The creek under a cloudy sky
Silver Creek Preserve The creek under a cloudy sky © Steve Dondero

Places We Protect

Silver Creek Preserve

Idaho

A unique desert spring creek. A world-class trout stream. A place for you.

Maybe it will be a trophy trout that draws you to Silver Creek; always just so abundant, always feeding, but never interested in your fly. Maybe you'll come to hear the cry of the sandhill cranes as they return in the spring or the flocks of waterfowl whistling overhead on their fall migration. Or perhaps you'll make the trip to see that legendary, glorious light: A light that seems designed by a photographer, or an artist, with its rich pastel of purples, reds, yellows and blues.

Whatever the reason, we know your heart will be captured by this special place in Idaho's high desert.

Each year, the preserve draws visitors from all 50 states and more than a dozen countries. The fly fishing is legendary, of course, but the preserve offers many other outdoor activities.

Flowing at the base of the Picabo Hills, this high-desert spring-fed creek attracts an abundance of wildlife including eagles, hawks, songbirds, waterfowl, coyotes, bobcats, mountain lions, deer, moose and elk. Silver Creek's globally unique aquatic ecosystem features one of the highest densities of stream insects in North America, which supports the world-class fishery.

As many as 150 species of birds have been identified along the self-guided nature trail, which begins at the preserve visitor center. The Conservancy owns 874 acres along Silver Creek and has protected more than 10,000 acres through conservation easements, making this one of the most successful private stream conservation efforts ever undertaken for public benefit.

AUDIO TOUR INFORMATION

We have exciting news to share  — a free audio tour of Silver Creek Preserve, narrated by Mariel Hemingway, is now available!

From mayflies to Ernest Hemingway, this tour includes stories and fun facts about one of our favorite places. No wireless or cellular service is needed to take the tour.

Before you visit...

  • Download the free TravelStorys app to your smartphone or tablet.
  • Open the app on your device and search for Silver Creek Preserve.
  • Download this tour to your device.

At the preserve...

  • Enable your device’s GPS/location function.
  • Open the app on your device.
  • No need to click play – the audio will automatically play at selected points along the route. Be sure to pause to let each story play fully.

Whether you are a first time visitor or have been to the preserve many times, you will learn something new about this unique place!

Visitors are encouraged to stop by the Silver Creek Visitor Center to view our interpretive displays and get more information. A self-guided nature trail also points to the ecological values of the preserve.

Special notes:

  • Preserve is open to fly-fishing only Memorial Day weekend through November.
  • Waterfowl hunting during season permitted on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
  • All visitors must sign in at the visitor center.
  • Dogs are not allowed on the preserve.

Facilities: Parking and restroom facilities are available.