Outdoors Blog

7 ways to bring your favorite outdoor activities inside this winter

A look inside Asana Climbing Gym on a competition day

Asana Climbing Gym opened a new, much larger facility in January 2017 in Garden City. Here's a peek inside. (Video courtesy of Asana)
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Asana Climbing Gym opened a new, much larger facility in January 2017 in Garden City. Here's a peek inside. (Video courtesy of Asana)

There’s plenty to do around Idaho when it gets cold outside, but what if snowy slopes and ice fishing aren’t your thing? Don’t despair. The Treasure Valley offers plenty of opportunities to bring your favorite outdoor activities inside until the snow starts to melt.

Paddleboard: Whether you spend the summers paddling around Quinn’s Pond or you’ve never set foot on a standup paddleboard, you can give indoor paddleboarding a go this winter. The YMCA partners with Idaho River Sports for an introductory class at the West Boise location on Sundays at 8:30 a.m. More experienced paddleboarders can try the Y’s paddleboard fitness class, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:15 a.m. at the West Boise YMCA or Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the Downtown YMCA (times vary).

The fitness class is free for YMCA members and requires a day pass for non-members. The introductory class is $12 per lesson for members, $18 per lesson for non-members.

Swim: Enjoy a hot springs soak with a roof over your head. The pools at 1000 Springs Resort in Hagerman, Idaho, are heated through geothermal energy, just like Idaho’s naturally occurring hot springs. You can rent private hot tubs if you’re looking to relax or jump from the high dive into a warm swimming pool. The all-indoor resort also includes a kiddie pool.

Tickets are $7 for adults, $6 for children ages 6-17 and $3 for children under 6.

Rock climb: The Foothills and mountains around Boise make for great rock climbing — except when they’re covered in snow and ice. Keep yourself in climbing shape through the winter at one of several indoor gyms. At Asana Climbing Gym in Garden City, you can try bouldering — rock climbing done on shorter walls without a harness — or roped vertical climbs with a belay test. Day passes at Asana are $16 for adults, $12 for ages 9-17 and $8 for children under 9.

The Treasure Valley YMCA also offers rock climbing at its Downtown and West Boise locations at various dates and times. Harnesses are required at the Y’s facilities, but the gym offers belay certification once a week. Climbing with friends? Larger groups can schedule rock climbing sessions at the Wings Center.

Golf: Cold weather got you teed off? Schedule a tee time at Back 9 Indoor Golf, a Boise business with four golf simulators and more than 70 courses to choose from. Back 9 also offers leagues and instruction.

Simulator rentals start at $20 for half an hour of play, or you can get a $250 winter pass that’s good for an hour of play each day through the end of March.

TruGolf_Simulator_Custom built_Commercial_Facility
Boiseans Chad and Melisa Evans say the look and feel of their Back 9 Indoor Golf business will be similar to this. TruGolf Inc. via Chad Evans

Soccer: Don’t put away your cleats for the winter. The Treasure Valley has two indoor soccer facilities, Meridian’s Idaho Soccer Center and Boise’s Let’s Play Sports. Each offers leagues for all age ranges. Sign up with friends and form your own team or join an existing team.

Prices vary depending on league.

Shooting: Sure, you could still go shooting at an outdoor range during the winter, but it’s possible to stay warm and target practice at the same time. Not surprisingly, the Boise area has several indoor shooting ranges: Independence Indoor Shooting in Meridian, which boasts pistol, rifle and tactical ranges; Impact Guns in Boise, which offers a 25-yard range; and the Boise Rifle and Pistol Club, open Tuesdays and Fridays through May.

Larry Baumgarten of Eagle practices firing his handguns at the indoor gun range at Independence Indoor Shooting Range Feb. 23, 2018 in Meridian. Darin Oswald Idaho Statesman file

Archery: Boise also boasts a year-round outdoor archery range, but there are plenty of places to shoot inside. Several local businesses offer standard range shooting along with other unique activities. Join the Thursday night 3-D animal league at Nampa Bow Chiefs, take a lesson at Archery Central in Caldwell or try the hunting simulator at Boise’s Dead-On Archery. Prices vary from $5-$15, plus the cost of rental gear if you don’t have your own.

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Nicole Blanchard is the Idaho Statesman’s outdoors and insight reporter. She grew up in Idaho, graduated from Idaho State University and Northwestern University and frequents the trails around Boise as much as she can.If you like seeing stories like this, please consider supporting our work with a digital subscription to the Idaho Statesman.