Step Outside - Idaho WELCOME TO STEP OUTSIDE! Find the best outdoor fun near you! en-us 30 Step Outside - Idaho 144 144 Mon, 23 Jul 2018 08:13:17 -0500 7 Best Birdwatching Hikes in Idaho Idaho is a birdwatcher’s paradise. With an incredibly diverse state park system and birding trails throughout, you’ll discover species ranging from mallard ducks to beautiful songbirds. Here are seven of the best birdwatching hikes in the state. 

Birdwatchers will love trekking the walking trail in Camas National Wildlife Refuge. The trail is open all year long, and visitors are encouraged to hike off the roads, too, charting their own course. The refuge is home to many different kinds of water birds, waterfowl, songbirds, and others. 

The entire Wildlife Management Area in Idaho is huge, covering up to 85,000 acres. For our purposes, let’s take a closer look at just the Hagerman portion of the area. Birdwatchers can find mallards, gadwalls, ruddy ducks, Canada geese, and much more along the many trails.


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American Falls near Pocatello, Idaho, is widely recognized as one of the best spots in the state for birdwatching. The site is only three miles-long, but features raptors, songbirds, upland birds, shorebirds, water birds, and more. It is available year-round for free. 

The Mink Creek Area along the Bannock Highway is part of the greater Caribou-Targhee National Forest. The site has many multi-use trails, and is an ideal location to find juniper titmouse, bushtit, blue-gray gnatcatchers, and other types of birds.

Hiking in the Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge is allowed on all roads, with both an accessible walking trail and a general hiking trail open seasonally. The wildlife refuge is home to some 60+ different birds throughout the season. Find birds such as loons, grebes, herons, egrets, and a variety of raptors, as well. 

Willson's Snipe. Utah USA. #utah #birdingutah #birding #birdphotography #snipe

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Harriman State Park covers about 11,000 acres and is open year-round. Birdwatchers should take the Silver Lake Loop for the best views. The bald eagle, common loon, and great gray owl call Harriman home.

Deer Flat is another large national wildlife refuge, and boasts six unique hiking trails. The East Dike Trail has the best birdwatching. Visit to see over 250 different bird species. Find birds such as snow geese, blue-winged teal, common loon, American white pelican, and even the amazing harlequin duck! 

Northern Flicker December 2017

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ATV Off-Roading Adventure at Big Southern Butte Tired of the bustle of everyday life? Take a few minutes to plan a thrilling, off-roading weekend expedition in beautiful Idaho. Just you, a few friends, and the power of an ATV. Grab your helmet and get ready to hit the trails with this thrilling off-roading adventure at Big Southern Butte. 

For this off-roading adventure, we’re headed out to the somewhat secluded Big Southern Butte near the Snake River Plain. Before hitting the road to get out there, stop at Pickle’s Place in Arco, Idaho, for a large breakfast. You’re gonna want a homemade meal, coffee, and maybe even a sandwich to go. For a more basic breakfast, go for the two scrambled eggs with diced ham, cheddar cheese, hash browns, and toast. For a serious start to the day, try the six-ounce sirloin steak with two eggs, hash browns, and toast! 

You’ll find the Big Southern Butte just under an hour away from Pickle’s Place. The elevation is over 7,500-feet, and is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world. You’re going to want to find the BLM and Lost Valley ATV Club route to navigate this 68-mile route, starting in Arco and ending there, too. Bring lots of food and water!

You’ll be hungry after a full day off-roading. We recommend stopping at Mountain View on your way back into town. They’ve got great barbecue, a cozy atmosphere, and friendly service. Enjoy a menu of mouth-watering delights such as King Crab legs, smoked barbecue pork ribs, bacon-wrapped burgers, and more. Check out what beers they have on tap, too. 

The Lost River Motel is affordable, comfortable, and spacious. After a long day out, this is a great place to rest your head. Enjoy single rooms or suites for highly reasonable prices, microwaves, refrigerators, TV, Wi-Fi, and coffee. Pets are welcome, too! 

Now, after a good night of rest, your stomach will be rumbling. Before you head home, stop into the Mi Nest Café in neighboring Moore, Idaho. Enjoy certified angus burgers, delicious sandwiches, salads, and even a kid’s menu if you’ve got little ones with you.  

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5 Great Hiking Trails in Idaho There is no better way to soak in the beauty of Idaho than by hitting the hiking trails. Year after year people, from all over the world flock to Idaho to stroll through the state’s breathtaking natural wonders. So, the next time you’re passing through and you’re in need of outdoor activity, explore these five amazing hiking locations. 

Craters of the Moon provides excellent opportunities in sightseeing and animal watching. Some fascinating creatures you will find at Craters of the Moon are the Pacific tree frog, tad poles, and toads. Hiking in this area will prove to be somewhat challenging in some sections. The area is covered in black lava, and this makes for abrasive grounds. So be sure to bring the proper footwear, water, and sunscreen, too. There are nine hiking trails to pick from, each with their own level of diversity and challenge. For the young ones, you may want to try out the .3-mile North Crater Flow, the half-mile Devil’s Orchard, or the .1-mile Spatter Cones—all of which are categorized as easy hikes.

Located near Stanley, Idaho, Sawtooth Lake is any hikers ultimate dream. Trek through the enchanted wilderness to a clear opening of crystal waters. The route from Iron Creek to Sawtooth lake is generally categorized as moderate, and is 8.9 miles in length. Maybe even consider spending a night under the stars—making the trek even more memorable. After waking up to the soothing sounds of nature, take a dip in the refreshing water before setting back out on the trails.

Rich in diverse foliage and amazing virgin creek vistas, Priest Lake is a hiker’s paradise. The Upper Priest River Trail is classified as an easy hike, but it’s utilized heavy so be aware of other hikers traversing the trail around you. Also, look out for wildlife! The trail is situated in grizzly bear and mountain caribou habitat. 

Deep in the Sawtooth National Forest is the famous Toxaway-Alice Lake Loop. Surrounded by the Sawtooth Mountains, the serenity of nature trails capture even the busiest city slicker’s attention. Hikers and bikers can take advantage of the picturesque paths with ample amount of space to explore. The Sawtooth canyons are the most heavily used trails in the region, which is no surprise due to the breathtaking views and miles of terrain. For those who prefer a more relaxed trip, the loop also has a variety of meandering trails. The Toxaway-Alice Lake Loop is a quaint getaway for families, active go getters, and those seeking more time in the great outdoors.

This moderately-rated trail affords some of the most breathtaking views in the state. The trail is characterized by pristine, shimmering lakes and granite mountains towering above. On nice weekends, the area can get busy—so come prepared! If you’d like for a more low-key excursion, try visiting on a week day. With minimal elevation gain, this is an ideal hike for those less-experienced hikers.

fly-m/ Thu, 05 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0500
10 Best Outdoor Festivals in Idaho The rugged mountains of northern and eastern Idaho give way to the sweeping, fertile high plains of the Great Basin in the south—giving Idahoans much to celebrate. And there are few better ways to rejoice over the state’s natural wonders than an outdoor festival. There are our favorite outdoor festivals in Idaho.

An August tradition in the town of Stanley, the Sawtooth Salmon Festival is a great opportunity to get out and learn about Idaho’s wild salmon. In addition to live entertainment and food, festival goers will be treated to tours of the local wild rivers, where salmon will be spawning in the streams in which they were born.

In July, mountain bikers converge on the Grand Targhee Resort for the Wydaho Rendezvous Teton Bike Festival. The festival is a full weekend of gorgeous trails, entertainment, and singletrack camaraderie. Show up ready for camping, as well as equipment and skills demos. The fine folks at Teton Valley Hospital, Pivot Cycles and Yeti Cycles help to make the festival more festive.

In August, fly anglers from across the globe descend on Boise for the International Fly Fishing Fair. In addition to seminars and exhibitors, you can also take part in fly tying and casting demonstrations, workshops and fishing on the Owyhee River, as well as other local streams. If you plan on staying overnight, enjoy a special rate through the Grove Hotel in downtown Boise!

Every year for more than two decades the Ketchum/Sun Valley/Hailey region has hosted the Trailing of the Ship Festival. Where else will you find a wool and cooking demonstrations and classes, sheepdog trials, a parade of sheep through downtown Ketchum and a sheepherders’ hike? Your guess is as good as ours, so Trailing of the Sheep it is!   

If you like your single track served up with a side of competitive spirit, head to the Brundage Mountain Resort in July for the Knobby Tire Series Brundage Marathon and XC MTB. Several racing categories and classes combine with camping, food and beer will make sure that everyone who shows up will have an awesome time—regardless of how they finish. Sponsors that make this event possible include Meridian Cycles, Reed Cycles , Dirt Dart, A & B Critter Care, and 10 Barrel Brewing Company

Every September, ultra trail runners and their fans look forward to the Idaho Mountain Trail Ultra Festival—the IMTUF 100—a grueling a 102.9-mile, 36-hour (cutoff) loop through the Salmon River Mountains. Runners start and finish at Burgdorf Hotsprings while fans enjoy amenities like the hot springs themselves, the Burgdorf Café or a beer at the nearby Secesh Stagestop. VFuel, McCall Brewing Company, the Pulse Running & Fitness Shop, and many more, have partnered up to make this event possible. 

For more than half a century, Orofino has hosted Lumberjack Days. The festival is dedicating to promoting the forest industry and does so with parades, a carnival and events like horse pull competitions, a skidding and truck driving competition and a log show and contest. Other contests include sawing, a tug of war, an obstacle pole, axe throwing, power sawing and speed climbing. This event is hosted by Orofino Celebrations Inc., and sponsored by the Orofino Chamber of Commerce

Climbers can celebrate the Rockies and the Bitterroots every year at Idaho Mountain Festival at Castle Rock State Park. The festival is an all-inclusive retreat for the climbing community that includes camping and food. During the festival you can boulder, check out the latest gear, hit the trail for a 10k fun run and even enjoy some yoga. Asana Climbing is a major sponsor of the festival as well as Edelweiss, La Sportiva, and Kailas

Buhl is the self-proclaimed “Trout Capital of the World,” and for years, it has celebrated the title with its annual Trout Festival. Now part of Buhl Sagebrush Days, the combined event includes an all-you-can-eat trout feed, a golf tournament, a rodeo, a fun run and even free swimming at the municipal pool. Southern Idaho’s longest parade and fireworks are highlights of the festival. At the Trout Festival, enjoy live music and a beer and wine garden presented to you by Magic Valley Brewing and Holesinky Winery

Every year, whitewater junkies stream into Crouch for the North Fork Championship Whitewater Festival. After the elite division competition, paddlers—and anybody who wants to join the party—will continue down the river for the Stoke Float and get ready for the party part of the weekend. Major sponsors of the NFC include Red Bull, Yeti, NRS, Visit Idaho and Idaho River Sports

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5 Best Trail Running Spots in Idaho If you’re looking to spice up your cardio routine, it’s time to lace up your running shoes and head outside. The wonderfully picturesque state of Idaho boasts a variety of scenic spots to go for a trail run. From riverside treks to jogs through awe-inspiring gorges, here are the five best trail running spots in the state. 

Eagle Island State Park in Boise, Idaho, is a 545-acre park with over five miles of natural trails for hiking, running, dog walking, or horseback riding. It is the location of the regularly-scheduled Pulse Endurance Run. Whether you take part in the race or head out on your own, take advantage of the flat dirt trail and 2.5-mile loop around the Boise River.

NXR Boise boys elite lead pack #runnerspace

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The Weiser River Trail is Idaho’s longest trail, clocking in at 84 miles. The trail is open for horseback riding, hiking, and trail-running. Along the way, you’re likely to encounter varied wildlife, including deer, elk, heron, and others. Make sure to plan your route along the trail accordingly!

The Seven Devils Trail is a nature loop inside of the Hells Canyon in Riggins, Idaho. Hells Canyon is America’s deepest river gorge and boasts “dramatic changes in elevation, terrain, climate, and vegetation.” The trails can be a little difficult, but the views are incredibly rewarding! 

The Huckleberry Trail in Ponderosa State Park is open to mountain bikers and runners, but if you’re willing to navigate the bike traffic, the foliage, wildlife, and lake views are worth the extra trouble. The park has many other trails, too, and a sundry of wildlife and other activities to keep you coming back. 

The Shingle Creek-Mahalo-Dry Creek Loop is conveniently located near Boise, Eagle, and Meridian, Idaho. The elevation remains low throughout, which makes it a slightly easier run than a few of the others. Dogs are welcome, which is a plus, and the wildlife and wildflowers are worth a visit alone. We recommend jumping on board at the Shingle Creek Trailhead. 

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7 Best Winter Camping Spots in Idaho Idaho is one of the largest states in the country and boasts some of the most beautiful camping spots around. As always, before heading out to any of these sites, make sure you have the proper licenses and permits, available on the official Idaho State Park website. From parks situated in beautiful Yellowstone to lakeside retreats, no matter the weather, you’ll enjoy every moment at these great winter camping spots in Idaho. 

Lake Cascade State Park in Cascade, Idaho, is a well-known and much-beloved winter camping destination. It’s fantastic for the summer, too, don’t get us wrong, but with plenty of yurts and access to ice fishing, it shines in the winter.

The Harriman State Park is part of Yellowstone, and is “known for its beautiful scenery and wildlife…offers 22 miles of hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding trails.” Rent a yurt or at the Ranch Manager’s House, depending on your comfort with snow. According to their website, “winter activities include over 24-miles of groomed Nordic skiing trails, snowshoeing, and fat biking.” 

Snowshoes, swans and cute cabins. #harrimanstatepark #snowshoeing

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Bear Lake State Park in St. Charles, Idaho, offers access to the Minnetonka Cave, National Oregon Trail Center, and Cache National Forest, as well as skiing and snowmobiling. The park is open year-round and boasts 50 different camping options.

If you don’t mind camping next to icebergs, then Woodhead Park by the Brownlee Reservoir might be the perfect spot for you. Luckily, the various campsites are within short distance to working hot showers, so you won’t have to freeze for too long.

Redfish is one of Idaho’s most popular summer spots, but winter campers might have a little more luck booking a campground. This Stanley, Idaho, lake is carved by a glacier and allows visitors to turn their backs “on the grind of the civilized world,” as Robert Limbert, one of Idaho’s most famous citizens, observed.

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Castle Rocks State Park is known for its birdwatching, hunting, and varied camping options. This park is open year-round and offers cabins, houses, shelters, and yurts.

Farragut State Park is conveniently located to Coeur d’Alene and Sandpoint, Idaho, and offers year-round camping. Winter activities include cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding. 

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Camping Done Right: 8 Best Outdoor Stores in Idaho Idaho is one of the most gorgeous states in the country. Find magnificent mountain ranges, impressive rock formations, and snaking rivers. The best way to enjoy all of the bucolic scenery Idaho has to offer is by pitching a tent (or heading out in your RV, snuggling up in a cabin, etc.). But before you go, make sure you are properly equipped. Here are the best outdoor stores in the state. 

Backcountry Pursuit has locations in Boise and Eagle, Idaho, and sells much of their inventory on consignment. Items include skis and snowboards, mountain bikes, road bikes, climbing gear, camping gear, and more. Their sprawling selection will truly “wow” you. 

Idaho Mountain Touring has two locations throughout Idaho, including one in Boise and one in Meridian. They’ve got a wide range of camping gear, but their specialty is their “camp kitchen” line, which includes long tool spoons, java presses, portable camping grills, and more. 

Our first Thursday party is getting started.

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Black Sheep Sporting Goods in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, has been in business for over 40 years and has been voted the top sports goods store in Idaho for many years running. Over a quarter of the store is devoted to camping products with almost every major brand. According to their website, “At Black Sheep, you will find sleeping bags, tents, sleeping pads, air mattresses, coolers, heaters, back packs, duffel bags, hip packs, camp fuel, propane…and so much more!”

A pink kayak💝 Got to have it! #iloveit#pinkmyfavoritecolor#lovelakelife

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Sportman’s Warehouse is one of the bigger outlets, mostly on the West Coast, with locations all along the western seaboard, Alaska, and, of course, Idaho. Idaho stores include Meridian, Idaho Falls, Twin Falls, Nampa, Lewiston, and Pocatello. Their camping equipment seemingly knows no bounds, with all manner of tents, sleeping bags, cots, and so much more. 

Cabela’s has three locations in Idaho, including one in Ammon, Boise, and Post Falls. Stop by the Boise location to explore the 132,000-square-foot showroom. Yes, you read that right. They’ve got all your camping essentials, as well as a few specialty goods! Cabela’s is the leader in outdoor gear. 

Gotta get some jackets, low in the 30's!

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Sierra Trading Post has locations in 16 states, but only one in Idaho. The Meridian location stocks all kinds of camping equipment, including inflatable pillows, hammocks, tables, chairs, and more.

We drove to the Internet

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The Bent Rod Outdoors in Challis, Idaho, has been in business since 1995 and sells fishing, hunting, trail running, hiking, and camping products. They offer a wide variety of camping equipment including somewhat overlooked items like first aid kits, Garmin GPS units, and Motorola two-way radios. 

State Trailer RV & Outdoor Supply in Idaho Falls, Idaho, supplies all kinds of awesome equipment. Their camping gear selection is varied and includes foot pumps, mesh bags, drinking water tablets, toasters, roasters, pots, pans, and more. 

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A beginner’s guide: Ice fishing Vin T. Sparano, as excerpted from Complete Outdoors Encyclopedia: Camping, Fishing, Hunting, Boating, Wilderness Survival, First Aid



Ice fishing differs greatly from open-water fishing, and it is a demanding sport. It requires an understanding of and an ability to cope with winter weather, knowledge of the cold-weather habits of the fish, and the use of an unusual assortment of gear, most of it unique to ice fishing.

There are two basic ice-fishing methods: tip-up fishing and jigging. In general, tip-ups are usually used on larger fish—pike, pickerel, walleyes, trout, and such—that prefer bait and require the angler to play the waiting game. Jigging is usually preferred for smaller fish that tend to school up—bluegills, perch, crappies, and the like. But these are merely generalizations, not hard-and-fast rules. For example, jigging (sometimes called chugging) is often quite productive on big lake trout and salmon in the Great Lakes. 

Also called tilts, these come in various styles, but they all perform two basic functions: they hold a baited line leading from a revolving-type reel spool, and they signal the bite of a fish. The most common type of tip-up consists of three strips of wood, each about 18 inches long. Two are cross pieces that form an X as they span the hole. The third piece is an upright; at its bottom end is attached a simple line-holding spool, while the upper end holds the signaling device. The signal is usually a piece of very flexible spring steel with a red (some anglers prefer black) flag on the end. After the hook is baited and lowered to the desired depth, the steel arm is “cocked”—bent over and down and hooked onto a “trigger.” When a fish strikes, an arm on the revolving spool releases the steel arm and it flies erect.

In this type of tip-up, the reel is positioned underwater. In other variations, the reel is positioned above the ice. Each type has its advantages. The above-the-ice reel can be more sensitively adjusted for light-biting fish, but the line tends to freeze on the reel once it gets wet. The underwater reel largely eliminates the problem of freezing, but the fisherman must remove the tip-up from the hole before he can grab the line.

Baits for tip-up fishing are usually live. In general, it pays to match the size of the bait to the size of the fish you’re after. Baits range from tiny maggots (often called mousies) and grubs for panfish, to worms and small minnows for walleyes, and up to 6-inch baitfish for pike. 

As done by ice fishermen, jigging is simply a method of imparting an up-and-down movement to a lure or bait. Jigging can be—and is—done with any sort of line-holding rod or stick. 

Some jigging rods—more appropriately called sticks—are simply pieces of wood 18 inches or so long, with U-shaped notches in each end. The line—10-pound-test monofilament is very popular—is wound lengthwise onto the stick around the U-shaped notches and is paid out as needed. There are other types of jigging sticks of varying designs, and many ice anglers use standard spinning or spincast rods or the butt half of a fly rod. 

Rods made specially for ice jigging are simple affairs consisting of a fiberglass tip section that is 2 or 3 feet long seated in a short butt. The butt may have a simple revolving-spool reel or merely a pair of heavy-wire projections around which the line is wound. The tip section may have two to four guides, including the tip guide. The shortness of such a rod lets the user fish up close to the hole and have better control over the lure or bait at the end of his line. 

There are many and varied jigging lures and baits, but flashiness is built into most of them. Others produce best when “sweetened” with bait. Two popular jigging lures are: an ungainly looking critter with a heavy body shaped and painted to resemble a baitfish, a hook at each end and a treble hook in the middle of its underside, and a line-tie ring in the middle of its upper surface; and a long, slim, three- or four-sided, silvery model with a treble hook at one end and a line-tie ring at the other. 

Jigging methods vary with the fisherman and with the fish being sought. However, a productive way to fish many jigging lures, especially flashier types, is to twitch the lure slightly and then jerk it suddenly upward with a quick upward movement of the arm. The proper interval between jerks is learned with experience. 

Popular jigging baits include a single perch eye (either impaled on a small hook or used to sweeten a tiny hair or rubber-bodied ice fly), worms, grubs, maggots, insect larvae, minnows, and cut bait (pieces of skin or flesh that are cut from the tail or body of such fish as smelt and perch). 

Jiggers tend to move around more than tip-up fishermen, boring holes in different areas until they find a productive spot. 

Like most other forms of fishing, ice angling requires some auxiliary equipment. Most ice anglers prefer to keep such gear to a minimum, for they have to haul it with them wherever they go on the ice. 

If you’re going to fish through holes in the ice, you need something to make those holes. The ice auger is a popular tool for this job. Augers come in different designs. One has a long handle with a U-shaped bend at the top, and a rounded cutting blade at the bottom. The handle is turned much like that of a manual drill, and the blade cuts a round hole through the ice. Another type looks like a giant ice drill with sharp, widely spaced threads. It is used in the same way. Gasoline-powered ice drills are also available. 

Then there’s the ice spud or chisel. This is a heavy metal handle with a large, chisel-type blade at the bottom. The spud’s weight helps the angler punch down through the ice, but the user must shape the hole once he has broken through. 

An indispensable item of accessory gear is the ice skimmer, a ladle-type device that is used to keep the hole clear of ice chips and chunks and to skim ice. A heavy sinker will serve the same purpose. 

Many ice anglers like to use an attached spring clip. It is attached to the fishing line and used to determine the water depth—an important factor because in winter most game fish are found on or near the bottom. 

Winter is the time of year when ice fishermen venture out onto frozen waters. Most will have fun, but a few will get into trouble because they don’t know how to make sure that the ice is safe. The first rule is never take chances. There are two periods when accidents are likely to happen: early in the season when slush ice doesn’t freeze uniformly and late in the season when ice melts at an uneven rate. It takes prolonged periods of freezing to make ice safe. Here are some rules to remember: 

Be cautious of heavy snowfalls while ice is forming. Snow acts as an insulator. The result is a layer of slush and snow on top of treacherous ice. 

Clear, solid river ice is 15 percent weaker than clear lake ice. 

River ice is thinner midstream than near the banks. 

River mouths are dangerous because currents create pockets of unsafe ice. 

When walking with friends, stay 10 yards apart. 

Lakes that have a lot of springs will have weak spots of ice. 





About the author:

Vin T. Sparano is the author of Complete Outdoors Encyclopedia as well as three other guides for Rizzoli

He has been an outdoor editor and writer for more than fifty years. He is editor emeritus of Outdoor Life, and has written and edited more than fifteen books about the outdoors. In 2013, he was inducted into the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame.

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10 Best Archery Outfitters in Idaho Idahoans love their archery, whether that’s for bow hunting or target shooting. With so many options available, it can be challenging to know where to start. Rest assured, there is a high-quality shop nearby. From bows, to sights, to accessories, and targets, here are the 10 best archery outfitters in the state. 

For those living in and around Meridian, Idaho, Dead-On Archery is the archery store to visit. They sell bows, bow accessories, traditional bow and arrows, arrows, tools, and targets. Make sure to check out their event calendar to see what’s coming up, or sign up for a class.

Archery Invasion is to Pocatello what Dead-On Archery is to Meridian: a fantastic place to pick up all your archery needs. They stock a wide variety of arrow rests, quivers, sights, releases, and more. Check their website for an updated listing of events.

Archery Central in Caldwell, Idaho, is conveniently located and boasts an excellent in-door practice range, lessons, and leagues. Beyond that, they sell all the best equipment, including Death Harp strings, Axcel and Black Gold sights, Easton and Gold Tip arrows, and much more.

Mountain Archery in Rexburg, Idaho, is one of the larger stores on the list, carrying everything from 3D accessories to arrow rests, binoculars, bows, calls, sights, silencers, sleeping bags, and more. Their stock has to be seen to be believed, so why not head over to their website right now and check it out for yourself.

For almost 13 years, Archery Idaho has been one of Southeast Idaho’s number one archery shops. Not only do they provide access to many of the best brands on the market, including Mathews, Prime, and Hoyt bows, but their staff are well-equipped to help you learn and to service any repairs.

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Black Sheep Sporting Goods in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, has been in business since 1975, and remains locally owned and operated. They stock hunting, fishing, camping, and marine equipment, alongside their bows and other firearms. They have an entire section of their store dedicated to archery, with industry leading brands including Hoyt, Bear, and Alpine always in stock.

Crossbows galore.

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King Fisher Sporting Goods and Pawn is a high-quality sporting goods store with an attached pawn shop. They sell a wide variety of firearms and hunting equipment from brand names like Beman, Muzzy, and more. Don’t see anything you like? They’re happy to special order you brand new or gently used bows, too! 

Look for the barn-like red building and you’ll find Daybreak Family Archery. A mom-and-pop shop open since 2014, they’ve already made a name for themselves in the area as a premier supplier of archery equipment and knowledge. They’re happy to help the entire family and have a range attached, too.

Advantage Archery in Twin Falls is home to a national champion archer. They sell bows, indoor archery equipment, camo clothing, backpacks, custom bows and arrows, and more. Services include archery instruction and lessons.

Downwind Archery is another excellent choice for those living in the Idaho Falls area. They have a 24-hour performance guarantee, which states that “Any bow purchased at Downwind Archery that breaks during your hunt will be fixed within 24 hours. If 24 hours is not possible, we will pull another bow off the wall that is of equal or greater value, install your accessories, tune it, and set its sights” for you to use. If that’s not customer service, we don’t know what is. 

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10 Best Bait and Tackle Shops in Idaho From mom and pop shops to big-name retailers, the bait and tackle shops of Idaho have proven themselves to be among the very best. From rods and reels to nightcrawlers and meal worms, fishing is made simple at these 10 awesome bait and tackle shops in the state. 

Idaho Fishing Outfitters is one of the best spots to pick up bait and tackle in the Rigby, Idaho Falls, Rexburg, and St. Anthony areas of Idaho. Primarily, they are a fly fishing shop but sell all the equipment you’ll need for a fantastic fishing trip.

Howard’s Tackle Shoppe calls themselves the “Biggest Little Tackle Store in Idaho!” They provide tackle and fishing supplies with over 500 brand names of fishing rods. Live bait includes meal worms, crickets, night crawlers, and more.

Idaho Angler offers fishing classes and guided trips, in addition to their large supply of rods, bait, and tackle. For almost 25 years, Idaho Angler has provided excellent customer service and wonderful products to their customers.

Becker’s Tackle Shop is Coeur d’Alene’s “First and Only Bass Shop,” according to their website. They cater almost exclusively to bass fishermen, and carry the best bait and tackle to make your next bass trip one to remember.

Quite the crowd in here already #beckerstackleshop

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Since 1988, Tackle Tom’s has provided the anglers of Cascade, Idaho, with consistently great service and products. A recent reviewer wrote that Tackle Tom’s is “Easily the best bait and tackle shop in Idaho.” With sterling reviews like that, expect to find everything you need at Tackle Tom’s. 

Henry’s Fork Anglers have been in business since 1976 and today carries a full line of flies, bait, and tackle. They offer guided trips and regularly updated fishing condition information. Check out their website for frequently updated sale items. 

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Larry’s Sporting Goods shop in Nampa, Idaho, sells all kinds of sporting goods, including guns, hunting gear, tackle, bait, and fishing gear. They’ve kept their customers happy since 1987 with no end in sight. 

Open six days a week, Jimmy’s Fly Shop in Idaho Falls, Idaho, is an angler shop for all seasons. Idaho Falls is known for their excellent blue-ribbon trout rivers, and the folks at Jimmy’s have the experience, the know-how, and the product line to help you achieve fishing success.

II Fly LLC sells “a large variety of Henry’s Lake flies tied by Bill Scheiss, dry flies, and much more.” Bait options include salmon flies, stoneflies, terrestrials (like beetles and ants), dry flies, and flies by the dozen.

Dry Creek Outfitters hold tournaments and regular events along with custom baits, including solar power bait, tubes, creatures, grubs, worms, steelhead, and more. They provide the best salt saturated tubes needed for tournament angling. 

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9 Best Ice Skating Rinks in Idaho The people of Idaho are used to snow. As such, they’re also used to fantastic winter sports opportunities, and their facilities are top notch. From NHL-size rinks to outdoor spaces, you’ll find all varieties of ice skating experiences in Idaho. Here are the nine best in the state to help you enjoy winter like never before.  

Idaho Ice World in Boise, Idaho, is the perfect indoor skating rink for the entire family. They offer various classes, including “Intro to Synchronized Skating,” “Stroller Skating,” and more. With two National Hockey League (NHL) regulation-size rinks, their amenities are perfect for your next party.

The Frontier Ice Arena in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, offers public skating, curling, broomball, and birthday parties. Their mission is “to provide and promote life-long recreational and entertainment activities for all members of the North Idaho community.” Check out their hockey and figure skating activities, too.

She even skates better then I do

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Manchester Ice and Event Centre in McCall, Idaho, is open for public skating, parties, event rental, and frequent skating shows. Whether you prefer to jump on the ice yourself or to see dazzling experts perform, Manchester is for you.

featuring my attempt of a kartwheel -Laurel #figureskater

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Squealer’s Fun Park provides the people of Rigby, Idaho, with tons of fun activities, including a wild hog raceway, batting cages, climbing walls, bumper cars, and, yes, an ice skating rink. They offer group discounts for 15 or more people and individual admission for $5 a person.

The family-friendly Palouse Ice Rink in Moscow, Idaho, provides opportunities to learn how to skate, figure skating, hockey, and curling. The rink opens to the public in mid-October and remains open through early April.

#icerink #palouseicerink

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Sun Valley residents know that the only place to go for ice skating is the aptly named Sun Valley Outdoor Ice Rink. They invite you to “come watch Olympic and world-class skaters—take a lesson, get an autograph or just watch them perform.” 

The Hailey Ice Rink in Hailey, Idaho, offers affordable ice skating opportunities. Visitors under 18 years-old pay only $5 to skate, and adults only $7. They have skating school sessions and a frequently updated schedule of events.

The Joe Marmo/Wayne Lehto Ice Arena is one of southeastern Idaho’s best ice skating facilities. The floor is 85-by-190 feet and additionally has a large lobby, snack bar, locker room, and rental shop. 

The Kotler Ice Arena is an outdoor, covered arena servicing the folks of Victor, Idaho. They have public open skating sessions every weekend with ice skates for rent. In addition to special holiday events, they also have youth and adult hockey programs. 

First hockey practice...I cried a little...

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10 Best Ski Destinations for Families in Idaho The Idaho winter can be cold. What to do when the world is covered in snow? Take to the slopes, of course! Below, you’ll find 10 of the best, family-friendly ski destinations in the state to make those winter blues go away. 

Tamarack Resort in Tamarack, Idaho, is a full-service ski resort with all kinds of options for the entire family. Stay the night in one of their excellent lodging options, including cottages and townhouses. Ski or snowboard along the slopes. Enjoy delicious dining. No matter what you do, it’ll be a family vacation to remember.

Contemplating what's next #Idaho #tamarackresort #mindonthemountain

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Brundage Mountain is “located high in the mountains of Central Idaho” and identifies itself as a “classic Idaho ski resort.” The mountain has 320 base-area inches of snowfall annually, making it perfect for your next ski trip. They offer lessons by age group, demos, dining, and regular events.

Magic Mountain in Kimberly, Idaho, offers snowboard and skiing packages. They rent snow bikes, snowshoes, and cross-country skis. The mountain has a base elevation of 6,500 feet and boasts 11 trails with 120 acres of skiable areas. 

Kellogg, Idaho, is home to the Silver Mountain Resort. Silver Mountain is a year-round resort offering snowboarding, snow tubing, snowshoeing, and skiing. Take the family up for the day or spend the night at the Morning Star Lodge—“one of the region’s premier Idaho vacation rental and resort condominium developments,” according to their website.

The Pebble Creek Ski Area is one of the more treacherous and exciting ski resorts in the world. They offer family and individual holiday lessons as well as season passes. 

It was a complete nuke fest at the Creek today. Visibility = Minimal 🤣 #PebbleCreekSkiArea

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Lookout Pass in Mullan, Idaho, offers events and lessons for the entire family. Opening day is Dec. 1 with Mini Moose Club, a ski class for children ages 4-6, starting soon after. 

Pomerelle Mountain Resort is a private resort, nestled in the Sawtooth National Forest. The cozy lodge is located at 8,000 feet of elevation and is just a 12-mile drive from the community of Albion, Idaho, according to their website. They offer ski and snowboarding opportunities for the entire family on over 24 slopes. 

Soldier Mountain in Fairfield, Idaho, is nestled in the Sawtooth National Forest. They offer ski school for children, as well as “some of the best backcountry skiing in the state,” according to their website. More experienced skiers might consider booking a “Cat Ski” trip. 

Schweitzer Mountain Resort offers year-round, family-friendly skiing and snowboarding on over 2,900 acres of snowy terrain. Need a break from skiing? Consider stopping by the spa, perusing the many shops in the area, or indulging in fine dining. 

Galena Lodge in Ketchum, Idaho, is a community-owned day lodge catering to cross-country skiers, mountain bikers, and hikers. Book one of their rustic yurts for an overnight stay with the family and check their website for upcoming events. 

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5 Energizing Hikes in Idaho Staying fit and immersing yourself in the beauty of Idaho is a true treat. In a state so rich in natural wonder, it’s no surprise that there is an abundance of hikes that will force you to catch your breath. For more of a moderate adventure, check out these five energizing hikes in Idaho!  

The Peace Creek Trail near Boise, Idaho, is part of the gorgeous Boise National Forest, only a short distance outside of the city. The trail isn’t heavily trafficked, so you’re likely to have it to yourself. It’s steep, though, so be careful and make sure to follow your map. The total length of the trail is about 8.8 miles. 

For an invigoriating hike that pays off with magnificent views, check out the Harrison Lake Trail near Sandpoint, Idaho. This trail is not for the faint of heart, but it rewards outdoor enthusiast's with stunning mountain lake views. This really looks like it's straight out of a postcard. 

The Mineral Ridge National Recreation Trail can be found near Coeur D’Alene. The trail is a moderately-trafficked loop. Take in the fantastic view of the lake and feel free to bring your furry friends on this 3.3-mile loop.

Get ready for a nice, long out-and-back route. This route will take you from Iron Creek near Stanley, Idaho, to the Sawtooth Lake in the Sawtooth National Forest. The trail is about five miles-long and has a hefty elevation gain of 1,700 feet. 

The Table Rock Trail is heavily trafficked, and it’s easy to see why. The wild flowers all along the path are dazzling, and the distance isn’t too far. The trail has some steep climbs in certain areas though, so for prepare for a workout.

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4 Beautiful Backpack Camping Spots in Idaho Tired of your friends asking you to go “glamping?” Do you have the desire to get back to the great outdoors with nothing but your tent, your thermos, and your backpack? If you’re in Idaho, you’re in luck, because there’s no shortage of beautiful backpack camping spots throughout the state. Check out our favorites below. 

Bear Lake State Park, located on the North and East shores of Bear Lake, is a backpacker’s dream. Known as the “Caribbean of the Rockies,” Bear Lake stretches for 20 miles and offers biking, bird watching, boating, and primitive camping.

City of Rock National Reserve sits in Cassia County, Idaho, and is “a unique geologic area exhibiting granite pinnacles and monoliths in excess of sixty stories tall.” The park attracts campers, hikers, backpackers, sightseers, hunters, and more. Primitive sites are available for backpackers.

Dworshak State Park near Lenore, Idaho, boasts an incredible 850 acres of mixed woods, meadows, and water. The park has over 100 campsites, including backcountry, improved, and primitive sites. 

Farragut State Park in Kootenai County, Idaho, is a beautiful park seated on 4,000 acres. Campers, picnickers, hikers, mountain bikers, and anglers will find much to love about it. Campers in particular will find equestrian, improved, and primitive sites galore to fulfill all of their backpacking needs.

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5 Stunning Foliage Hikes in Idaho When it comes to basking in the glow of magnificent foliage, you can’t beat the Gem State. Idaho is home to some of the most mind-blowing natural beauty in the United States. And when the leaves begin to transform into hues of orange and red, that means it’s time for a hike. Here are five beautiful foliage hikes in the state. 

For some of the most breathtaking fall foliage in the state, you must explore Taylor Canyon near Ketchum. This trail is just under four miles in length with a maximum elevation of 7,504 feet. This hike could be described as intermediate, so those with less experience should proceed with caution. The trail is also open to mountain bikers and horseback riders. 

The West Mountain Trail near Smith’s Ferry, Idaho, clocks in at just over 16 miles. The hike can be difficult, with the 3,200 feet of elevation gain across the entire trail, but the incredible fall views are worth it for the avid hiker. You’ll enjoy views of the West Mountains and Salmon River along the way, as well as the changing colors of the forest.

Idaho Falls is named for the cascading waterfalls that descend through the middle of the city. With 14 miles of river bank, many residents walk the water each fall to see the splendor of the changing seasons. Follow the Snake River through town or stop at any number of spots to take it all in.

Sherman Peak is the highest point in the region. Accessible through the Bear River Range Highline Trail, visitors will need to hike 3.5 miles to the summit. However, those that brave the climb will be greeted by views the likes of which can only be seen at over 9,600 feet up. USA Today lists it as one of their most incredible fall foliage hikes.

Totaling at just over two miles in length, the Mineral Point Trail is an awe-inspiring hike in the Sandpoint Ranger District. Regarded by many as one of the most beautiful in the area, hikers will experience easy grades and pretty wildflowers. Nature lovers will enjoy every moment of this adventure. 

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