Author Wallace Stegner wrote "Westerners live outdoors more than people elsewhere, because outdoors is mainly what they've got." That's certainly true in Idaho. Nearly 70 percent of the state is public land. Of that, 64 percent, is federal land, most of it managed by the U.S. Forest Service or the Bureau of Land Management. With so much public land, the opportunities for outdoor recreation seem endless.
To early settlers, the wilderness was something to tame. Today, it is something special. Idaho has nearly four million acres of designated wilderness. The Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area in central Idaho is the largest single wilderness area outside of Alaska. It includes the famous Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Nearby are the Selway-Bitterroot, one of the nation's first designated wilderness areas; the Sawtooth Wilderness, part of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area; and the Gospel Hump Wilderness Area.
Idaho has hundreds of public and private campgrounds where a person can pitch a tent, park a trailer or relax in a cabin. Most of the public campgrounds are on Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management land. The state Department of Parks and Recreation operates more than two-dozen state parks. All of them have picnic sites and many allow camping.
In Idaho, you'll want to grab your hiking boots and hit the trail. With more than 19,000 miles of developed trails, Idaho offers the opportunity to backpack, hike, ride horses, fish, hunt, climb and enjoy some of Idaho's most spectacular scenery.
Search Idaho's Public Lands
National Forests in Idaho
Bureau of Land Management, Idaho Office
Recreation Opportunities on Federal Land
Idaho Campground Database
Idaho Department of Lands
Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation
Idaho Public Television's "Outdoor Idaho: The Public's Land"