Q: I recently moved to the Boise area following 30 years of living in a concrete jungle metropolitan area in the Midwest.
I recently did a three-night backpacking trip in the Sawtooth Mountains and I am hooked on what Idaho offers for outdoor enthusiasts.
I have a few questions:
- What are the must see places and must do activities in Idaho?
- As someone with very little background in hunting, fishing, hiking, etc., whats a good way to learn the tricks of the trade so such activities are safe and enjoyable? Also, the cost of the gear needed for these activities is quite pricey. Im reluctant to outlay for a whole set of equipment only to find out that I dont enjoy the activity.
Any recommendations on how to mitigate the cost or possibly sample various outdoor activities prior to spending a large sum of cash?
SCOTT DAVISON, via email
A: Whew! Ive been roaming Idaho for pretty near 48 years and havent gotten to all the places Ive set my sights on.
I dont even know where to begin. Since youve been to the Sawtooths, we dont have to mention that magnificent mountain range near Stanley.
How about Hells Canyon, Bruneau Canyon, the Owyhee Byway, Main and Middle forks of the Salmon in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, Boulder Mountains, Pioneer Mountains, White Cloud Mountains, Redfish Lake, the Magruder Road and the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, Bighorn Crags, Gospel Hump Wilderness, Yellowstone National Park and the Island Park area, Craters of the Moon, Bruneau Dunes, City of Rocks National Reserve, Priest Lake, Coeur d Alene Lake and the Trail of the Coeur dAlenes, Lake Pend Oreille, St. Joe River country, Hiawatha Trail, U.S. 12 and the Lochsa River? Thats probably only a few of the places to see in Idaho.
You can start off easy by car camping to certain destinations and day hiking or fishing. Idahos state parks are great destinations. For bigger trips, like floating wilderness rivers, go with an outfitter. You can find out a lot of information at the Idaho Outfitters and Guides Association Web site at ioga.org.
Some outdoor retailers rent equipment, so if you need a tent or backpack, cross-country skis or snowshoes, you can give it a try.
To learn more about places to go or how to do stuff, keep tabs on local outdoor retailers. Many of them sponsor weekly or monthly programs on everything from backpacking to mountain biking.
Of course, Idaho Outdoors in the Idaho Statesman (IdahoStatesman.com) has lots of ideas on enjoying the outdoors.
Lets see, did I forget Borah Peak, the Jarbidge Canyon, winter yurts, the Lower Salmon River, 7,200 miles of snowmobile trails, skiing at Bogus Basin, Brundage, Sun Valley, Silver Mountain, Schweitzer and more, the Custer Motorway and a whole bunch of scenic byways lacing the state.
Pete Zimowsky: 377-6445, Twitter: @Zimosoutdoors