Westside Ranger District
Welcome to the Westside Ranger District. Located in southeast Idaho, the Westside Ranger District is home to the Curlew National Grassland and an abundance of year-round recreational opportunities. The Westside District is one of seven districts within the Caribou Targhee National Forest. Our District borders the north end of Pocatello, Idaho, and stretches south into northern Utah. The Westside lies within the northern parts of the Great Basin Region, with rugged mountain ranges and low agricultural valleys. Summers are hot and dry, and winters are long and cold. At higher elevations, the forest supports stands of lodgepole pine, subalpine fir, Douglas -fir, and aspen. Lower elevations are mostly covered in sagebrush with other important plants and trees that include grass, bitterbrush, juniper, maple, aspen and riparian communities. The District provides habitat for numerous species some of which include; elk, deer, mountain lion, black bear, moose, beaver, squirrels, chipmunks, hawks, owls, and sharp-tailed grouse.
District Ranger: Kim Obele
Westside Ranger District | 4350 S. Cliffs Drive | Pocatello, ID 83204 | 208-236-7500 | Fax: 208-236-7555 | Office Hours: Monday-Friday 7:45am - 4:30pm
Motorized Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM) are the official map for designating all roads, trails, and areas available for off road recreational trail users, including vehicles, ATVs, and dirt bikes. The MVUM displays allowed uses by vehicle class, travel regulations, and seasonal allowances. Routes not shown on the MVUM are not open to public vehicle travel. The MVUM maps are updated annually and are available here and at the Westside Ranger District office.
The Westside Ranger District offers trail opportunities for hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians. Visitors will have the opportunity to travel along creeks, through open forests, and up scenic vistas on craggy peaks. Trails are easy to access and parking is free.
The Westside Ranger District offers a wide-range of summertime opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast. Forest visitors will find scenic hiking trails for all skill levels. Visitors can enjoy dispersed camping or developed campgrounds on a first-come, first-served basis; some sites are reservable. In addition to our campgrounds and hiking trails, visitors can enjoy target shooting, hunting, cycling, mountain biking, and horseback riding.
Reservations can be made at 1-877-444-6777 or online at www.recreation.gov.
During the winter months the snow takes center stage on the Westside Ranger District. Just minutes from Pocatello, the District provides hundreds of miles of snowmobile trails, groomed and ungroomed cross country ski trails, Nordic Center, and Pebble Creek Resort for downhill skiing.
Our District also offers several cross country ski parking areas that are part of Idaho State Parks and Recreation Park N’ Ski program. Park N’ Ski permits or a current Idaho snowmobile registration are required to park at the plowed trailheads of West Fork, Corral Creek, South Fork, Porcelain Pot, Beaver Pond, Crystal Summit and Inman northeast of Inkom, ID. Park N’Ski permits cost $25.00 for an annual pass (2014-2015 season) and $7.50 for a three-day pass.
Permits are required for these parking areas, and available for purchase online at Idaho Parks and Recreation and locally at:
- Ace Hardware at 222 S. 5th St., Pocatello p. 208. 232.8722 (not available at Element on Yellowstone)
- Idaho State University Outdoor Program in basement of Student Union Bldg. p. 208.282.3912 (open 9:00am -5:00pm, closed Christmas Day –Jan 3rd, 2015)
- Bannock County DMV, 130 N. 6th St., Pocatello (closed Fridays) p. 208. 236.7200 (this location has annual permits only)
The statewide program offers a variety of trailheads and trails - see IDPR webpage under “Nordic Skiing” or “Park N’ Ski” menu choice. Trail maps are also available at the IDPR webpage. This program is administered by Idaho State Parks and Recreation.
Park N’ Ski Permit Program and Vendors 2017-2018
Roads and Campgrounds
Closures and delayed openings are sometimes in effect for a variety of reasons, including snowpack, muddy conditions, and damage caused by runoff and flooding. Roads and campgrounds may also be closed due to unsafe and hazardous conditions. All closures are ordered to ensure that the visitors of Forest Service lands remain safe.
All developed campgrounds on the District are open from Memorial Day to October 10th every year. These dates may vary depending on weather and road conditions.
Lower District road gates are opened May 15th of each year. Higher elevation gates open by June 15th of each year. Most road gates close November 15th for the snow season, including the lower East Mink Gate of FSR001 leading to Scout Mountain.