What to expect

Idaho has 461 trails including medium, easy, and difficult trails. The trail with the highest elevation climb is the Hells Gate State Park Loop and the one with the least climb is the Borah Peak Trail. The longest trail is Ultra Pedestrian North Loop at 4280 km. To complete this hike you should budget at least 248 days. For a shorter adventure, you can try the Minnetonka Cave a t 252 m. This could be done in as little as 1 days. Trails with the best offering of hostels include Lone Lake Trail, Pack Trail, Trail 10 - Forest Service Road 268, South Fork Salmon River, and Horseshoe Canyon and Cliff Creek Loop from Smelter Avenue.

Guide to hiking in Idaho

Be prepared for hiking in Idaho with the HiiKER app

FAQs about hiking in Idaho

What is the climate like for hiking in Idaho?

Idaho experiences distinct seasons. The mild spring (March to May) offers beautiful blooms and waterfall views, ideal for hiking. Summer (June to August) brings heat but also long days, perfect for extended treks. Fall (September to November) introduces stunning foliage and cooler temperatures. Keep track of weather patterns at weather.com.

Do I need a permit to hike in Idaho?

In Idaho, hiking doesn't usually require permits, unless visiting designated wilderness areas or national parks. In such cases, contact the specific park service or Bureau of Land Management. For popular destinations like Sawtooth Wilderness, free self-issue permits are available at trailheads. Visit blm.gov/idaho for more info.

Is wild camping allowed in Idaho?

Wild camping, or dispersed camping, is generally permitted on public lands in Idaho, managed by the Bureau of Land Management or U.S. Forest Service. Restrictions may apply near water sources, roads, and trailheads. Detailed information can be obtained from the BLM's website, blm.gov/idaho.

Are there mountain rescue services in Idaho?

In Idaho, if you encounter an emergency while hiking, dial 911. For non-immediate rescue situations, you can reach out to Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue Unit. To help facilitate rescues, consider purchasing a CORSAR card. Further details can be found on their website: www.imsaru.org.

Are there dangerous plants in Idaho?

Idaho's diverse trails feature Ponderosa pines, wildflowers like the Syringa, and sagebrush, depending on altitude and region. Be mindful not to disturb plant habitats and learn to identify poisonous flora, such as poison ivy. More on Idaho's flora can be found at: www.fs.usda.gov/main/r4/plants-animals.

What wildlife should I be aware of when hiking in Idaho?

While hiking in Idaho, anticipate encounters with diverse wildlife including moose, deer, wolves, and many bird species. Beware of bears in forested areas and snakes in arid regions. For protection, make noise and carry bear spray. Idaho's wildlife guide is at: www.fishandgame.idaho.gov.