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Support Idaho’s Hiking Trails – Kegs 4 Kause

Come help support Idaho’s Hiking Trails!


Payette Brewing Co. will donate 50% of the proceeds from their beer sales to ITA, so come
drink up! :-)

What is going on?

At 7:00pm local Hiking Idaho guide book author Scott Marchant will be doing an exciting new presentation on “Hikes Off The Beaten Path”! 
We will have guidebooks and maps there to look over!
Basically this will be a fun evening of drinking and Trail Talk……….all while giving back to the trails! Now how can you miss out on that?!??!

We will be raffling off some great backpacking items!!!!!!

The yummy food truck Burgerlicious will be there serving up the best locally sourced grass fed beef burgers in town!

Check out the facebook event: Kegs 4 Kause

Please drink responsibly.

2015 National Trails Day – Trail Work Party

Saturday, June 6th

Projects details:

This 2015 National Trails Day will be the fifth annual Idaho Trails Association, Boise REI, and Boise BLM work project in the scenic Owyhee Canyonlands.

Work details:  Purjue Canyon Trail is a 6 mile hiking trail along the East Fork of Shoofly Creek (Perjue Canyon) in Little Jacks Creek Wilderness.  We will maintain about a mile of trail which will be about a 3 mile hike each way to access.

Let’s have fun and be safe.  This year’s project is more difficult physically than past years projects due to the length of time we will be working (9am-3pm) and the hiking distance (6 miles) involved.

Volunteers needed: 15 volunteers. If your plans change and you cannot make it. Please notify us & attempt to fill the project with another volunteer.

When/Where:  Volunteers from the Boise area should meet Saturday, June 6th at 7am at the Boise District BLM parking lot (3948 S. Development Ave., Boise, ID 83705) for carpooling (GPS coordinates: 43* 33’57.662”N; 116*12’23.394”W).  The road to work project includes 6 miles of graded gravel road.  Volunteers coming from outside Boise can meet up at the Poison Creek Recreation Site (GPS coordinates: 42*45’27.054”; 116*12’23.394”W), about 15 miles southwest of Grandview along the Owyhee Uplands Backcountry Byway (aka Mud Flat Road), at 8:30am.  We will return to Boise BLM about 5pm.

What to bring: All volunteers should bring their own small pack with snacks, sunscreen, and water.  We will pack a lunch (provided by Boise REI & ITA) at beginning of day to eat along the trail.  Volunteers should have hiking boots, leather work gloves, and eye protection (sunglasses or safety glasses).  Bring trail tools if you have them; otherwise BLM and ITA will supply tools.  The best tools for this trail work are a strong back, folding hand saws, heavy duty pruners, and McCleod’s.

Project leaders: Jeff Halligan with the ITA & Dave Draheim  with the Boise BLM

Sign in:

2015 National Trails Day - Trail work party

  • For larger party sizes please call the ITA office.
  • Participants less than 18 years of age must be registered by their parent or guardian. Anyone under the age of 16 must also be accompanied by an adult. Any participant under the age of 18 must bring with them a signed copy of our Parental Consent Form.
    When we meet Saturday morning at the BLM district Office we will coordinate carpooling to the trial.
    When you arrive at a ITA work party you will be asked to read and sign our liability release form. Please read it ahead of time. You must check the box above before hitting the join button below.

2015 Alice-Toxaway Trail Work Vacation

 2013-01-09 23.09.53 (640x480)
  • Where: Sawtooth National Recreation Area
  • When: Saturday-Saturday, July 19th-25th.
  • Distance: 22 miles
  • Elevation: 7,000′-9,280′ range
  • Location: Tin Cup Trailhead
  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous
  • Accepting: 10 volunteers

Project Description

Alice-Toxaway July, 19th-25th

Spend seven days in the beautiful Sawtooth Wilderness working on the Alice-Toxaway trail nestled amongst the 10,000 foot peaks of the Sawtooth Range.  Your gear will be packed into a base camp by Mule train and meals will be catered by professional guides.  We will meet at the Tin Cup Trailhead at Pettit Lake on Sunday July 19th to hike into camp at Toxaway Lake.  We will spend the next five days clearing the trails to Edith, Twin and Alice lakes before return to the Trailhead on Saturday the 25th.  This is one of the most scenic trail projects in the nation, sign up early as only ten spaces are available!

Sign Up

Please fill out the form below if you are interested in participating on this project. Because this is an week long supported project, ITA requires a $50 per person refundable deposit to secure your spot. After completing the sign-up information on this page, you will be redirected in order to make your deposit. An ITA representative will get back to you with more information.

If you have questions please contact

This Trail Work Vacation is full.  Thank you for your interest in volunteering with us & we  hope you will sign up for one of our other great projects!

2015 Livingston Mill/Castle Divide Trail Work Vacation

  • Where: Sawtooth National Forest
  • When: Saturday – Saturday, August 9th-15th
  • Location: Livingston Mill/ Castle Divide
  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous
  • Accepting: 10 volunteers


Project Description

Livingston Mill-Chamberlain Lakes, August 9th-15th

Seven days in the Boulder White Clouds!  We are hiking in on Sunday August 9th from the 4th of July Trailhead to our camp at Chamberlain Lakes.  This is a strenuous hike, nearly 10 miles with some pretty high elevations.  Your gear will be packed in by mule train to camp and we will spend the next five days working on the Livingston Mill, Chamberlain Lakes trails nestled at the base of Castle Peak.  Meals will be provided by professional guides.  We will hike back to civilization on Saturday the 15th.  This is an amazing opportunity to spend a week working in one of America’s special places.  Sign up early as only 10 spaces are available!

If you have questions please contact

This Trail Work Vacation is full.  Thank you for your interest in volunteering with us & we  hope you will sign up for one of our other great projects!


Fuel up for the trail…..

I am going to re-hash the old weight versus taste argument. Do you take whole food or dehydrated? Believe it or not, your body has the answers! Many Rock Climbers will lean towards the freeze dried due to weight and a Backpacker tends to go with the more whole food option

Calories are literally energy, and that’s all they are. A calorie isn’t a vitamin, it’s not a mineral, and it has no nutritional content.steve

Below is a guide to how many calories you are burning on your trail excursion based on your weight and weight carried.






So if I sound bias it’s because I wrote a cookbook (In The wild Chef) that addresses the issue of what food we could bring backpacking. On my journey as a backcountry chef I have met some really great people and one of those folks is Christine Conners, the co-author of “LipSmackin Backpackin”. Christine and her Husband Tim have complied a book on cooking, then dehydrating gourmet food for the trail.

One difference between the two books is I propose that many ingredients around your house can go out with you and freeze it in a one gallon freezer bag and simply thaw it at your destination. Additionally using dehydrated components from the bulk area of your grocery store.’%20Backpackin’.html

Freeze dried food has not enjoyed a great reputation in the past for “fueling” you up on the trail. It boils down (pardon the pun) to calories units, a calorie is the unit of energy used when talking about food.

In the past I was not a proponent of freeze dried or dehydrated food for many reasons, I have changed my mind. I have found that there are a few acceptable freeze dried food options which includes dehydrating your own food. I am advocate of any freeze dried application if it is lacking the chemical we don’t want and have good amounts of calories.

I personally add some extra fresh ingredients to Alpine Aire Foods meals, they are incredible, organic and void of the chemicals. I recently learned of a high end chef turned dehydrated food manufacturer, Good to Go out of Kittery Maine. Another fairly good alternative is Mary Jane Farms Organic Backcountry food.

­­­­­Eat Well Outdoors!

Steve Weston- In The Wild Chef


Volunteer Appreciation Party!

2015volunteer app party
Join us for our Volunteer Appreciation Party on Saturday April 18th, 2015, to say thanks to all of our amazing Volunteers, Land Managers and sponsors who work so hard to make the Idaho Trails Association a success!

Where: Older Timer’s Shelter at Ann Morrison park in Boise, Idaho!

When: Saturday April 18th from 5:00 to 8:30!

We will have food from In the Wild Chef and beer from Sockeye brewery. We will give a debrief on last year’s accomplishments and a review of all the exciting projects and new things going on this year! We have great raffle prizes ranging from a half day raft trip on the Payette river from Cascade Raft & Kayak, a starter climbing pass for two from Urban Ascent, Rideout  technology Firefly bike grips, REI backpacks, a Jansport Heritage Telluride Backpack, prizes from Cascade Outfitters, Shu’s Idaho Running company, and many more great prizes. We will have an original one of a kind Canvas print by Ed Cannady on Auction….don’t miss out on this rare opportunity! All proceeds will go to help us maintain Idaho’s hiking trails!

Come and see old friends and meet new ones!  You don’t need to have participated in a work party in the past, just come and enjoy the camaraderie!


Oolite Trail Work Party Debrief

Our first trail work party of 2015 was a huge success. We had over 30 volunteers eager to get outside on a gorgeous Saturday in January!  We partnered with the Bruneau Field Office of the BLM to work on the Oolite Interpretive Trail in the Owyhees.

We did some minor pruning and signed the 0.5 mile trail that leads to the mineral cliff deposits. We removed the old metal/barbed wire entrance gate and installed a really nice Juniper hiker maze entrance at the trailhead. We also added a new trailhead sign. The new trailhead sign and Juniper hiker entrance makes the trail more visible from the road and we gave the trail some much needed TLC. After all the work was done we hiked and explored this amazing and unusual area. Then we all relaxed a bit and enjoyed hot beverages, hot dogs and chili! Thank you to all our volunteers and our partners for making this a success! Nice work!

We highly recommend exploring the Oolite interpretive trail. This is an interesting area to stop along the Owyhee Uplands Backcountry Byway and it’s a good place for adults and youths to take a short hike, explore small rock arches, see rare plants, and tiny fossils.  The trail is about an hour and a half drive from Boise.  It is South of Mountain Home and Grandview, Idaho on the Mud Flat Road.  From Boise take the Simco Exit and drive to highway 167 and on to Grandview.  Then turn east on Highway 78 to the Mud Flat Turnoff where you will turn south and drive approx. 10 miles to the Shoofly-Oolite Trailhead, just past the Shoofly Cutoff road.

Our next trail work party is on March 28th we are doing some heavy trail pad maintenance on the Eckles Creek trail in Hell’s Canyon. If you are interested in volunteering please sign up here: Eckles Creek work party. The Eckles creek work party is almost full, so please don’t hesitate to sign up. The spots are going fast! We hope to see you there!

April’s Hike of The Month

Teapot Dome

  •  Distance: 2.4 miles out-and-back
  • Total Elevation Gain: 950 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Elevation Range: 3,750 feet to 4,700 feet
  • Topographic Map: teapot Dome
  • Time: 1 hour 30 minutes hours to 2 hours
  • Season: All Year
  • Water Availability: None
  • Cautionary Advice: Be aware of thunderstorm activity on the open ridge. Trails are faint to nonexistent en route to Teapot Dome, so you should be comfortable with off-trail hiking.
  • Information: Boise National Forest, Mountain Home Ranger District (208) 587-7961

This hike is posted by the suggested month to go on from Scott Marchant’s 2015 Idaho Wilderness Calender.  This is just a general guideline however as many of the hikes can be utilized outside of the specific month.

The hike is from Hiking Idaho’s guide book author Scott Marchant and from his book The Hiker’s Guide to Greater

Teapot Dome

The Chinese philosopher Confucius is renowned for his wisdom and is credited with saying “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” Certainly, this little quip rings true when people skirt the edge of Mountain Home and head north on Hwy. 20 to the alluring Wood River Valley. What blights the landscape is flat prairie and barren, brown hills. Many people don’t realize that a gorgeous, short hike to the top of Teapot Dome is less than five minutes off the paved road.

With the crest rising 4,713 feet, Teapot Dome is sandwiched between the Mt. Bennett Hills and the town of Mountain Home. The flat-topped butte dispenses panoramic views in nearly all directions. Two worthy memories are south across the prairie and desert to the entire front range of the Owyhee Mountains and north to the much closer 7,438-foot Bennett Mountain and Mt. Bennett Hills.

A few things to note: First, there is no established trail to the summit. However, the open landscape makes off-trail route-finding relatively easy. Second, there are many small rocks along the hike, so make sure to wear sturdy hiking boots. Last, there is no shade. Try to plan your hike when temperatures are mild in spring, fall, or winter. The yellow-flowering arrowleaf balsamroot blooms herein April and May contrasting beautifully with the nearby rhyolite cliffs.

Trailhead Directions

From I-84and Broadway Avenue in Boise, drive east on I-84 approximately 41 miles to Hwy. 20 (Exit 95). Turn left on Hwy. 20 and drive north 7.1 miles and turn right onto N.E. Teapot Dome road. Drive the well-graveled road 2.4 miles to an unmarked narrow dirt road on the left. Park here near a small sign noting the Oregon Trail.

The Hike

As you look north, notice the striking rhyolite cliffs. To the left (west) of the cliffs, there is a gully which you will ascend; this is the easiest route to the top of Teapot Dome. Teapot Dome is further west of the cliffs and is not as impressive when viewed from the parking area.

Begin the hike by walking across the open field towards the gully to the west of the cliffs. You will pass below power lines and make a moderate elevation gain. There may be cattle in the open field. At 0.5 mile, you will be at the base of the gully. There is a tiny trail on the right side of the gully, directly below the rhyolite cliffs, but it is actually easier to walk on the left side of the gully. Ascend nearly 400 feet, this is the steepest segment of the hike, to the top of the ridge at 0.8 mile. You will be behind the rhyolite cliffs now, and the expansive views are Teapot dome 3striking.

To your left (northwest) you can see the prominent small cliff surrounding Teapot’s summit. Walk along the open ridge and veer towards the cliff’s right side (north) for easy access to the summit. This is an interesting walk as you hike through an understory of various grasses, sagebrush, and lichen-covered rocks. As you cross the ridge, look for deer and antelope in Teapot basin (north of the ridge) and on the open hillsides. Raptors often soar overhead, too. On the rocky summit, walk to the southern edge where you will find a 3-foot rock cairn and a fine perch to enjoy sensational views. After soaking in the views just turn around and retrace your steps back to your vehicle.




Eckles Creek Trail Work Party

Projects details:

Saturday, March 28, 2015.  We will meet at the Allison Creek Trail Head, at Big Bar Campground at 9:30AM – 5:00PM.

Project Details: This project consists of heavy trail pad maintenance using shovels, McCleouds, Pulaski, to build water bars and widen/repair trail tread/pad.  Loppers and small hand saws will be used to prune brush. The Forest Service will provide all tools.  You are expected to provide your own work gloves and appropriate clothing for the weather, food and water.

Volunteers needed: 15 volunteers. If your plans change and you cannot make it. Please notify us & attempt to fill the project with another volunteer.

ITA project leader: Wally Kimball & Jahsha Zeitlin with the Payette National Forest

What to bring: All volunteers should bring their own lunch, work gloves, and wear work style boots. Dress appropriately for the weather conditions.

The drive to meeting site is approximately 140 miles and 2.5 hours one way from Boise

Driving directions: 1)  From Boise, drive West on I-84 to Exit 3, which is the Hwy. 95/Fruitland Exit.  About 41 miles from Boise/Meridian. 2)  Go North (Right) on Hwy. 95, through Fruitland, Payette, Weiser, and Midvale, to Cambridge—about 48 miles. 3) At Cambridge, turn West (Left) onto Hwy. 71.  This is the Chevron Statin Canyon Corner (makes a good potty break). 4) Go West and then North on Hwy 71 to Brownlee Dam, cross over into Oregon below Brownlee Dam, about 29 miles. 5)  Once on the Oregon side of the Snake River, continue North for about 11 miles to the Copperfield Campground Road Junction which is just about 1/2 mile below/down river from the Oxbow Dam. Turn Right at this junction and continue past Copperfield Campground and cross the Snake River back onto the Idaho side of the Snake River. 6) Once on the Idaho side, continue North for about 6 miles and Hells Canyon Campground will be on the West side of the road.  Continue North another 8 miles down river from Hells Canyon Campground to Big Bar Campground and the Allison Creek Trail Head.

We will begin the day by meeting at Big Bar Campground (toilets are available but no water).  After the sign-in and safety meeting, we will drive approximately one mile to the Eckels Creek Trail Head to begin the trail work.
ITA will provide barbeque pork ribs & Macaroni salad post trail work on Saturday at Hells Canyon Campground.  Depending upon the number of volunteers participating, we will plan to eat at 5:30PM.

Other details:

Camping option: Wally plans to camp Friday the 27th & Saturday the 28th at the Hells Canyon Campground owned by Idaho Power located 8 miles from the project site.  Sites are at winter rates through March.  RV sites are $8 and tent sites are $5.  Tents can use RV spaces but must pay RV price, however, up to three tents can be set up in an RV Space.  This campground has heated toilets and has tables and fire rings.  Here is link:

Sunday hiking option: Wally is also planning to hike on Sunday morning and would like to invite anyone that wishes to accompany him.  He’ll probably hike Allison Creek, about 6 miles and 2500 feet elevation gain.  An option is just to go sight-seeing down at Hells Canyon Dam—should still be goats, deer, and elk.

In general, this is a good opportunity to join other ITA volunteers for a day of trail maintenance and see some of the Hells Canyon trail hiking opportunities.

Sign in:

2015 Eckles Creek Project

  • For larger party sizes please call the ITA office.
  • Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and bring with them a signed Parental Consent Form.
  • e.g. "somewhere in Boise", "Mountain Home", "McCall", "Moscow", etc.
  • Please let us know if you are camping, hiking and/or joining us for post trail work meal. Please list any health conditions you have.
    When you arrive at a ITA work party you will be asked to read and sign our liability release form. Please read it ahead of time. You must check the box above before hitting the join button below.

Hell’s Canyon Campground, Idaho:


2014 Project Accomplishments and Summary for the Idaho Trails Association

ITA Logo Small


Idaho Trails Association promotes the continued enjoyment of Idaho’s hiking trails.

The Idaho Trails Association (ITA) is a non-profit organization.

ITA’s Purpose:

To facilitate the active enjoyment of Idaho’s public lands and hiking trails, the Idaho Trails Association brings together citizens and develops partnerships to foster:

  • Care-taking of Idaho’s hiking trails through stewardship projects, including trail construction and maintenance.
  • Development of traditional trails maintenance skills.
  • Understanding and appreciation, through education of Idaho’s unique trail resources.
  • Preservation, protection and access to Idaho’s hiking trails through outreach and advocacy.

In 2014 Idaho Trails Association completed seven projects on the National Forest and BLM system lands in Idaho.  Our Agency sponsors were the Boise BLM-Bruneau Field Office, Payette, Boise, Sawtooth and Panhandle National Forests.  Four of these projects were within designated Wilderness, and involved both trail work and stewardship activities and three were on high use non-motorized trails.

The projects ranged from five volunteers in more remote and logistically challenging areas to fifty volunteers on the work days that were closer to large population bases.

  • Number of volunteers- 139
  • Volunteer field hours- 1,660
  • Monetary value- $36,520
  • Miles of trail cleared-40.5
  • Miles of trail reconstructed-4
  • Miles of new construction-2
  • Logs cut from trail- 125
  • Water bars cleaned- 350
  • Puncheon constructed- 18 feet
  • Bridge construction- 1 @18 feet
  • Fence Removal- 1.6 miles
  • Human Waste Removal- “Piles”                                                                                            
  • Wilderness Campsite Naturalization-11

 Project Highlights:  

 The Panhandle NF provided the Grouse Mountain Trail project where the ITA crew constructed an eighteen foot long bridge, three hundred feet of newly constructed trail for the bridge approaches, eighteen feet of puncheon and removal of four large boulders from the trail tread. This project was funded through REI and ITA fund raising activities and membership.

The Sawtooth NF, Alice-Toxaway project was a highlight of the season.  Six ITA volunteers spent five days in the Sawtooth Wilderness clearing over thirty miles of trail on one of the most popular loops in the Wilderness.  The ITA crew also worked on cleaning camps and naturalizing overused sites. This week long session was funded through a grant from the Sawtooth Society.









The Boise BLM Bruneau Field Office has been a great partner to work with in the Owyhee Canyonlands and Wilderness areas.  They have provided early and late season opportunities for volunteers to get out and help. We have removed wire fence, decommissioned roads and built new trail along with reconstructing existing trails in amazing country is always a big draw for volunteers.  Roberson Trail in the Owyhee Wilderness has become an annual event on National Trails Day for ITA.  This project brings in large numbers of volunteers who work at multiple projects to help with the stewardship of this area.  This Owyhee project was been funded through grants from REI.

Roberson trail2Roberson trail

 Roberson Trail Owyhee Wilderness          Photos courtesy of Bryan Dufosse                     


 The Hum Lake Trail on the Payette NF was the inaugural ITA project in 2010.  We continued to work on this trail as an overnight project working to help reopen the North Fork of Lick Creek trail.  We have added day work parties to this trail as it has become a very popular volunteer opportunity.  This project is funded by REI and the USFS and volunteer pack support from BD Recreation Consultants.

Hum lake sumitDuck lake









The National Public Lands Day brought out over 50 volunteers to do stewardship work in and outside the Owyhee Wilderness.  During this project in the Owyhee Canyonlands the skills of future trail bosses were discovered.  This young man was part of a “Toddler Brigade” who helped remove baseball sized rocks from the trail tread.  He and 6 other youth were supervised by two parents who instructed the brigade in how to remove rocks without hurting or throwing them at anyone.  The brigade was a success!  It was hard to get past the group at the end of the day as everyone had to hear and see what a great job they did, and they did do a great job!

Future trail boss

Future Trail Boss

The Future:                                                                                                                 

The classic one day work party:  As ITA grows we are getting more requests from the agencies for single day work parties to work on trails close to population hubs.  These work parties have been funded by REI and the land management agencies, however future funding opportunities need to be pursued.

 Large volunteer projects provide challenges because of the need to ensure ITA has enough qualified crew leads to manage the volunteers are available.  Recruiting other passionate crew leaders will be important for future expansion and success.

ITA prides itself in teaching safety and completing the best quality trail work while also working towards creating supporters and stewards of our public lands. We may not knock out a project as fast as a contractor or force account crew, but the quality should be the same, and the potential of creating lifelong supporters of public lands is great.  This goal is important for future partner relationships.


Our Message:

ITA is a hiking, trail advocacy and stewardship group. We formed to provide the voice for hikers throughout the state.  Our role is to get work done and to develop strong stewards of the land who are informed and educated enough to provide support to land management agencies and continuing this goal is important.

ITA is proud to teach and promote traditional skills while accomplishing trail work.  We feel it is a needed and necessary way to safely engage the public into volunteer stewardship to help our public lands.  ITA promotes these traditional skills to provide the training and understanding that work can be accomplished safely and efficiently in this manner.

ITA has a goal to safely engage the public in stewardship activities, by doing this we hope to build a more accepting and supportive public who will enjoy recreating and participating in the future of our public lands.

 Our Thanks:

 To REI, Sawtooth Society, Agency Partners, volunteers, members, contributors, Board of Directors and Advisory Board for their time, energy, leadership and monetary contributions.