Palisades Reservoir Idaho Fishing, Camping, Boating

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Palisades Reservoir

Held back by the Palisades Dam on the upper Snake River, the Palisades Reservoir is a hot spot for trout, especially cutthroat, set in some of the most attractive land that Idaho and Wyoming have to offer.

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  • 16,000 acre reservoir along the upper Snake River just outside Alpine, Wyoming. 
  • Excellent fishing for large cutthroat and brown trout as well as kokanee and mackinaw. 
  • Year-round fishing, with the most productive seasons being fall, winter and early spring.


With forested hills surrounding it and beautiful views of the surrounding valley, Palisades Reservoir is a great place to spend a few days floating, camping, hiking and, of course, fishing for the large cutthroat and brown trout, kokanee and mackinaw.

Getting There

Palisades Reservoir is about 40 miles southeast of Swan Valley, Idaho and just outside of Alpine, Wyoming on the Idaho/Wyoming border. US-26 follows the reservoir from the tailwaters at the Palisades Dam up to the junction of US-26/89. The easiest access is off of US-26 on the northwest side of the Reservoir.


Palisades Reservoir is open to fishing year-round. Although most people come to Palisades during the warm and sunny summer months, some of the best fishing has been known to occur on the off months of the spring and fall, when cooler temperatures keep fish more active and water levels are more stable. During the winter months, ice fishing is a popular pastime on the Palisades Reservoir and can be very productive.

Wading vs. Floating

While much of the Palisades Reservoir’s 70-mile shoreline is accessible, steep slopes above the reservoir can make accessing the shoreline fishing difficult in some places (don’t let this deter you, however). Six public boat access points make floating an easy option, and trawling for mackinaw and kokanee is a popular pastime.


A handful of Caribou Targhee National Forest campgrounds line the shores of the Palisades Reservoir, offering easy access to boating, swimming, and fishing. All are first come, first served.