Upcoming Winter Events with Idaho Parks and Recreation

Monday December 12, 2022

Winter weather has arrived and there are plenty of upcoming outdoor events to celebrate the new year! Several Idaho State Parks are hosting a First Day Hikes (Jan 1) event as well as the annual Free Ski/Winter Access Day (Jan 7). A full list of events can be found below. Some details are still being arranged, please contact the parks directly for latest and most up-to-date information.


First Day Hikes (January 1, 2023):

  • Farragut State Park: Athol, Idaho. Farragut State Park is hosting a guided hike (or snowshoe, weather-dependent) at 10 AM.
    XC at Ponderosa State Park
  • Hells Gate State Park: Lewiston, Idaho. Hells Gate state park brings back First Day Hikes on Saturday January 1, 2023. Come enjoy a family event, hiking the wonderful trails offered at Hells Gate State Park on from 10:00am - 1:00pm. This year the hikes will be unguided, Hikers are encouraged to explore any of our 12 plus miles of trails. Hikers will need to check in at the discovery center. Free chili and hot drinks will be available upon return to the Discovery Center.
  • Harriman State Park: Island Park, Idaho. Name of Trail: John Muir Trail

Time of Event: 10AM
Meeting Location: Visitor Center (Harriman)
Length of Hike: 1 mile
Things to bring: Dress warm and have snowshoes or skis underfoot

  • City of Rocks/Castle Rocks State Park: Almo, Idaho A guided snowshoe hike (weather-dependent). Meet at the Visitor Center at 1pm. Snowshoers can bring their own snowshoes or check out some from the park. It is also recommended to bring water and a snack.

Free Ski/Winter Access Day (January 7, 2022):

Note: Free Ski/Winter Access Day is usually held the first Saturday of the year unless it falls on New Year’s Day. It should also be noted that this does not apply to any downhill ski areas and is for the Idaho Park N Ski locations and various parks only.

  • No permits needed at the 17 Park N’ Ski locations across the state.
  • Ponderosa State Park: McCall, Idaho. Ponderosa State Park will be hosting Free Ski Day on Saturday, January 7, 2023. The Park will be charging no entrance fees and waiving winter access fees on this day.  There will free cross-country ski lessons and a snowshoe tour with pre-registration required.  Lessons will run from 10 AM- 2PM.  Check Ponderosa State Park’s Facebook page for updates and for the sign-up link. 
  • Farragut State Park. Athol, Idaho. Come enjoy Free Winter Access Day at Farragut State Park. Explore the trails on snowshoes or xc skis and enjoy the natural beauty of Farragut in the winter! Food Drive: Participants are welcome to bring non-perishable food items.
  • Priest Lake State Park. Coolin, Idaho. Free cross-country ski lessons as well as a guided snowshoe hike and more!
  • Harriman State Park. Island Park, Idaho. January 7th from 10AM – 3PM. There will be a guided snowshoe hike at 11AM. Pending confirmations, but the park hopes to also be hosting a guided fat bike ride.