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Hiking in Idaho State Parks

Idaho state parks in every region of the state have excellent opportunities for hiking and learning about the natural and historical significance of the environment. Visit these Idaho state parks for exceptional hiking opportunities:
 

Idaho's Centennial Trail

 
The 1,311-mile Idaho Centennial Trail (ICT) weaves through the most scenic portions of Idaho’s wild country, from high desert canyonlands in southern Idaho to wet mountain forests in North Idaho. 
 
Designated the official state trail during Idaho’s Centennial year in 1990, the southern portion of the trail begins at 6,000 feet near Murphy Hot Springs on the Idaho/Nevada border.  Heading north, the trail descends to 2,500 feet at the Snake River near Glenns Ferry. The trail yo-yos up and down through the mountains of Central Idaho between 3,000 and 9,000 feet. At its low point (1,900 feet above sea level) the trail skirts the Selway River near the Moose Creek Guard Station then climbs again to high points up to 6,000 feet in the Cabinet and Selkirk Mountains as the trail approaches the northern boundary.
 
The ICT crosses three historic trails along its route: the Oregon Trail near the Snake River, the Lewis and Clark Trail (on the north ridge above the Lochsa River) and the alternative route crosses the Nez Perce Trail. Those who travel the entire length of the trail will cross through 11 national forests and about 100 miles of Bureau of Land Management land in the high desert.
 
Three wilderness areas can be explored on the trail: the Sawtooth Wilderness, the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness and the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness for a distance of more 300 miles. The trail also courses along the famed Middle Fork of the Salmon River (if you like to fish, you’ve got to bring your fishing pole) and the Selway, both of which were among the original eight National Wild and Scenic Rivers because of their purity, beauty and wild character (no dams from source to mouth). North of the Selway-Bitterroot, the trail hop-scotches along the Idaho-Montana border on the backbone of the Bitterroot Mountains for more than 85 miles on high ridges.  Dozens of high mountain lakes along this portion of the route will beckon the hard-core angler. There is also an alternative route available that skirts the wilderness areas.
 
The Idaho Centennial Trail passes through some of Idaho's most spectacular country. The route traverses a variety of terrain including sagebrush desert, flower-filled alpine meadows, dense cedar forests, six major river canyons and numerous crystal clear mountain takes. Many unique geological formations, such as caves and hot springs, can also be seen from the trail. Along the way you will find Idaho as it was 100 years ago. Abandoned homesteads and cabins, old mines, logging camps and a restored, old time ranger station are many of the interesting sites along the route.
 
The Centennial Trail primarily crosses public land, but there are small segments of private land along the way. Permission to cross or camp on private land must be obtained from the land owner. The trail is cooperatively managed by the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, which provides overall trail coordination; the Bureau of Land Management, which manages of southern section of trail; and the U. S. Forest Service, which manages the middle and northern sections of the trail and private and other public land agencies allow trail users to cross their property for continuity.

Idaho Parks and Recreation Trail Map Program

The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation's Trail Map program is a mapping application that offers printable maps of trails for hikers, bikers, Nordic skiers, and motorcycle and ATV riders.  
 
Hiking trails fall under the non-motorized category and are designated by a red-dashed triangles.  
 
Click here to access the program: http://trails.idaho.gov.
 

Hiking in Idaho National Forests

More than 70% of Idaho land is public and managed by the US Forest Service and Federal Bureau of Management.  There are trails for everyone whether you're looking for s a short hike for the whole family or a once-in-a-lifetime hiking experience.  Click below to search for information about hiking in Idaho's National Forests and National monument areas:
 
 

Hiking in Wilderness Areas

Idaho offers some of the most pristine wilderness areas in the lower 48 states. Follow a trail through 6,000 foot river canyons, hike to crystal alpine lakes or jagged peaks, or find solitude on thousands of miles of hiking trails in Idaho's designated wilderness areas, two of which (the Frank Church and Selway Bitteroot Wilderness areas) are the largest in the lower 48 states.  Some of the most popular wilderness areas for hiking include: 

Another good tool to find information about Wilderness Areas in Idaho is Wilderness.net.

 
 

Non-Motorized Trail Recreation Summits

The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR) hosted three (3) summits to discuss issues and solutions pertaining to non-motorized trail recreation in Idaho. The discussions were held in Boise, Coeur d'Alene and Idaho Falls. Below are the meeting handouts, minutes and white boards from each location. The open discussions explored all topics pertaining to non-motorized trail recreation in Idaho and ideas for solving the non-motorized trail funding gap.

Boise

Meeting Minutes
 

Coeur d'Alene

Meeting Minutes
 

Idaho Falls

Meeting Minutes (coming soon)

Collective Report

A synthesis of all three meetings will be made available soon, at which point a fourth meeting will be held to share results of the meeting and organize a leadership team, willing to take suggestions and strategies through the next very important steps.

Next Steps - Use collective report and results from statewide summits to answer the following:

1) Is there a need to address non-motorized trail maintenance in Idaho? 

2) Is there enough support statewide to address non-motorized trail maintenance and related funding in Idaho? 

3) Who will work together to address the need?

4) What does addressing the need look like?

5) What are the necessary actions / future next steps?

Want to take a leadership role? Have questions?

If you have questions, would like to lead in next steaps, or were unable to attend a summit in your area, you can share your thoughts and ideas via email: inquiry@idpr.idaho.gov

 

 

 

 

Hiking in Idaho State Parks

Idaho state parks in every region of the state have excellent opportunities for hiking and learning about the natural and historical significance of the environment. Visit these Idaho state parks for exceptional hiking opportunities:
 

Idaho's Centennial Trail

 
The 1,311-mile Idaho Centennial Trail (ICT) weaves through the most scenic portions of Idaho’s wild country, from high desert canyonlands in southern Idaho to wet mountain forests in North Idaho. 
 
Designated the official state trail during Idaho’s Centennial year in 1990, the southern portion of the trail begins at 6,000 feet near Murphy Hot Springs on the Idaho/Nevada border.  Heading north, the trail descends to 2,500 feet at the Snake River near Glenns Ferry. The trail yo-yos up and down through the mountains of Central Idaho between 3,000 and 9,000 feet. At its low point (1,900 feet above sea level) the trail skirts the Selway River near the Moose Creek Guard Station then climbs again to high points up to 6,000 feet in the Cabinet and Selkirk Mountains as the trail approaches the northern boundary.
 
The ICT crosses three historic trails along its route: the Oregon Trail near the Snake River, the Lewis and Clark Trail (on the north ridge above the Lochsa River) and the alternative route crosses the Nez Perce Trail. Those who travel the entire length of the trail will cross through 11 national forests and about 100 miles of Bureau of Land Management land in the high desert.
 
Three wilderness areas can be explored on the trail: the Sawtooth Wilderness, the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness and the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness for a distance of more 300 miles. The trail also courses along the famed Middle Fork of the Salmon River (if you like to fish, you’ve got to bring your fishing pole) and the Selway, both of which were among the original eight National Wild and Scenic Rivers because of their purity, beauty and wild character (no dams from source to mouth). North of the Selway-Bitterroot, the trail hop-scotches along the Idaho-Montana border on the backbone of the Bitterroot Mountains for more than 85 miles on high ridges.  Dozens of high mountain lakes along this portion of the route will beckon the hard-core angler. There is also an alternative route available that skirts the wilderness areas.
 
The Idaho Centennial Trail passes through some of Idaho's most spectacular country. The route traverses a variety of terrain including sagebrush desert, flower-filled alpine meadows, dense cedar forests, six major river canyons and numerous crystal clear mountain takes. Many unique geological formations, such as caves and hot springs, can also be seen from the trail. Along the way you will find Idaho as it was 100 years ago. Abandoned homesteads and cabins, old mines, logging camps and a restored, old time ranger station are many of the interesting sites along the route.
 
The Centennial Trail primarily crosses public land, but there are small segments of private land along the way. Permission to cross or camp on private land must be obtained from the land owner. The trail is cooperatively managed by the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, which provides overall trail coordination; the Bureau of Land Management, which manages of southern section of trail; and the U. S. Forest Service, which manages the middle and northern sections of the trail and private and other public land agencies allow trail users to cross their property for continuity.

Idaho Parks and Recreation Trail Map Program

The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation's Trail Map program is a mapping application that offers printable maps of trails for hikers, bikers, Nordic skiers, and motorcycle and ATV riders.  
 
Hiking trails fall under the non-motorized category and are designated by a red-dashed triangles.  
 
Click here to access the program: http://trails.idaho.gov.
 

Hiking in Idaho National Forests

More than 70% of Idaho land is public and managed by the US Forest Service and Federal Bureau of Management.  There are trails for everyone whether you're looking for s a short hike for the whole family or a once-in-a-lifetime hiking experience.  Click below to search for information about hiking in Idaho's National Forests and National monument areas:
 
 

Hiking in Wilderness Areas

Idaho offers some of the most pristine wilderness areas in the lower 48 states. Follow a trail through 6,000 foot river canyons, hike to crystal alpine lakes or jagged peaks, or find solitude on thousands of miles of hiking trails in Idaho's designated wilderness areas, two of which (the Frank Church and Selway Bitteroot Wilderness areas) are the largest in the lower 48 states.  Some of the most popular wilderness areas for hiking include: 

Another good tool to find information about Wilderness Areas in Idaho is Wilderness.net.

 
 

Non-Motorized Trail Recreation Summits

The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR) hosted three (3) summits to discuss issues and solutions pertaining to non-motorized trail recreation in Idaho. The discussions were held in Boise, Coeur d'Alene and Idaho Falls. Below are the meeting handouts, minutes and white boards from each location. The open discussions explored all topics pertaining to non-motorized trail recreation in Idaho and ideas for solving the non-motorized trail funding gap.

Boise

Meeting Minutes
 

Coeur d'Alene

Meeting Minutes
 

Idaho Falls

Meeting Minutes (coming soon)

Collective Report

A synthesis of all three meetings will be made available soon, at which point a fourth meeting will be held to share results of the meeting and organize a leadership team, willing to take suggestions and strategies through the next very important steps.

Next Steps - Use collective report and results from statewide summits to answer the following:

1) Is there a need to address non-motorized trail maintenance in Idaho? 

2) Is there enough support statewide to address non-motorized trail maintenance and related funding in Idaho? 

3) Who will work together to address the need?

4) What does addressing the need look like?

5) What are the necessary actions / future next steps?

Want to take a leadership role? Have questions?

If you have questions, would like to lead in next steaps, or were unable to attend a summit in your area, you can share your thoughts and ideas via email: inquiry@idpr.idaho.gov