Clearwater National Forest is located in North Central Idaho in the northwestern United States. The forest is bounded on the east by the state of Montana, on the north by the Idaho Panhandle National Forest, and on the south and west by the Nez Perce National Forest and Palouse Prairie.
The forest is 1.8 million acres (7,300 km²) and contains mountains and river drainage areas. The Lochsa and Clearwater Rivers flow through the forest region. Portions of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness are also located in the forest. In descending order of land area the forest is located in Idaho, Clearwater, and Shoshone counties. Forest Service headquarters are located in Orofino, Idaho. There are local ranger district offices in Kamiah, Kooskia, Lolo (Montana), Orofino, and Potlatch.