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Idaho Outdoor Recreation Festival

Saturday, June 18, 2016

10AM -2PM

Come join us for a fun filled Recreation festival!


Hosted by the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR), sponsored by the Friends of Idaho State Parks, the Idaho Outdoor Recreation Festival is a full day of fun, featuring recreational lessons for kids and adults, exhibits, workshops, demonstrations, youth activities, giveaways, fresh food and cold beverages.

The Idaho Outdoor Recreation Festival is a perfect opportunity to learn about and experience Idaho recreation firsthand. Whether you’re an avid adventure seeker, or new to recreation, you will find great recommendations and instruction on taking advantage of Idaho’s outdoors.

The festival goal is to host an educational and informative event with an exhibit area that will provide attendees with a wide variety of exhibits featuring local non-profits, clubs, retailers, manufacturers, guides & outfitters, attractions, and visitors’ centers.

2015 Alice-Toxaway Trail Work Vacation Debrief

We are thrilled with the work our volunteers accomplished during this Epic trail work vacation in the Sawtooth Wilderness.

Our amazing volunteer crew along with a Forest Service Wilderness Ranger got this staggering list of  accomplishments done!

  • 10-ITA Volunteers contributed 400 hours of volunteer time.
  • Cleared 7 trees from the trail within Wilderness.
  • Resurfaced 1500 feet of trail through talus slope.
  • Brushed 2.5 miles of trail.
  • Removed rocks from 3 miles of trail.
  • Cleaned/rebuilt 83 water bars.
  • Cleaned 9 drains/creek crossings.
  • Built 150 feet of rock retaining wall for 2 trail realignments.
  • Rehabbed 150 feet of trail at realignments.
  • Built 20 foot approach ramp for bridge.
  • Picked up and packed out 30 pounds of trash from Twin Lakes area.

Here are some photos of the crew and the work they accomplished.

A BIG THANK YOU goes out to the Sawtooth National Forest Service, The Sawtooth Society, REI, Cabela’s, and our volunteers for making this trail work vacation such a success!

National Trails Day Summary

National Trails Day 2015 was a success from the start.  Volunteers met at the BLM field Office in Boise and carpooled to the NTD4Perjue Canyon Trailhead in the Little Jacks Creek Wilderness.  REI supplied sandwiches, chips and drinks while volunteers provided homemade cookies for the return trip.  15 volunteers made the trip with BLM Recreation Staff David Draheim and ITA Executive Director Jeff Halligan leading the project.  It was a 3 mile hike to the project site of brushing, logging out and tread work along the canyon bottom thick with Aspen, Alder and grasses.  There was about 300 feet of trail tread reconstruction/improvement and about ¾ of a mile of brushing and logging out.  The volunteers were treated with the presence of 2 young energetic volunteers whose positive energy and enthusiasm was enjoyed by all!  Thank you Kylie and Hunter!  We hope to see you on more ITA trips!  The hike back up to the trailhead was a real eye opener, as you climbed out of the lush canyon you were met with the heat of the Owyhee Desert afternoon.  It was amazing how the deep lush canyons can hold the cool for so long in the day!  It was a great day to be in the Little Jacks Creek Wilderness!

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Photos Courtesy of our Board Member Diana Burrell

Idaho Youth Wilderness Initiative

We are collaborating with IYWI another Idaho nonprofit organization to get youth outdoors and experience nature!IYWI logo

IYWI will create opportunities for Idaho’s youth to experience overnight wilderness adventures provided by trained and equipped adult youth leaders.

The mission of IYWI is to create opportunities for Idaho youth to experience overnight wilderness adventures by breaking down barriers to access. In doing so, the organization will provide comprehensive, hands-on training for adult youth leaders wilderness both confidently and competently. There first Outdoor Leadership training is June 26th-28th. Limited spots are available, so please hurry and register!


2015 Wewukiye Trail Work Party


  • Where: Boise National Forest
  • When: Saturday, June 13th
  • Distance: 1-2 miles
  • Location: Weyukiye Trail
  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate
  • Accepting: 20 volunteers

Project Description

Join us on Saturday, June 13th for this one day project in the Boise National Forest. We will be partnering again with Southwest Idaho Mountain Biking Association and the Boise National Forest Service to open up another 1-2 miles of non-motorized hiking and mountain biking trail.

Together last year we got a lot of hard work done and had lots of fun doing it! We are excited to work with SWIMBA and the Boise National forest service again this year. The North zone Boise national forest service is continuing the charge to construct this 16-mile hiking and mountain biking trail that will connect Warm Lake, Stolle Meadows, Vulcan Hot Springs and other landmarks. We have been working hard on this trail over the past four years!

The naming of the trail was part of a community process.  The name was selected during a “name-the-trail” contest that was held for the local 4th grade students. Kyle Sellers chose the name ‘Wewukiye,”(Wa-woo-kia) meaning elk in the Nez Perce tribal language.

Details: Volunteers have the option of meeting at Project camp near Warm Lake Friday evening for camping. ITA projects leads will be leaving Boise and arriving Saturday morning at the campground at 8:30am. When we meet at the Project camp campground we’ll have a safety brief and drive the short distance to the trail. Volunteers are welcome and encouraged to stay and enjoy a post project dinner provided by ITA and camping! After you sign up the camping, carpooling, and trail maintenance  details will be emailed to you a week before the trail work party.

Sign Up here:

MicKinnick Trail Work Party

Project: Idaho Trails Association spring cleanup project on Mickinnick Trail near Sandpoint, Idahomickinnick-trail-idaho-panhandle-national-forest-l

Date and time: Saturday, June 20 starting at 9:00 am, ending by 4:00 pm. Volunteers can show up any time during the day.

Description: The Idaho Trails Association is looking for volunteers to help do maintenance work on Saturday, June 20 on the Mickinnick Trail in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest. We will be cleaning out water bars, cutting back brush, and doing other “spring cleaning” chores.

The Mickinnick Trail climbs the hillside just south of the Schweitzer Ski Area road near Sandpoint. The trail gains about 2,200’ in 3.5 miles to its end at a scenic overlook. The Idaho Trails Association will be doing the maintenance work to help make this very popular trail more enjoyable for the hikers who come here.

Volunteers will use hand tools provided by the Association to do light work. Everyone should bring work gloves, sturdy shoes, lunch, and water. We will meet at 9:00 am on Saturday, June 20 at the trailhead parking area on Woodland Drive just south of the Schweitzer Mountain Road.

Volunteers do not need to sign up ahead of time. If you would like additional information before June 20, please contact the leader via email or phone as listed below.

Volunteers do not need to sign up ahead of time but are encouraged to sign up before hand. If you would like additional information before May 30th, please contact the Project leader: Tom Dabrowski at or call 208-263-6854

Photo courtesy of the Idaho Panhandle National Forest

If you do not sign up before the ITA work party you will be asked to read and sign our liability release form when you arrive please read it ahead of time. Participants under 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

Please sign up here:


Eckles Creek Trail Work Party Debrief

Our second trail work party of 2015 was another great success. We had 15 Rock star volunteers come help maintain trail in the Hell’s Canyon National Recreation area.  We partnered with the Payette National Forest Service to work on trail #223 Eckles Creek trail in Hell’s Canyon.

We did some heavy trail pad repair and restoration and major pruning. We installed one new water bar and cleared out 3 existing water bars. The total mileage we maintained to standard was 1.37 miles. The Payette Forest Service was very pleased to have eager volunteers to help them maintain this trail and they were very happy with the quality of trail maintenance that are amazing volunteers performed. After all the work was done we all relaxed and enjoyed an AMAZING dinner, raffle, camaraderie, and campfire! Thank you to all our volunteers and our partners for making this a success! Nice work!


We highly recommend exploring Hells’ Canyon and the Eckles Creek Trail. Hell’s Canyon is the deepest canyon in North America and Eckles creek trail is a very diverse and a unique trail worth exploring!  The drive to the trail 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 approximately 6-7 miles down river from Hells Canyon Campground to Eckles Creek Trail Head.

Our next trail work party is on National Trail Day June 6th. If you are interested in volunteering please sign up here: National Trails Day – Trail Work party. This work party is almost full, so please don’t hesitate to sign up. The spots are going fast! We hope to see you there!

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!

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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!