If youre looking to rent an Idaho City yurt for the winter, youre probably on (three) pins and needles with all this legal wrangling going on between Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation and the U.S. Forest Service.
Currently, you cant rent a backcountry yurt in the area northeast of Idaho City because the program has been suspended.
Parks and Recreation and Forest Service officials say they are working to get permits in order so that operation of the yurts can resume.
State parks crews have gone in and prepared the yurts for winter visitors and stacked plenty of firewood. The states trail groomer is in place and waiting for snow.
Its a waiting game.
A spokesperson for the Forest Service said it is continuing to work to resolve issues related to the states acceptance of liability requirements for the special-use permits to operate the yurts on Boise National Forest land.
Parks and Recreation has been renting out six yurts in the Boise Mountains, about 25 miles northeast of Idaho City off Idaho 21.
They are popular, especially in the winter for backcountry ski and snowshoe trips. The yurts are typically booked every weekend and holidays during the snow season.
The debacle occurred during the summer, when state workers wanted to go in and maintain the yurts during the Trinity Ridge fire.
The roads to the yurts were closed to the public and only certain personnel were being allowed into the fire zone.
Thats when the Forest Service discovered the state didnt have the necessary permits to operate the yurts.
In the meantime, if youre looking to rent a yurt for a winter outing, you can wait for the state program to be up and running or go elsewhere.
Check at parksandrecreation.idaho.gov under backcountry yurts for updates or go to state parks around the state to rent one.
Another option is to go with a private operator, or switch your winter trip from a yurt to a cabin at Ponderosa State Park in McCall.
Here are other places to either rent a yurt, or get a guided trip to a yurt:
Galena Lodge: Between Ketchum and Stanley. galenalodge.com.
Payette Powder Guides: McCall area. payettepowderguides.com.
Payette Lakes Alpine Yurts: McCall area. payettelakesalpineyurts.com.
Lake Cascade State Park: Group yurts near Cascade. parksandrecreation.idaho.gov.
Sun Valley Trekking: Sun Valley area. svtrek.com.
Sawtooth Mountain Guides: Stanley area. sawtoothguides.com.
Pete Zimowsky: 377-6445, Twitter: @Zimosoutdoors