Boise National Forest

Cross-Country Skiing - Lowman Area
Gorp.com

The Lowman area offers three nice trails for cross-country skiing.

WAGON ROAD NORDIC SKI TRAIL

ACCESS: 24 Miles North of Idaho City on Highway 21, at the Banner Ridge Park and Ski parking area. Or at the parking area approximately 3 miles North of the Banner Ridge parking area.

ELEVATION AT THE TRAILHEAD: 6,260 feet

ELEVATION GAIN: 2,400 feet

LENGTH: 4.5 Miles (7.2 km), one way

TRAIL TRAVEL TIME: 5 Hours

DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY: Intermediate/Advanced

SEASON OF USE: December 1 through April 15

USGS MAP: Lowman

ATTRACTIONS AND CONSIDERATIONS: The Banner Ridge Park and Ski parking area and trails are maintained by the State Park-a-Ski Program. Current stickers are required for parking here. Parking is available for 15-20 vehicles. Portable toilets are available for your convenience. There is no charge for parking farther up the Highway.

NARRATIVE: You need to start at the Elk Horn Loop of the Banner Ridge Trail system to get to the southern trailhead. The start of the trail is a nice grade that follows a logging road the first 1-1/4 miles. The trail then turns to the right and gets off the groomed Elk Horn Trail and goes north toward Lowman. There are beautiful scenic vistas of the Sawtooths on clear days. The trail follows the ridge for the most part with little drop in elevation. After crossing the Highway you follow the ridge to a large play area. The trail then goes down toward Lowman through the trees, with beautiful views of the Surrounding mountains.

HELENDE NORDIC SKI AREA

ACCESS: 8 Miles east of Lowman on Highway 21. Parking is available at the Helende Campground.

ELEVATION AT THE TRAILHEAD: 4,100 feet

TOTAL LENGTH: 4.5 miles (7.2 km)

TOTAL TRAVEL TIME: 2 Hours

DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY: Beginner

SEASON OF USE: December 1 through April 15

USGS MAP: Jackson Peak

ATTRACTIONS AND CONSIDERATIONS: The area system is for the beginner skier. Chances of viewing wildlife are good, since a herd of elk winter in this area. Toilets are available. The trails are groomed.

NARRATIVE: The trails system is divided into 3 different loops. The Helende Loop goes around the campground and is 1.5 miles in length. The Snake Dance Loop is 1.5 miles in length and makes a loop that follows the South Fork of the Payette River. The Elk Antler Loop takes you through a stand of Ponderosa Pines and follows a short section of the river. All trails are very level with a few small dips.

BONNEVILLE NORDIC SKI TRAIL

ACCESS: 19 Miles east of Lowman on Highway 21.

ELEVATION AT THE TRAILHEAD: 4,624 feet

ELEVATION GAIN: 600 feet

LENGTH: 5 Miles (8 km)

TRAIL TRAVEL TIME: 2.5 hours

DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY: Beginner/Intermediate

SEASON OF USE: December 1 through April 15

USGS MAP: Eightmile Mtn.

ATTRACTIONS AND CONSIDERATIONS: Bonneville Hot Springs is located just off the trail 1 mile from the trail head. A double toilet is available at the Bonneville Campgrounds.

NARRATIVE: The trail will take you to Warm Springs Guard Station, along the Warm Springs Landing strip, up through the trees and down the hill to the hot springs. From the hot springs it is a short trip back to the parking area. The parking area is plowed and will accommodate 10-15 vehicles.


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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