Boise National Forest

Big Roaring River Area, Boise National Forest, Idaho
In the Big Roaring River area of the Boise National Forest
Boiling Springs Campground, Boise National Forest, Idaho

The Boise National Forest contains some 2,612,000 acres in central Idaho, north and east of the city of Boise. Elevations on the forest run from a low of about 2,600' to a high of about 9,800'. The forest is comprised mostly of the mountainous landscape of the Idaho Batholith, a very large and easily eroded chunk of ancient rock (obviously, from all the faulting, uplifting and stream cutting that happened here over the millenia). Most of the tree cover at the Boise National Forest is conifer, including Douglas fir, Ponderosa pine, lodgepole pine, Engelmann spruce, subalpine fir, grand fir, whitebark pine and western larch. For big game you'll find mule deer, elk, black bear and grizzly bear. In some areas there might be bighorn sheep, in other areas pronghorn. You'll find native trout in most of the lakes and streams. You'll also find steelhead trout and ocean-going salmon in the Salmon River and some of its tributaries.

Boise National Forest is the recreational backyard for the city of Boise, and Mountain Home, Idaho City, Cascade, Emmett and Lowman. This is where the local folks go to escape the valley heat and city crowds. This is where they find lush green mountains, arid, rolling landscapes, vast reservoirs, alpine lakes, hot spring pools and raging whitewater streams. Hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, biking, ATV-riding, swimming, horseback-riding...until winter comes and the skis, snowshoes and snowmobiles come out to play.

In 1908, Boise National Forest was created out of sections of the Payette and Sawtooth Forest Reserves. The first forest supervisor was Emil Grandjean.

Cascade Lake in the winter, Boise National Forest, Idaho
Photos are courtesy of the National Forest Service.
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