NewsIdaho Back Roads


First-Day Hikes and Free Winter Access Day, Idaho State Parks offer many winter activities

Posted at 8:04 PM, Dec 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-30 22:08:27-05

IDAHO — The New Year is approaching, and with that, also brings new outdoor recreation opportunities in Idaho's State Parks. Idaho Parks and Recreation is hosting First-Day Hikes at three different parks, and also virtually, to celebrate the New Year, Sat., Jan. 1.

The First-Day hikes include:

    "It's important to maintain that sense of community and outdoor recreation especially in the winter, again it is always easier to go outside when it is warm so we want to remind people that there are still opportunities during the winter," Chelsea Chambers, Idaho Parks and Rec, Public Information Specialist said. "and it's always more enticing when there is hot cocoa involved."

    Idaho's state parks also offer many other opportunities to recreate outdoors this winter, not just this weekend, including snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and many snowmobile trails.

    "It is so important to stay active in the winter, I know it is way easier to go outside when it is warm and inviting but we highly encourage you to grab extra layers get your snow pants, and go explore," Chambers said.

    But, safety is most important, especially if you are heading into the backcountry. Always have a shovel, probe, and beacon with you in case of an avalanche.

    "It is really important to over-prepare, really you can never have too many supplies," Chambers said. "Always bring extra water, extra layers, it is really important to have the wicking layer on the bottom it kind of absorbs the moisture so you don’t get damp and cold, extra snacks, extra socks are very important as well."

    Parks and Rec is also hosting "Free Winter Access Day" or "Free Ski Day" Sat., Jan. 8 for their park n' ski locations.

    This includes:

    • No permits needed at the 17 Park N’ Ski locations across the state.
    • Ponderosa State Park: Free winter access at Ponderosa State Park. For free cross-country ski lessons and snowshoe tours, pre-registration is required. Check their Facebook page for the latest information
    • Farragut State Park: Free Winter Access Day at Farragut State Park. Explore the trails on snowshoes or XC skis. Food Drive: Participants are welcome to bring non-perishable food items. Donations will go to the ABC Food Bank in Athol
    • Priest Lake State Park: Free cross-country ski lessons as well as a guided snowshoe hike and more (like hot coffee and chair massages)
    • Harriman State Park. Winter Access Fees will be waived for this fun day in the snow. Bring your skis, snowshoes, fat bikes, and your whole family out to play! Activities include ski tips & pointers, winter gear demos, guided snowshoe hike, and more… hike begins at 11:00 meet at the Ranchview Shelter

    For more information, click here.