10 Winter Adventures in Idaho

Explore off-the-beaten-path Idaho.

Though Idaho is starting to show up on the radar of adventure-lovers worldwide, it's still a relatively unknown — and misunderstood — destination.

Idaho may have a reputation as being filled with potatoes, but in many parts of the state, you'll find more mountains than spuds and plenty of opportunity for remote adventures in rugged landscapes.

Here are ten adventures in Idaho this winter that you won't want to miss.

South Central Idaho

Adventure by Sara Sheehy

Mountain-lined Redfish Lake is a popular destination in the summer. Come winter, it's a place of beautiful solitude and gorgeous views. This 4-mile out-and-back ski or snowshoe isn't too taxing but is worth every step or glide.

Adventure by Dusty Klein

Kirkham Hot Springs is legendary, and it only gets better with fresh snowfall and the quiet of winter. On the drive to Kirkham, you'll pass a few hidden roadside hot springs, too. They are easier to spot in the winter when the steam is rising in waves.

Adventure by Sara Sheehy

Ever backcountry skied on a cinder cone? During a good snow year, you can do just that at Craters of the Moon National Monument. Remote and otherworldly, this is the perfect destination for skiers and snowshoers.

Adventure by Sara Sheehy

Escape the snowy mountains with a trip to Bruneau Sand Dunes. Bruneau has the tallest single-structure sand dune in the United States, where you can hike, sandboard, and camp year-round. There are cabins for rent, too.

Boise Area

Adventure by Dusty Klein

Rent a snow machine and ride the scenic 22 miles to Burgdorf Hot Springs near the resort town of McCall. Slip into the thermal waters, nestle your toes in the sandy bottom, and soak it all in.

Adventure by Chad Johnson

This yurt is only 1.3-miles from the trailhead, but you'll feel like you're a world away. The Stargaze Yurt is fully equipped with utensils and places to sleep, and it's dog-friendly, too. Reservations required.

Eastern Idaho

Adventure by Josh Packer

Snowshoe along the famous Henry Fork River on a 2.5-mile loop in Harriman State Park. This mostly-flat route is excellent for beginners and families. Plus, you can make a stop at the Jones House for a fireside warm up with hot chocolate.

Adventure by Josh Packer

Mesa Falls is a set of two spectacular waterfalls, both of which tumble over a lava flow created by an ancient volcanic eruption. Though a popular (and easily accessed) destination during the summer, enjoy these waterfalls in solitude by reaching them via snow machine or cross country ski in the winter.

Northern Idaho

Adventure by Nick Lake

This winter backpacking adventure on Mt. Roothan in the Selkirk Mountains isn't for the faint of heart, but the views will be worth it. The dark night skies are spectacular, and you may even come across a caribou.

Adventure by Angela Crampton

Lookout Pass is an unassuming, powder-filled ski area right on the border of Idaho and Montana. Buy a pass and do your laps with the help of a lift, or snag a single lift ride (around $10) and gain easy access to the backcountry.

Cover photo by Nick Lake

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Sara SheehyAdmin

Writer | Nomad