2017 Boise NF Mushroom Gathering


  Photo of a Morel Mushroom


For the Boise National Forest, the best times for sucessful mushroom gathering are dependent upon the picking area.  Mushrooms emerge in the spring when moisture and temperature conditions are right, generally starting in early May and extending through early June.  Most often the best location for mushrooms is in areas that were burned or the soil was disturbed the previous year.  Sometimes there are mushrooms found two-three years after the burn, although usually the first year is the optimal season.

The spring snow pack helps determine the amount and timing of mushroom growth.  Snow melt can greatly influence when, and for how long, mushrooms survive.  Some roads at elevations above 5000 feet may be impassible due to snow through May and possibly June.  

Check with the Boise National Forest Ranger Districts for road and weather conditions before heading out. 

A permit is not required for personal use picking within the Forest.  Individuals are limited to 5 gallons per day. 

Commercial permits may be available for the 2017 season within the Boise National Forest.  (Check back in the spring of 2017.)



2016 Wildfire Maps - for picking in the spring of 2017.

1900-2016 History map of Boise NF large fires

9-29-2016 Pioneer Fire Map 

The Pioneer Fire was approximately 188,000 acres within the Idaho City RD and Lowman RD.  The area includes the Rough (4,130 acres) and Buck (1,255 acres) Fires.



2015 Wildfire Maps - for picking in spring of 2016

2016 Mushroom Maps Document - (from 2015 Fire Season)

History Map of Boise NF Large Fires

2015 General Vicinity Map of Large Fires


Boise National Forest:

Cougar Fire- east of Cascade, ID

West Scriver Fire - north of Crouch, ID

Walker Fire - west of Idaho City, ID


Payette National Forest:  Commercial permits are available for Tepee Springs and Rapid Fire areas.   208-634-7000

2016 - View Payette National Forest Commercial Mushroom Permit News Release

2016 - View Payette National Forest Mushroom Brochure

Tepee Springs Fire- north of Mccall, ID

Rapid Fire - southeast of McCall, ID


Idaho Department of Lands:

West Scriver Fire - north of Crouch, ID



2014 Wildfire Large Maps - for picking in spring of 2015

Whiskey Complex - Emmett RD - travel along Highway 17 toward the Garden Valley Workstation.

History Map of Boise NF Large Fires



2013 Multiple Wildfire Large MAPS

Southwest Idaho Large Fire Vicinity Map

Big Game Units and the Fire Closure Areas

History Map of Boise NF Large Fires



2013 Boise National Forest Wildfire Maps

Ridge Fire Lowman RD - near Red Mountain

Frasier Fire - Emmett RD - along Highway 17, near the Crouch, ID - turnoff. 

Pine Creek Fire - Idaho City RD - near Thorn Creek

Summit Fire -Idaho City RD - near Grimes Pass 

Placer Fire - Idaho City RD - also near Thorn Creek  (on large history map)

Little Queens Fire - Idaho City RD - near Atlanta, ID

North Fork Fire - Cascade RD, near Stolle Meadows (on large history map)



Mountain Home RD - Boise National Forest

Boise NF Fire History Map has general locations

Kelly Fire -Mountain Home RD -  near Featherville, ID

Elk Complex (more than one fire) - From Prairie to Pine, ID along South Fork Boise River.

Pony Complex (more than one fire) Along Blacks Creek Road to Anderson Ranch Reservoir. 


2013 Wildfire  Maps - Within Neighboring Forests 

Southwest Idaho Large Fire Map has general locations.   

Sawtooth National Forest: 

Beaver Fire Sawtooth National Forest - near Sun Valley and Ketchum, ID

McCann FireSawtooth National Forest - near Fairfield, ID


Payette National Forest:

Weiser Complex Fire Map  - multiple fires


Salmon- Challis National Forest:

Lodgepole Fire Map



 Photo sketch of mushrooms

Know Your Mushrooms!

Each year interest grows in harvesting wild edibles from National Forests around the country. In many places, it's bracken ferns or pine nuts, but locally the primary interest lies in wild mushrooms.  Proper identification and determination of whether a mushroom is edible is solely the responsibility of the picker. 







Photo of Boise NF-  Motor Vehicle Use Maps


It is your responsibility to research the area and understand which roads are open to motorized travel.  Free Motor Vehicle Use Maps(MVUMs) are available at the locations selling the permits.  Print out the MVUM maps.




Ranger Districts:  


Call for more information:


Interagency Visitor Information Center
1387 S. Vinnell Way Suite 2008
Boise, ID 83709
(208) 373-4007  

Hours:  Mon – Fri. 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.


Mountain Home Ranger District
3080 Industrial Way
Mountain Home, ID 83647
(208) 587-7961
Hours:  Mon – Fri. 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.


Idaho City Ranger District
Highway 21, milepost 38.5
P.O. Box 129
Idaho City, ID 83631
(208) 392-6681
Hours:  Mon – Fri. 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
(12-1 p.m. closed)


Sawtooth National Forest

Fairfield Ranger District

P.O. Box 189
Fairfield, ID 83327
(208) 764-3202
Hours:  Mon – Fri. 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.


Mushroom Gathering Policy


Wildfire Area Maps Within the Boise National Forest that Burned in 2012

Largest wildfire within the Boise NF in 2012 - Trinity Ridge Fire - VIEW MAP

VICINITY - Map for Picking Mushrooms within Trinity Ridge Fire Area:   HERE

History map that shows the old fire scars near the 2012 - Trinity Ridge Fire -  VIEW MAP

Soil Burn Intensity Map for the 2012 - Trinity Ridge Fire - VIEW  MAP

Large Color Map of Trinity Ridge Fire Area: 11x17 (may take time to download and print - 7megs): HERE



Wildfire Area Maps Within Neighboring Forests that Burned in 2012

In 2012 there were two large fires within the Salmon-Challis National Forest, The Halstead Fire located near Stanley and the Mustang Fire near Salmon. 

Check with their office for information about mushroom permits -208-756-2215.


Large fire location map of 3 major fires within the Boise NF and Salmon-Challis NF in 2012 (including the Trinity Ridge Fire).  VIEW MAP

VIEW MAP - Mustang Fire                    

VIEW MAP - 9-13-2012 - Halstead Fire


Wildfire Area Maps Within the Boise National Forest that Burned in 2011

 The only major fire in 2011 was the 4,000 acre Castro Fire within the Lowman District at an elevation of about 6000 feet.  The fire was 13 air miles northeast of Lowman, Idaho and entirely within the Red Mountain Roadless Area.  Click on the map below for more specific information on location and trails in the area. Just to access the burn area, a mushroom picker will have to hike, mountain bike, horseback ride or motorcycle at least 3 miles into the steep and rugged terrain. Picking success is likely to be slim.

Lowman RD - Castro Fire - Burned Summer of 2011


Wildfire Area Maps Within the Boise National Forest that Burned in 2010 

Vicinity Map of the major fire areas that burned in the summer of 2010

Map of the the ignitions that occurred on August 26, 2010 from a lightning storm. (May of these fires remained very small in acres.)

Cascade RD - Hurd Fire Area Map

Lowman RD -  Little Beaver Fire Area Map

Lowman RD - Little Beaver, Whitehawk and Casner Fires - General Location Map

Lowman RD - Whitehawk and Casner Fire Area Map

Lowman RD - Additional  Map of the Whitehawk Fire and Casner Fire Areas

Sketch of basket of Morel mushrooms