Idaho state parks offer something special

First Published Feb 22 2014 05:17PM      Last Updated Feb 22 2014 05:17 pm
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The state park at McCall has world-class Nordic ski trails that go along scenic Payette Lake and through a dense forest of ponderosa pines.

There are more than 12 miles of groomed ski trails and 3 miles of snowshoe trails.

The park’s deluxe cabins also make it easy to enjoy the trails.

"Wake up in one of the deluxe cabins, have some coffee and enjoy the view," park office manager Eunice Broome said. "Before leaving out on your adventure, start a hearty meal in the slow cooker."


Thousand Springs State Park, southeast of Hagerman, has several different sections scattered between Hagerman and Buhl for winter hiking and bird watching.

The area is laced with waterfalls, springs and a mixture of wetlands, canyons and sage country that are all within a short driving distance of each other.

The first park section is Malad Gorge, a little over 90 minutes on I-84 east of Boise.


Massacre Rocks is unique in the winter because hikers have the opportunity to walk along the Snake River and see some of the river’s bottomlands that can’t be seen in periods of high water, park manager Kevin Lynott said.

There are 8 miles of hiking trails in the area with views of the Snake River canyon. The park’s disc golf course is also open in the winter.

Massacre Rocks is located about 3.5 hours east of Boise on I-84.


The first thing you notice when cross-country skiing or snowshoeing at Harriman State Park, north of Ashton in eastern Idaho, is the natural music — the notes of the wild.

The swans are trumpeting, the pintails are meee-meeing, the mergansers are croaking and the mallards are quacking.

The park has the perfect combination of wildlife watching and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing along a winter wonderland bordering the Henrys Fork of the Snake River. The park has a variety of dorms, yurts, cabins and other rentals available.



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