If you are one of those people who curls up by the fire all winter, dreaming of a time when mother nature will give you the go-ahead to hit the trails and pitch that old tent in the Sawtooths, then the yurt at Bogus Basin may be the perfect off-season alternative for winter fun.
The Bogus Basin yurt is a large, Central Asian-style canopy tent, which sleeps up to 12, with a wood stove, kitchen, patio, outdoor portable toilet and bunk beds.
Last winter, eight of us reserved the yurt for no other reason than we wanted to get out of town to celebrate a birthday. We scheduled for just one night. Even then, the yurt, a 40-minute drive from Boise, was infinitely convenient due to the fact that it is relatively easy to find, user friendly and affordable. We snowshoed in to the yurt in mid-afternoon under flat light, with an enchanting ambience unexpected so close to town. The Nordic trail was well groomed and boasted excellent scenery from start to finish.
In all honesty, the yurt is predictably unsexy but highly functional. It is an unassuming facility with epic panoramic views from its sturdy wrap-around patio. The trek in is fairly flat and forgiving, with the last stretch going down a slight grade. The two-thirds of a mile you have to hoof to the yurt generally takes 15 to 30 minutes, depending on physical ability, and is something that most people with average navigation and outdoor ability can handle with ease.
We packed in food, sleds, adult beverages, warm clothes and personal effects. A detailed list of recommended gear is available on the Bogus Basin website. Patrons are expected to clean up after themselves, pack out their garbage and treat this little gem with respect. It's a fantastic option for people looking to get away without breaking the bank. For those who want to get out of town but not too far out of town. For those who like to rough it without totally roughing it but who want to give winter recreation a try. Our total cost for the overnighter, including yurt rental, gas and food: $25 per person.