The beauty and diversity of Idaho’s Sawtooth National Forest is amazing. It’s home to three mountain ranges with peaks over 11,000 feet, deep forests, and high mountain lakes. In the midst of this pristine wilderness, the United States Forest Service designated an even more unique area in 1996: The Mount Harrison Research Natural Area.
This area, considered a living library of an undisturbed natural environment, was set aside because it contains striking geology and an isolated high-elevation ecosystem of rare species, sagebrush-grasslands and subalpine shrub communities.
Harrison is the land of amazing wildflowers…sticky geranium, yarrow, sedges, lupine, daisies and sage, and the rare Christ's Indian paintbrush. Such diversity exists because more rain falls at higher elevations and the deep Idaho soil provides moisture for growth throughout the entire summer.
Several trails access the Mount Harrison Viewing site beginning at the Mount Harrison Lookout, a still–active fire tower. The longest, the Skyline Trail, offers some of the most beautiful vistas in Southern Idaho. Beginning at the Lookout and ending 26 miles later at the City of Rocks National Reserve, it offers many shorter loops along the way including Flat Canyon Trail (5.1 miles) and Marsh Creek Trail (4.2 miles).