Harriman State Park lies within an 11,000-acre wildlife refuge in the greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Moose, Elk, and Sandhill Cranes are common, as is North America’s largest waterfowl, the Trumpeter Swan. Known as one of the best fly-fishing streams in the nation, the Henrys Fork meanders for eight miles through Harriman. Over 20 miles of trails are available for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and cross county skiing. Guided horseback tours are offered by a park vendor.
Harriman State Park is located on the Henrys Fork of the Snake River. The park was once the site of the “Railroad Ranch” notable, due to its previous owners the Harriman’s of Union Pacific Railroad fame. Most of the original buildings have been preserved as part of the state park. The park has numerous hiking, biking and horseback trails and is known for its plentiful wildlife. The “Ranch” section of the Henrys Fork attracts fly fisherman from around the world seeking trophy trout.
The Railroad Ranch
In 1902, several officials of the Oregon Shortline Railroad and other investors purchased what is now Harriman State Park. Called the Railroad Ranch, the property was the private retreat of the Harrimans of Union Pacific Railroad fame and the Guggenheims, then prominent in copper.
The rich wildlife habitat has been preserved since the turn of the century when the owners established a private hunting reserve and working cattle ranch. For 75 years, the ranch maintained healthy game, waterfowl and fish populations, allowing todays park visitors to observe a rare concentration of wildlife in its scenic, natural surrounding.
Twenty-seven of the original Railroad Ranch buildings, from the cookhouse to the horse barn, are still intact, furnished and carefully maintained.
During the summer there are regular tours of the Railroad Ranch buildings. Fishing, hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking are other ways to experience the beauty of the area. Dont forget to bring your camera. There are breath-taking wildflower displays in the sage meadows and pastureland which dominate the landscape. Visitors often see elk, deer and moose, particularly in the morning and evening. The views of the Tetons are spectacular.
When winter comes, grab your cross-country skis. You can ski to the warming houseopen on weekendsand look out over the Henrys Fork to watch bald eagles and trumpeter swans.