Recreation

Photo of the outside of the front entrance Visitor Center

The Boise National Forest is a land of steep mountains, fast rivers and dense forests making it a recreation destination any season of the year. From biking and hiking through lush green mountains and rolling arid landscapes, to snowboarding in cooler months and swimming or kayaking in the warmer ones, the Boise National Forest is the recreational choice for over 1.5 million outdoor enthusiasts every year.

 

FIRST STOP: 

Visit the Interagency Visitor Information Center/BLM Public Room at 1387 S. Vinnell Street, in Boise, Idaho 83709 for information regarding your public lands. The Center is your one stop shop for recreation information, fuelwood permits, Christmas Tree permits, Federal Agency passes, Motor Vehicle Use maps, Forest Service maps, BLM maps and so much more!  Center Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday – Friday.  208-373-3889.

 

BEFORE YOU HEAD TO THE FOREST:  

Check with the Districts for campground opening and closing dates. View the Alerts & Notices webpage for road and area closures. Remember most of the Forest has no cell phone coverage. Look at each district (Areas & Activities - Find An Area) for a listing campgrounds. 

REMINDER:  The Danskin Trail System opens April 11.

 

FIRE WATCH: 

VIEW AREA CLOSURES DUE TO WILDFIRE ACTIVITY AT ALERTS AND NOTICES PAGE.

INCIWEB-  For  wildland information, photos, updates and maps go to: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov.

 

2021 List of  Spring Campground Opening Dates! 

RESERVATIONS: 1-877-444-6777  www.recreation.gov

Reminder - check on the website for extra vehicle charges, bring cash or a check, no foreign money accepted.  Follow rules on America Beautiful Passes - Military passes are free DAY USE ONLY - not camping.  (Stated on the back of the card.)

 

NEW HISTORIC AUTO TOUR:

Download the Ponderosa Pine Scenic Byway Historic Auto Tour and take our tour from Boise to Stanley and back!

 

RECREATION HIGHLIGHTS:

SCENIC BYWAYS - If you’re interested in taking the scenic route, three Scenic Byways ramble through portions of the Boise National Forest offering unrivaled natural beauty and multiple recreation opportunities.

CABIN RENTALS - Rustic cabins and guard stations once used by Boise National Forest Rangers can be rented for overnight visits.  Each offers unparalleled scenic surroundings, numerous outdoor recreation opportunities and abundant wildlife viewing

WATER FUN - Water sports enthusiasts are not hurting for options on the Boise National Forest! With 9,600 miles of rivers and streams, and 15,000 acres of lakes and reservoirs, there is a wide variety of locations for swimming, boating and fishing.

 

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Recreation Conditions Report

 Area Name Status Area Conditions
Big Trinity Lake - Rental Cabins    Reservations are required from www.recreation.gov.  Livestock, such as saddle, pack or draft animals, are not allowed at this site. Camping is not allowed at the site of the cabins; please do not use tents at the cabin.  
Big Trinity Lake Campground    Trinity Recreation Area normally opens in mid July. Call District for updates.  (208-587-7961)
Blue Lake Trail    The Blue Lake Trail and Snowbank Road #446 gate normally opens June 1.  Gate is locked November 16.
Bull Trout Lake Campground & Group sites - reserve    Opening of campground is snow dependent. 2021 tentative opening date is June 26. Campground officially closes late Sept.
Cozy Cove Campground - reserve    Deadwood campgrounds normally open as snow conditions permit access.  This year the tenative opening for campgrounds is June 26.  Campgrounds close at end of Sept.  Access roads are open with the exception of FS 555 road (Scott Mountain Road).  This road is very narrow and in bad shape.  Not a recommended route.
Danskin Mountain OHV Area Trail(s)    The Danskin Trail System normally opens April 11.
Graham Guard Station - Rental Cabin   

Fly in only. The airstrip is generally free of snow from late May until the beginning of October; use appropriate landing precautions for this backcountry airstrip.

Road repair completed in 2018 however, access only with high clearance 4-wheel drive vehicle because visitor must ford North Fork Boise River to get to the cabin.  Livestock are permitted at Graham Cabin. 

 

Hardscrabble Campground    2021 Scheduled to open May 7. 2019 - Hardscrabble Campground renovations and remodel were completed. 
Ice Hole Campground    2019 - The remodel and renovations were completed.
Kirkham Campground - reserve    Kirkham Hot Springs is open for Day Use only from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm.  CURRENTLY THERE IS NO OVER NIGHT CAMPING.  Visitors may walk into the campground but they are not permitted to drive in. The gate is closed. Visitors may walk in. 
Lower Roaring River Trail 045 Closed to Visitor There is a closure on a portion of the Lower Roaring River Trail - 045 until further notice.  #0402-01-59.  View Alerts & Notices webpage.
Mountain View Campground - reserve Closed to Visitor Mountain View Campground will remain closed until reconstruction work is completed.
Rattlesnake Campground and Group sites - reserve    2021 Scheduled to open May 7.  
Sage Hen Creek Campground - reserve    2021 Scheduled opening May 14. 2021 Sage Hen Campgrounds will be open and available for reservations HOWEVER there maybe times during the 2021 summer months that it is temporarily closed due to logging operations.  Check with Emmett RD before you go!   208-365-7000
Shafer Butte Campground and Group sites - reserve    Normally opens June 15 - October 1  (or until closed by snow).  Campground gate is closed October 1. 
Stack Rock Trail    Construction of a new trail connection has been completed - fall 2019.
William H. Pogue National Recreation Trail Closed to Visitor Closure on a portion of the trail until further notice.  Order #0402-01-059  View Alerts & Notices webpage.  
Areas & Activities
photo of cartoon about myths about bats

10-17-2019 Sharing your space - Forest friends may share your rental cabin! Link opens in a Pdf Document


A photo of a map with photos on it to view a location

USDA Forest Service - Interactive Visitor Map Link opens in a new window


Discover Idaho Trail Maps

Idaho Dept. of Parks and Recreation - Idaho Trail Maps Link opens in a new window


A photo of a flyer about gate closures

Seasonal gate & road closure schedule for Idaho City RD. Gates open June 15 and close September 15. Click HERE for more information.


Photo of washed out road

Boise National Forest Interactive Road and Trail Closure Map- Check with the Districts if you have further questions Link opens in a new window


Avenza logo for app users

USDA Interactive Forest Service Maps and MVUMs Available for Smart-Phone Users with Avenza App. Link opens in a new window


EM - Family getting ready to catch a fish at Trail Creek Campground

Reminder - Special Order and map - Camping limit is 14 days Link opens in a Pdf Document

 



https://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/boise/recreation