Idaho Parks Open but Some Programs and Lodging Now Closed for COVID-19 Prevention

Tuesday March 17, 2020

Idaho State Parks remain open for day use and most camping – but hands-on activities and large group events are discontinued, and premium cabins and picnic shelters closed.

The steps have been taken to give the public recreational options while also protecting community health in accordance with the guidance of Idaho and federal health agencies.

“Outdoor activity is healthy at this stressful time, and we encourage people to enjoy a hike, a ride or some snow sports,” said David Langhorst, Parks and Recreation director. “These precautions give the public recreational opportunities while still minimizing the risk of infection.”

Here are the details of the changes, which last through April unless updated in further response to the health emergency:

Most units will remain open; reservation holders wishing to cancel stays with arrival dates before May 1st because of Covid-19 concerns will receive full refunds.

Reservations for groups of 10 or more persons at overnight facilities and all group camps will be canceled in accordance with the public health guidance to limit the size of gatherings.

Interpretive programs in parks have been suspended to maintain social distancing as recommended by public health professionals.

Loaner equipment programs, including the Explorer Backpack, fishing rods and camping gear, will cease.

Exhibits featuring hands-on interaction will be closed.

Restrooms, kitchens and high-traffic areas within parks will get more frequent cleaning and disinfection.

The lobby of the Parks and Recreation headquarters on Warm Springs Avenue in Boise will close; customers seeking recreational vehicle stickers or camping reservations are asked to go online at or call 208-334-4199.

Park visitor centers may have reduced hours to limit potential virus exposure for our customers and employees with phone and online assistance options provided in notices on site.

Premium cabins – those with dishes, linens and bathrooms – will be closed because of the logistics involved with adequate cleaning.

Recreational program classes, such as those for boating or off-highway vehicles, will continue but be limited to 10 participants.

Camper Cabins and Idaho City Backcountry Yurts will remain open, but guests are advised that the facilities receive only periodic cleaning and they are encouraged to use the on-hand supplies to clean the yurts upon arrival and departure.