- The Boise National Forest occupies 2,265,000 acres of mountainous landscape. Elevations range from 2,600 to 9,800 feet. The major river systems represented are the Boise and Payette Rivers and the South and Middle Fork drainages of the Salmon River.
Copyright: USDA Forest Service
Boise River Canyon, Boise National Forest
Four trails have been established as National Recreation Trails: William H. Pogue (motorized/nonmotorized travel), Whoop-Um-Up (crosscountry skiing), and Hull's Gulch (non-motorized travel).
For those who want solitude, a portion of the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, has lots of it as do other undeveloped areas. In addition, the Sawtooth Wilderness, Sawtooth National Recreation Area, and the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, a part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, are near the Forest. These rugged areas are famous for their spectacular scenery.
Recreation - The Boise National Forest offers many year-round recreation opportunities. Visitors will find over 70 campgrounds and picnic areas providing a variety of recreation experiences. Several of the campgrounds provide access for the physically challenged. Visitors can hike, ride horseback or motorbike on over 850 miles of trails.
Big game hunting and trout fishing are popular. Over 7,600 miles of streams and more than 250 lakes and reservoirs offer excellent water sports activities including rafting, kayaking, sailing, and water-skiing.
Snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and ice fishing are popular in winter. Many of the snow trails are regularly groomed. Bogus Basin Ski Area, just north of Boise, provides alpine skiing opportunities with seven ski lifts, 45 groomed runs and 2,000 acres of night skiing, as well as 12 miles of groomed nordic skiing opportunities.
Climate - Weather on the Boise National Forest varies with elevation. The average precipitation ranges from 15 inches at lower elevations to 70 inches at higher elevations. Summers tend to bring clear days, with afternoon thunderstorms possible. Daytime highs are normally warm to moderate, with relatively cool to cold nights, depending on elevation. Winter can bring cold temperatures with heavy snows, especially at the high elevations. Sunny days are common between winter storms.
The Boise National Forest is located in west central Idaho, north, east and southeast of Boise. The Forest is headquartered in Boise, with offices also in Lowman, Idaho City and Cascade. Interstate 84 runs through Boise and near the south end of the Forest. State Highway 55 runs along the west side of the Forest.