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Take These Classic Idaho Outings in 2020

Article by Roger Phillips

Photography by Roger Phillips

Originally published in Boise Lifestyle

As an avid outdoorsman and a world-class procrastinator, I’ve learned that “one of these days”
never seems to show up on the calendar. But if I plan trips in advance, they tend to become
iron-clad dates that everything else has to revolve around, and I get to look back at the end of
the year with warm, fuzzy memories about the great experiences I had doing them.


With the new year in mind, here are five outing suggestions…. nay, here are five challenges for
2020. Make some, or all of them, happen so you won’t ask yourself in 12 months “where did the
year go?”


Enjoy a day in the snow: If you haven’t already done it, you owe it to yourself to get out and
really enjoy winter. Idaho offers an amazing variety of snow sports, including skiing and
snowmobiling, Nordic skiing, snow shoeing. Need more? How about tubing or snow biking?
Remember you don’t have to just endure winter, it can be a blast, and lots of Idahoans look
forward to winter as much as summer because there are so many fun things to do, not to
mention some beautiful, snow-capped scenery.


Do an Idaho roadtrip: Idaho is an incredibly diverse state, and no matter how long you’ve lived
here, there are pockets of the state you haven’t visited because of our unique geography. There
can two types of road trippers: planners and wanderers. I fall into the wanderer camp, but either
way is good. I’ve spent more than 25 years traveling around Idaho and still find cool new places
every year. The point is to figure out what part of the state you want to explore and spend a few
days getting there and exploring. I won’t even give a hint for where you should go. You can
literally close your eyes, drop your finger on the map and find something interesting there, so
don’t feel like you need a travel brochure to find interesting places.


Hike some place iconic: Idaho is full of classic places to hike. Let’s start with one of the most
obvious, such as the Sawtooths near Stanley. How about the Hells Canyon? How about Osprey
Point at Ponderosa Park in McCall? Or Stack Rock in the Foothills? All of these trails are easy
to find, well marked. You don’t need mountain climber fitness to do them, and no special gear is
required. You owe it to yourself. Selfies recommended, but not mandatory.


Catch a fish on a fly: I am biased because I spend about 95 percent of my fishing time with a
fly rod in my hand, but I don’t limit myself to trout. You can catch nearly every fish in Idaho with a
fly, and it’s just a fun to way to fish. Be creative in your attempts. It might be a bluegill in a city
pond, or a trout in river, or a bass in a reservoir. Here’s a hint: A size 4 woolly bugger in black,
olive or brown will catch a fish in almost any body of water in Idaho. Make it happen.


Experience river time: What’s river time? River time is when your life flows with the rhythm of
the river. Ideally, it’s floating for several days on one of Idaho’s classic rivers. Don’t feel like it
has to be a white-knuckle ride through the rapids, or a long trip through the wilderness. You can
take a relaxing day trip on many of Idaho’s rivers, and just effortlessly gliding downstream will let
your mind follow, and before you know it, you’re on river time.

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