The Hennessy yurt is the newest yurt in the Idaho City system and is designed for avid backcountry skiers and snowshoers. The Hennessy yurt replaces the Whispering Pines yurt that was burned to the ground during the 2015 Pioneer fire. The new yurt is located on a high, unburned knob with great views. From the large yurt deck you can see Pilots Peak, Sunset Peak, Trinity Mountains, Steele Mountain, Wolf Mountain and the Crooked River Valley. At an elevation of 5,679 in feet, there will be good snow for backcountry skiing and snowshoeing from December to late April.
Because of the recent burn near the yurt there are lots of Telemark slopes nearby waiting for first descents. There are good ski slopes offering all directional aspects ranging from north slope powder to south facing corn. Access to the yurt is from the Gold Fork Park N’ Ski parking lot located on Highway 21 about 20 miles north of Idaho City. Once at the Gold Fork Park N’ Ski parking lot (5,243 feet in elevation) walk to the toilet located on the east side of the parking lot and then head up and left up the groomed Gold Fork Loop trail. Ski or snowshoe about 1.3 miles on the groomed Gold Fork trail to the intersection of the Lodge Pole Trail/Gold Fork trail. At this point you should see a 2-by-2 foot, reflectorized yellow sign on a 4-by-4 inch wood post. From the large yellow sign turn left and immediately cross the creek bed and follow the yellow reflectorized reassurance tree blazes up the hill on a ungroomed trail. You now will follow the yellow tree blazes for seven-tenths of a mile to the yurt. This section of the access trail is steep (10 percent-plus grade) and winding through an old burn as it climbs 350 feet in elevation. You will find the yellow blazes nailed to burn trees and on round 10-foot-tall treated round posts. The yurt is located on the top of a knob in a grove of large Ponderosa pines.
Above photo: Adam Zaragoza
Download guides & maps
Please contact the Idaho City Ranger District at 208-392-3700 to obtain a map and get updates as to which trails are safe to recreate on before you go out and play.
Click here to check snow depths (search for Jackson Peak or Mores Creek Summit)
Email the program or call 208-514-2418
**We always recommend a high-clearance, all-wheel drive vehicle when traveling to the yurts.
Spring, Summer and Fall
This yurt is located on a high point that offers you an amazing view of the Boise Mountains and Crooked River Valley. The elevated yurt deck offers great place to enjoy the views with a glass of wine in hand or experience a mountain thunderstorm. If you just want a quiet get-a- way in the forest to curling up and read a good book this is your place. The yurt is usually snow-free from early May to mid-November. Fall is a good time to visit with the blaze of colors and the cool evening temps.
When it gets too cold and rainy to camp in the fall, the yurt is a great alternative because the cozy warm wood stove and insulated roof, walls and floor. When the yurt is snow-free you can drive with a high-clearance vehicle within a couple hundred feet of the yurt. To drive to yurt you should first drive to the Gold Fork Park N, Ski area parking lot. First set you odometer to zero and then drive north out of the parking lot on a primitive dirt USFS road, (USFS Road 393). Drive 4.2 miles on the main road to a switch back in the road and park in the wide spot along the road near a road gate. From there walk a couple hundred feet south on a trail to the yurt. At the yurt you will find a wheelbarrow to carry your five gallons of drinking water and luggage to the yurt.