River of No Return,” offers wild, thrashing whitewater that pours through sheer canyons and unspoiled wilderness. If that’s not enough, there’s the un-dammed Middle Fork of the Salmon River, the Salmon’s East and North fork, plus the Lemhi and Pahsimeroi Rivers.
Anglers adore this part of the world and flock here to pull rainbow, cutthroat, brook and steelhead trout from local waters. Some like the skiing just 45 minutes away at Lost Trail Powder Mountain, while others just think it’s a lovely place to kick back and absorb the view.
Why you’ll love it: With its long timber tradition, Salmon is the ideal setting for a log home. Buttressed by mountains and neighbor to the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness — at 2.4 million acres, the country’s largest designated wilderness in the contiguous 48 — this is a place where you could spend a lifetime exploring the environs and feel you’ve only had a mere taste.
You’ll like that this small community has an award-winning medical center. Salmon’s Steele Memorial Medical Center recently received the Blue Cross of Idaho Award of Achievement for improving patient outcomes. There’s an outdoor ice rink — of a winning kid’ hockey program — a municipal golf course and pool, plus four city parks. Local festivals such as Salmon River Days and Salmon Marathon liven things up over the summer