Boise National Forest
Come experience the Boise National Forest. Here, elevations range from 2,600 to 9,800 feet. The mountainous landscape developed through uplifting, faulting, and stream cutting. Most of the land lies within the Idaho Batholith, a large and highly erodable geologic formation.
Conifer forest covers most of the Boise National Forest. Tree species include ponderosa pine, Douglas-fir, Engelmann spruce, lodgepole pine, grand fir, subalpine fir, western larch and whitebark pine. Shrubs and grasses grow in the non-forested areas. Wildflowers splash color in both forests and shrub-land. For more on the wild plants and trees of the forest, check out this great online resource.
The Forest contains large expanses of summer range for big game species like mule deer and Rocky Mountain elk. Trout are native to most streams and lakes. Oceangoing salmon and steelhead inhabit tributaries of the Salmon River. Learn more about the forest wildlife here.
The Boise National Forest Offers Year-Round Recreation
You can find a great hike on more than ,1,300 miles of summer trails. Visitors can hike and ride horseback. Selected trails or roads are open to bicycles, motorcycles, and ATVs. In the winter, several trails are groomed for skiers and snowmobilers.
For solitude, a portion of the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness lies in the Boise National Forest. The Wilderness areas of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area are near the Boise Forest.
More than 7,600 miles of streams and rivers and more than 250 lakes and reservoirs beckon water-sports enthusiasts to raft, kayak, sail, and water-ski. Spring brings rafters and kayakers to the Payette and Boise Rivers.
In winter, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and ice fishing are popular. Many of the snow trails are regularly groomed.
Bogus Basin Ski Area, just north of Boise, is partially located on the Boise Forest. There are seven ski lifts, 45 groomed runs and 2,000 acres of night skiing, as well as 12 miles of groomed Nordic skiing trails at Bogus.