Off the Beaten Path

Things to Do, Travel Tips, What's New — By njensen on December 28, 2011 at 1:21 am


Anne Frank Memorial.  Situated behind the Log Cabin and the Boise Public Library, this quiet, unassuming memorial pays tribute to Anne Frank and her spirit. An enticing statue of Anne Frank peaking out of her window has center stage among a walkway of bricks donated by patrons. A gurgling stream runs down the side of the tiny park, leading to wall of quotations by famous human rights activists, such as Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Ski Bogus. If you are visiting Idaho, you’ve probably never heard of Bogus Basin Ski Resort. This ski area is conveniently located just a short drive up the mountain from Boise, and locals know it is a great place for skiing at possibly the cheapest prices ever. With enough runs to keep you busy all day, many lodges, a Nordic lodge and trails, plus a tubing hill, Bogus will keep everybody in your group active and happy.

Snowshoe.  I love snowshoeing, because it takes me to places you can’t go on skis. Even cross country skiers usually stick to groomed trails. But snowshoers can go anywhere. Just make sure you know where you’re going and know about avalanche warnings and dangers. Even if you stick to trails, you’ll get to see some scenery no one else gets to see. For information on where to go, contact Idaho Parks and Recreation.

Silver City is a mining town set high in the Owyhee Mountains. You can’t get much farther off the beaten path than this. Silver City hasn’t changed much since the 1890s, with many of the original buildings still in use today. At one point more than 250 mines existed in the surrounding mountains, and this was the big town servicing all those miners.

Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. With 2.3 million acres to share with your fellow wilderness friends, you are certainly off the beaten path here. This part of Idaho allows no cars, so you are limited to backpacking, boating (non motorized), horse or other pack animal. Which is what makes it so wonderful. Leave the technology behind and enjoy nature fully.

Winter in the Frank Church


Fourth of July Lake is a lake high in the Sawtooth Mountains between Stanley and Ketchum, Idaho. The hike to the lake is relatively easy, although going in is all uphill. The reward is a tiny, isolated lake. You might very well be the only person or group there. While there are no developed campsites, camping is permitted, so you’re definitely off the beaten path.

Trinity Lakes is located at a high elevation–around 8,000 feet. That keeps a lot of people away, because it’s only accessible by car about 2-3 months of the year. And even then, it can dip below freezing at night. The campground has only pit toilets, so those who aren’t used to “roughing it’ don’t camp here. But for mountain beauty, peaceful tranquility, and few people, this is where I go.

Big Trinity Lake


Idaho Botanical Gardens are nestled in the foothills northeast of Boise. Filled with native plants and walking trails, this is a great place to go any time of  year for some solitude.

Old Fort Boise was built in 1834 by the Hudson’s Bay Company, an entity responsible for much of the development of the old northwest. It served as a trading post and a ferry crossing for Oregon Trail pioneers for twenty years. Due to conflicts with Indians, the fort closed in 1854, and eventually floods demolished the site. A replica of the fort was built in Parma, Idaho so visitors could get a sense of what it had been like.

Wolf Education Research Center. Located in north Idaho near Winchester, the WERC is home to a pack of wolves in their natural habitat. You can walk along trails and hope to see the wolves. A volunteer naturalist is available for tours and will happily tell you all about the pack.



Tags: historical sites, lakes, moutains, Off the beaten path