In wandering around the country sometimes you just stumble upon a place that has that special "something" going for it. Usually it won't be a place that is written up in any travel or ratings guide. The River Clan Saloon is that kind of place.
Located in central Idaho near the town of Kooskia, this little riverside pub sits on one of the prettiest stretches of the Clearwater River you can find. The spot isn't just perfect for steelhead fishing, it's also perfect for the slip 'n slide set-up that takes you right into a sweet spot on the river. We didn't partake of it ourselves, but it does provide better entertainment while sipping a beer or a glass of wine than just about any other establishment we've visited in our travels.
Like most places with soul, the pub is owned and run by the family that lives on the property. When you arrive, you're greeted by Larry, the family standard poodle, who knows how to relax and have a good time. We became fast friends.
The pub was started and is run by son Anderson, a recent business school graduate. His business model/motto for the saloon declares:
"We've been to where you are going, and this is better"
We are inclined to agree. This was one of the best stops on our three month travels through Idaho.
Like most family run establishments, the River Clan Saloon is a total family affair. Mom cooks the hamburgers to order (excellent, especially when enjoyed creekside) and dad rolled up with a group of his friends on their Harleys and was happy to provide all kinds of valuable information about the area for people like us who are looking for land in Idaho.
The family also has accommodations for the the fishermen who descend on this valley each year for the steelhead run. Their section of the river is the definition of perfect trout waters.
If you happen to be going through the heart of Idaho, take a ride along beautiful Highway 13 and look for the River Clan Saloon. They are between Grangeville and Kooskia down by the waterside (3341 Highway 13). It's the perfect place to linger for an afternoon (or two or three).