Mountain Home Ranger District and Office


Mountain Home RD - Summer - Shafer Butte Campground

The Mountain Home Ranger District is the southern most district on the Boise National Forest and about 650,000 acres in size.  It is located in close proximity to Boise, Idaho and includes administration of Capitol City front range lands.

The District has a robust program of work that covers vegetation management, recreation, range, wildlife, fisheries, watershed, fire and fuels, noxious weeds, minerals, and special uses.  There are about 20 permanent employees and typically hires additional seasonal employees. 

The scenery is very diverse and mountainous and transitions from desert at the lower elevations, through ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir forests, to high alpine (9700 feet).

 

 

SPRING AND SUMMER HIGHLIGHTS might include fishing in one of the 20 plus lakes or 4 major reserviors!

Ridge To Rivers organization - Includes great information about great hiking and bike riding.

Idaho Department of  Fish and Game - guides and liscenses.

The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation - has "new" maps that will help you find your favorite trail for motorized and non-motorized!

 

 

Most campgrounds are scheduled to close in September and re-open in May.  Check with District for updates.  Make your reservations at www.recreation.gov.

Reminder:  The Trinity Recreation Area normally opens in mid-July.  Call the District for updates.  (208-587-7961)

 

 

WINTER RECREATION HIGHLIGHTS  -  Check out the updated Idaho Parks and Recreation website!

Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation Activities:  Snowmobiling   Nordic skiing   Rent a Yurt! 

For more information on passport renewal, registrations, regulations and permits for winter recreation visit: Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation.

Mountain Home Snowmobiling Map.

Specific Areas in Southern Idaho for Snowmobiling.

Major Storage Reservior Water Levels in Boise and Payette River Basins

Bureau of Reclamation Boat Ramp Elevations

 

 

Mountain Home Ranger District
3080 Industrial Way
Mountain Home, ID 83647
(208) 587-7961

Office hours: 9:00 am - 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday

District Ranger:  Adriene Holcomb

 

Click on the SHOW ICON below the map to view more information about Mountain Home RD recreation ACTIVITIES.

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Most of the campgrounds open in Mid-May and close by October1. Danskin Trails  are usually open from April 11 through January 1, depending on conditions. Trinity Mountain Recreation Area is the exception.  Due to the high elevation and snowpack, Trinity Campgrounds and trails normally are open from Mid-JULY through October 1.  
Information Center: Great videos about Arrowrock Dam! Arrowrock Dam: A Century of Service 1915-2015
https://youtu.be/TvIj-4Ydhro

Arrowrock Dam: A Guided Tour
https://youtu.be/yx1mVV6CHVg

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Activities

Mountain Biking

 

Biking on Road

Mores Mountain Loop - This 4.3 mile trail works well for advanced beginners. Mores Mountain, located 20 miles north of Boise, is 6,600 feet in elevation.  To get there from Boise, drive up Bogus Basin Road for 16 miles to the Bogus Basin Ski Resort. Go past the resort and follow Boise Ridge Road for 3.3 miles to a junction for Shafer Butte Picnic Area/Campground. The Mores Mountain trailhead is near the entrance to the campground. The single-track trail follows the east slope of Mores Mountain for 1.5 miles and provides remarkable views of the Forest and Sawtooth Mountains in the distance. When the trail ends at the Boise Ridge Road, go left and ride uphill 1.6 miles to the picnic area access road, then go another 1.2 miles back to the picnic area. Vehicle access to the Mores Mountain trailhead is generally permitted from June to October, depending on weather and snow conditions.

In winter, the road from Bogus Basin’s Nordic Center to the Shafer Butte recreation area is groomed for Nordic skiing and snowshoeing, and is not accessible to vehicles or snowmobiles.  Fun facts:  The Mores Mountain Interpretive Trail was built by the Beaver Creek Youth Conservation Corps in 1971.  Mores Mountain is named for J. Marion More, one of the miners who first discovered gold in the Boise Basin in the early 1860’s.

 

Cottonwood Trail System -The Cottonwood area has multiple options for moderate to advanced mountain biking. From Cottonwood Trailhead on Forest Road 377, an approximately 16 mile loop can be enjoyed taking the 189 Trail that runs along Cottonwood Creek southeast for about 7 miles to its intersection with Forest Road 203 near Thorn Creek Butte.  This is the highest section of the loop at about 7,500 feet. The path then descends on 203 to the southeast until it reaches 377 again and heads south on the single-lane dirt road back to the trailhead. From Highway 21 just north of Lucky Peak Nursery, take Forest Road 268 as it meanders alongside Arrowrock Reservoir until it reaches Forest Road 377.  

Ridge to Rivers - Ridge to Rivers is a unique partnership between the City of Boise Parks and Recreation Department, Boise National Forest, Bureau of Land Management Four Rivers Field Office, Ada County and Idaho Department of Fish and Game.  The goal of the project is to preserve the Boise Foothills and create a system of interconnected trails and open space.  Here is a link to the Ridge to Rivers website.

Areas for Mountain Biking at Mountain Home Ranger District and Office

Campground Camping

Campground Camping - by Ann Thornton

 

 

 

 

 

Areas for Campground Camping at Mountain Home Ranger District and Office

Group Camping

 

 

Elks Flat Group Campground

Elks Flat Campground is a quick 2 hour drive from Boise and provides hiking, swimming, fishing and group camping.  The South Fork Boise River runs along the eastern edge of the campground. 

Reservations are required for group sites and can be made at www.recreation.gov.

This scenic campground is located in a grass meadow surrounded by dispersed stands of cottonwood, quaking aspen, douglas fir, and ponderosa pine.

Green Creek Trail 270 is located near the campground. Green Creek Trail is approximately 4.5 miles in length, motorized, and rated "MODERATE" in difficulty, this trail intersects with Cross Cut Trail 172, another motorized system. Telephone is located within the campground.
 

Areas for Group Camping at Mountain Home Ranger District and Office

Cabin Rentals

Big Trinity Cabin - Mt Home

Rent the Big Trinity Cabin for a cool getaway in the Trinity Mountains, 80 miles northwest of Mountain Home. 

The cabin is located at an elevation of 8,500 fee in a dense lodgepole forest. The cabin has three separate rooms: Kitchen, living area and bedroom. The cabin contains a double bed, side tables, drop down kitchen table, cleaning supplies, dishes and tableware, pots and pans, fire extinguisher, hide-a-bed sofa, chairs and dining table.

A wood stove provides heat and cooking facilities inside. Picnic table and fire grill are provided outside. Drinking water is available from a nearby hand pump well. A shed is located behind the cabin and is stocked with seasoned wood, a splitting maul, axe and hatchet.

Activities include fishing the Subalpin Lakes for rainbow and cutthroat trout, wildlife viewing, and bird watching. Phone service is one hour away.

Reservation required?: Y

Areas for Cabin Rentals at Mountain Home Ranger District and Office

Lake and Pond Fishing

Mountain Home RD - Trinity Lakes Area

 

The Mountain Home District has multiple lakes in the Trinity Mountain area that are perfect for casting a line or two!  Big and Little Trinity Lakes as well as Big and Little Roaring Lakes provide easy access for non-motorized boats.  All have adjacent campgrounds except for Little Trinity, which has a picnic area.  All four are stocked by Idaho Department of Fish and Game. The Rainbow Basin also has multiple lakes coveted by fishing enthusiasts, including Big Rainbow Lake and Heart Lake.

Areas for Lake and Pond Fishing at Mountain Home Ranger District and Office

River and Stream Fishing

 

River and Stream Fishing

 

The Mountain Home RD has many great areas to fish. There are rivers, reservoirs, and streams that have plenty of rainbow trout, bass and crappie. 

If you want to spend the day trout fishing, the South Fork Boise River and Middle Fork Boise River are most recommended.

The South Fork below Anderson Ranch Dam is a popular trout fishing area in summer.  Above Anderson Ranch reservoir is a long stretch of classic trout water where wading can be fun and the fish easy to catch.

The Middle Fork provides about 50 miles of prime trout water from Arrowrock Reservoir to Atlanta. The road however is very rough.

To access the Middle Fork, travel north on Highway 21 from Boise, and right turn onto to the NFS road 268 toward Arrowrock Reservoir. Travel northeast on the 268 road along the Reservoir, there will be numerous pullouts and many chances to catch a great dinner.

Before heading out, call the District for weather and road conditions at 208-587-7961. Remember cell phone coverage is very limited.
 

Areas for River and Stream Fishing at Mountain Home Ranger District and Office

Day Hiking

 Mountain Home - Lava Mountain Trail 125

 

The Mores Mountain Nature Trail is a favorite trail to hike with spectacular views and a short drive from Boise. The trail originates in the Shafer Campground which is located near the Bogus Basin Nordic Ski Area. It offers families an opportunity to view the Treasure Valley and the Sawtooth Range at a distance. 

Lava Mountain Trail is a fun day hike if you are camping in the Trinities recreation area and offers an easy hike to two mountain lakes.  The trail also offers views of Prairie, open hillsides with lots of wildflowers and views of the Trinity Mountain Lookout. 

Rainbow Basin Trail is also located within the Trinity Recreation area.  It is 4 miles in length and restricted to pedestrian use only.  The trail winds through the Rainbow Basin formed by past glacial action and is home to 9 lakes.  The scenery is some of the most beautiful in southern Idaho.

Areas for Day Hiking at Mountain Home Ranger District and Office

Horse Riding

 

Mountain Home RD -  Getting Ready for Horse Riding

Horse riding is wellcome on Cottonwood Creek Trail near the Cottonwood Campground, 1/2mile north of Arrowrock Reservoir,  but there are no transfer sites. 

The trail is approximately 10 miles in length and rated moderate.  It is a non-motorized trail that parallels Cottonwood Creek as it passes through a valley with occational scenic views of Mt. Heinen. 

Areas for Horse Riding at Mountain Home Ranger District and Office

Big Game Hunting

 Hunting Photo by Ann Thornton

The Mountain Home RD is a good place to hunt for big game such as elk and deer. For hunting season information and permits hunters should visit Idaho Fish and Game web site at:

 http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/

A few things to remember are please stay on designated roads and have a map or GPS unit with you at all times. Take plenty of water and wear appropriate clothing.

Hunting units on the Distrist include 39, 44 and 43.  If you have any further questions please contact the Mountain Home RD at: 208-587-7961
 

Areas for Big Game Hunting at Mountain Home Ranger District and Office

Viewing Wildlife

Badger Photo by Ann Thornton

 

 

There are great opportunities to see many different species of wildlife on the District.  Ann Thornton a Boise National Forest employee took this photo of a badger near the Trinity Lookout.

 

Areas for Viewing Wildlife at Mountain Home Ranger District and Office

OHV Camping

Areas for OHV Camping at Mountain Home Ranger District and Office

OHV Trail Riding

 

Boise NF - OHV

 

The District has many trails for those who enjoy seeing the back country by ATV or Motorcycle. Many of the trails are for intermediate and advanced riders, for beginners staying on designated forest roads is recommended.

Please make sure you check the skill level of the trail before heading out.  Like all outdoor activities make sure you take with you plenty of water, sunscreen, bug spray, appropriate clothing, and a map or GPS unit. You can get a map at the Mountain Home Ranger District office, and current conditions of trails by calling: 208-587-7961.

Also, not all trails that can be ridden on by motorcycles can be ridden by ATVs please check local office for trail specifics. For permits, registrations, and rules and regulations, please see web site for Idaho Parks and Recreation

http://parksandrecreation.idaho.gov/index.aspx


A popular destination is the Danskin Mountain Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Area encompasses 60,000 acres and provides more than 150 miles of Off-Highway Motorcycle (OHM) and All-terrain Vehicle (ATV) trails in a mountainous, high desert setting.
 

Areas for OHV Trail Riding at Mountain Home Ranger District and Office

Picnicking

RV Camping by Ann Thornton

 

 

 

 

Enjoy a long hike in the forest and then relax with the pleasure of an afternoon picnic.

Areas for Picnicking at Mountain Home Ranger District and Office

Group Picnicking

A favorite destination to have a group picnic and campsite is Elks Flat Campground.  It is located 4.5 miles north of Pine along the South Fork Boise River. 

There are shade trees along this flat area with tables, fire grills, restrooms, drinking water and a public telephone. 

Reservations for group picnic sites are required through www.reservation.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777.

Areas for Group Picnicking at Mountain Home Ranger District and Office

Boating - Motorized

Recreation - Water skiing

Both Arrowrock and Anderson Ranch Reserviors are two of the best destinations for motorized boating on the Forest.  

Arrowrock Reservoir is situated inside an eighteen mile canyon on the Boise River and encompasses more that 280,000 acre-feet of water. 

A sixty-mile shoreline and boat ramps provides access for boating and anglers can test their skills while trying to catch a rainbow trout, whitefish, yellow perch, and Kokanee salmon.   

Anderson Ranch Reservoir is a seventeen mile long reservoir home to an array of outdoor adventures.  With fifty miles of shoreline, it provides world-class fishing, boating and camping fun year round.

Areas for Boating - Motorized at Mountain Home Ranger District and Office

Boating - Non-Motorized

 Pine Campground

The two large reservoirs within the Mountain Home RD are Arrowrock and Anderson Ranch.  Both offer plenty of motororized and non-motorized boating.

Little Camas Reservoir is a smaller and quieter non-motorized boating destination for those outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy a serene desert setting covered in wildflowers in the spring.

The reservoirs are all stocked with rainbow trout, and there are docks available for easy water access.

Areas for Boating - Non-Motorized at Mountain Home Ranger District and Office

Swimming

Slide Show for Boise NF

 

 

There is nothing quite as refreshing as wading in a mountain stream or lake on a hot summer day.  The District offers plenty of opportunities for a summer cool down.

 

Areas for Swimming at Mountain Home Ranger District and Office

Skiing/Snowboarding

Plenty of skiing and snowboarding at Bogus Basin Ski Resort.

XC Skiing/Snowshoeing

There is no shortage of fun winter activities on the Mountain Home RD including a walk-in snowshoes! 

The Pine-Featherville-Trinity Lakes Area Snowmobile Trails are just north of Mountain Home near Pine.

Mountain Home RD Snowmobile Groomed Trails Map

Starting at a base elevation of 4,200 feet, the Trail System climbs to nearly 10,000 feet in the scenic Trinity Mountains. 

More than 380 miles of well-marked groomed trails provide an array of options for snowmobilers of all ages and experience levels. 

The most frequently used trails in the area include Trinity Lakes, James Creek, Wagon Town Loop, Rocky Bar, Atlanta, Featherville and Smith's Prairie.

Areas for XC Skiing/Snowshoeing at Mountain Home Ranger District and Office

Snowmobiling

The Pine-Featherville-Trinity Lakes Area Snowmobile Trails are just north of Mountain Home near Pine.

Mountain Home RD Snowmobile Groomed Trails Map

Starting at a base elevation of 4,200 feet, the Trail System climbs to nearly 10,000 feet in the scenic Trinity Mountains. 

More than 380 miles of well-marked groomed trails provide an array of options for snowmobilers of all ages and experience levels. 

Areas for Snowmobiling at Mountain Home Ranger District and Office

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities

Location

 
  Latitude : 
43.14669

  Longitude : 
-115.6175