NewsIdaho Backroads


Park N' Ski provides recreational opportunities in the snow north of Idaho City

Posted at 3:00 PM, Dec 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-19 17:00:50-05

IDAHO CITY — The Boise National Forest just north of Idaho City supplies people with several different winter recreational opportunites.

As you start heading up into the mountains there are snowmobilers, cross country skiers, snowshoers and backcountry skiers.

"The reason that the Park N' Ski is up there is because it is the best snow, the closest snow to Boise," said Leo Hennessy of the Idaho Parks and Recreation department.

The area can get up to twenty feet of snow per year creating a winter wonderland during those warm streaks where all the snow melts in Boise, the Park n' ski provides another option besides Bogus Basin.

"It started out at about seven miles of trails and now there is around 60 miles of trails," said Hennessy.

The Park N' Ski does come with a cost, an annual pass is $25 and a daily pass is $7.50 and those passes can be purchased online or in Idaho City with cash.

Most of the money raised by those passes goes back into the area in the form of grooming, signage, plowed parking lots and restrooms, we caught up with Gigi Ferreria who was taking two of her friends snowshoeing at Gold Fork.

"Yeah we picked it because it had a restroom coming from Boise you are driving an hour and a half and after we hike it is nice to have the amenities," said Ferreria.

Cross country skiing and snowshoeing also make for a great workout while getting out in nature and there is plenty of solitude because the trails range in difficulty from easy to challenging.

The area is still dealing with the scars from the 2016 Pioneer fire and some areas still remain closed, however, most of the areas that were closed last year are back open and because the fire really opened up the terrain it has allowed more avenues for backcountry skiers.

For those who want to make it a weekend adventure there are yurts available in the area, here is a link to a story Steve Liebenthal did on the yurts.

People do need to know that this is rugged country and steps need to be taken to be safe in the Idaho outdoors.

Make sure to check the weather, check the avalanche conditions and dress properly with winter gear and several layers.

It is also best to go up there in a group because cell phones don't work north of Idaho City.