NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodIdaho Backroads


Backcountry yurts offer unique camping experience north of Idaho City

Posted at 4:26 PM, Jul 04, 2024

IDAHO CITY, Idaho — In the mountains outside of Idaho City you can find a series of backcountry yurts maintained by the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation. The yurts can be reserved 365 days a year and offer a unique, remote camping experience.

  • Idaho City yurts can be reserved up to 9-months in advance on the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation Website.
  • There are six yurts scattered around the mountain range, all offering different views and recreation opportunities for visitors.
  • A seventh yurt is expected to be added to the yurt system sometime this fall.

(Below is the transcript from the broadcast story)

“These yurts are a really unique recreational opportunity for people from Idaho or visiting Idaho," says Hailey Brookins, the Non-Motorized Trails Coordinator for the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation.

She oversees the Idaho City Backcountry Yurt Program and says yurts help make backcountry camping accessible.

“It’s also a great entry-level way to go camping in the backcountry, rather than starting from just a dirt patch you have shelter you have a cook place set up. So it’s a really awesome family-friendly recreational opportunity for people who might be newer to experiencing the backcountry,” says Brookins.

Each yurt is stocked with about everything you’d need for a night in the wilderness from pots, pans and cooking supplies to board games, firewood and bunk beds.

They cost $115 a night for Idaho Residents or $125 a night for out of state visitors.

“The Idaho City yurts are really highly popular and talked about during the winter months… But there are also some really awesome recreational opportunities in the summer for hikers and mountain bikers and stock users, wildlife viewers, people that like to forage for mushrooms or look at pretty wildflowers," added Brookins.

The yurts are about an hour and a half drive northeast of Boise up Highway 21.

Due to their remote location, Brookins and her team rely on the guests to leave the yurts better than they found them.

“Our program staff is only able to get up to these yurts once every three to four weeks to keep them clean and restocked. So it’s really important that if you are leaving the yurt, that you leave it cleaner than you found it because the guest behind you isn’t going to have a cleaning service coming in most likely," Brookins explained.

The Yurts offer stunning views of the mountains and wilderness in the area and are operated on land owned by the Boise National Forest.

“We work closely with them to make sure that these remain a safe and accessible opportunity for the public," says Brookins.