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Boise National Forest

The Boise National Forest covers about 2,612,000 acres and is located north and east of the city of Boise, Idaho.

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.

Recreation
The Boise National Forest Offers Year-Round Recreation

The forest has 70 campgrounds and picnic areas including some sites that are wheelchair accessible. Additionally, many of the remote rustic cabins are available to rent.

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.

Big game hunting and trout fishing draw hunters and anglers to the Forest annually.

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.

First-timer’s Adventure

Take a hike.

The three-mile-long Clear Creek Trail travels through lodgepole pine forests, meadows dotted with wildflowers and snow in the early spring, and ends at a ridge overlooking snow capped mountains to the southeast. It leaves the creek at a bridge crossing Rough Creek and begins a moderate climb into Douglas Fir forest interspersed with meadows of bunchgrasses and wildflowers. Continuing up the trail, lodgepole pine stands begin to dominate on the final easy stretch to where the trail ends at the Kirkham Ridge Trail junction. Picnic tables, a stock loading ramp, hitching posts, and several dispersed campsites are located at Red Mountain Transfer Camp near the west trailhead.

From Lowman, go north on FS Rd 582 for 12 miles to the intersection of FS Rd 515 (Red Mountain Road). Go northeast on FS Rd 515 for about 5 miles. There is a registration box, unloading ramp, and two campsites at the trailhead.

Statistics

State(s):

Idaho

Nearest Large Urban Area:

Boise

Notes & Conditions:

Research campground locations and amenities at the U.S. National Forest Campground Directory. The Web site is full of pictures and detailed descriptions to help you plan your next trip.

If you want to experience a guided recreation trip in a National Forest, visit Adventure Vacation to learn about whitewater rafting, canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding, camping, hiking and fishing trips.

Maps:

Visit the National Forest Store to see what maps are available for this Forest and others you may want to visit.