While it seems like summer just hit full swing, autumn is peeking its greedy little head above the horizon.
There's still plenty of time to hit the trails for epic mountain bike rides--especially considering how delayed the season was. But it's also time to start planning for those fabulous fall adventures, that amazing time of year when the ground is still clear and you don't have to worry about suffering heat exhaustion just from walking to your car.
If you're tired of the same old Foothills trails or need an excuse for a short getaway, you can always head for the Boise National Forest to take advantage of what officials at the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation see as an under-utilized fall amenity: yurts.
Parks and Rec manages six yurts in the Idaho City area, and while the yurts are booked on winter weekends up to a year in advance by eager snowshoers and cross-country skiers, they are readily available throughout the shoulder season.
"People have known that these are amazing winter options, but they've been neglected in the spring and fall," said Jennifer Blazek, communications manager for Parks and Rec. "They're more accessible in the spring and fall with equal recreational opportunities, it's just different--hiking and biking vs. skiing and snowshoeing."
That accessibility is particularly alluring to those who dread hauling around gear. What might be a two-mile ski during the winter is a 10-minute walk in the fall since most of the yurts are located right off of Forest Service roads.
The yurts all sleep six comfortably and are outfitted with furniture, cooking gear and utensils--you only have to bring your own food and gear.
In an effort to fill the yurts during the fall, Parks and Rec is offering special discounted prices through Tuesday, Nov. 15. Friday-Sunday fall yurt rentals cost $60 per night and weekday rentals are $45 per night. Each person in addition to the standard six will run an additional $10 per person per night. During the peak season, a yurt rental costs between $75 and $90 per night.
The yurts can be booked online at parksandrecreation.idaho.gov. The website also has a full list of what the yurts come equipped with, a yurt user's manual and details on each yurt.