Boise National Forest

Boise National Forest photo

Boise National Forest offers 113 sq. miles of open public access in Gem County. It has what you want for outdoor activities all year.  Check out these sites for more info:,, and among others.

Highway 55 and the Banks-Lowman Road travel through a canyon that offers many scenic views of the Payette River. North of Banks on Highway 55, visitors delight at the sight of the adventure-loving kayakers riding the Class V rapids on the North Fork Payette River. In fact, many river-runners consider the North Fork Payette River to be one of the most feared and respected Class V rapids in the world. On the Banks-Lowman Road at Banks, the South Fork Payette River views are a stunning mix of emerald green waters and whitewater rapids. A large turnout halfway between Banks and Garden Valley provides an easy stopping place to view kayakers attacking the well-known and extremely challenging Staircase Rapids. A stopping place along the Banks-Lowman Road provides a roadside scope where visitors can look out across the South Fork Payette River and into some pasture land where elk reside during the winter and spring seasons. Elk and deer are also commonly seen from Garden Valley to Lowman.




Notice to Hunters

Hunting activities are regulated by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.  For licenses, regulations and detailed game unit information, visit

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