Q: I want to try snowshoeing, but have no idea where or how to begin. Does anyone do an information clinic?
KIM ZILLNER, email
A: Some local outdoors shops will sponsor snowshoeing clinics throughout the winter so keep an eye out for them. We usually run notices of any clinics in Idaho Outdoors.
In fact, Boises REI store (8300 W. Emerald St.) has a free Snowshoeing Basics class at 7 p.m., Jan. 9. Sign up. They usually fill fast. Go to rei.com/stores/boise.html.
Snowshoeing is probably the easiest winter sport to take up because you can go almost anywhere theres snow. You dont need groomed trails so you can head out on any snow-covered roads in the mountains.
First, rent some gear at any of the outdoors shops around the valley. While youre there, pick up tips on where to go.
My first choice for beginners is Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Areas snowshoe trails at Frontier Point Lodge. The area is only 16 miles out of Boise and very accessible for a quick half-day outing. Its also convenient because you can explore snowshoe trails close to a warm lodge. The snowshoe trail pass is $5 for a full day or $3 for a half day or night.
Bogus is not open yet and its waiting for snow. For information go to bogusbasin.org and look under Nordic.
After doing those trails, Id head up to the Idaho City Park N Ski trail system about 60 miles northeast of Boise off Idaho 21. The system offers trails in four areas Whoop Um Up, Gold Fork, Banner Ridge and Beaver Creek Summit.
Again, these areas are well marked and the trails are easy to follow. Parking and restrooms are available.
The trail fee is an annual Idaho Park N Ski permit for $25, or a three-day permit for $7.50, which is the minimum you can buy. The area doesnt have enough snow yet. For details go to parksandrecreation.idaho.gov.
I wanted to let you know of an alternative for your yurt-enthusiastic friends that are waiting for the Idaho City yurt system to come back online.
We are a small private operation located just south of the Tamarack Resort on West Mountain. We have a 30-foot yurt that sleeps eight with a beautiful view of Lake Cascade.
The hike in is a short 1/4 mile during the winter months, but during the other three seasons you can drive right to it.
Like most yurts there is no electricity or plumbing, but we do have a wood-burning fireplace as well as a propane fireplace. That way you dont have to draw straws in the morning to see who gets the fire started.
Check out our website at sunriseretreat.net or call 867-3598.
BEN AND TRACEY SURBECK, email
Pete Zimowsky: 377-6445, Twitter: @Zimosoutdoors