Discover Backcountry Airstrips through Idaho’s Gateway to the Wilderness

Grangeville Idaho is often thought of as a gateway to the beautiful wilderness areas of the Central Idaho backcountry via the air, with plenty of opportunities for hobby pilots AND outdoor recreationalists to pursue their activities for outdoor fun.


Backcountry airstrips are somewhat hidden gems of of our state, but have provided much fascination and an initiative for pilots everywhere. In fact, the State of Idaho Department of Transportation recently began to look at the aviation industry as a means of economic stimulus, replacing income generating industries of the past such as logging, that use to fund schools in Idaho.

Commercial aviation businesses such as air charter services, as well as hobby pilots that bring people to the rural regions of our beautiful state, are the people who can make an impact on the economic resources through tourism dollars. Recreationalists stop in towns like Grangeville to collect supplies and perishable food items for their backcountry expeditions up the Selway or Salmon River, or the South Fork of the Clearwater River to Elk City and Dixie. If you’re among those who are seeking to expand your horizons with a rafting, backpacking or wilderness type vacation, be sure to scroll down on this page for a list of the Backcountry Airstrips all located in the central Idaho region including important flight book diagrams.

There are plenty of reasons why these little known locations are of such fascination to those who enjoy getting into the backcountry wilderness. The beauty of these remote locations are stimulating to those who appreciate seeing America in its raw natural state. Chances to see big game wildlife or rare birds and insects as well as other species offer personal rewards to many.

In recent years, pilots have determined to share their experiences through videos of their landings at these Idaho backcountry locations posted on youtube.com.  From Mackay Bar Guest Ranch on the Salmon River, to Elk City to the backcountry Forest Service Ranger Station at Moose Creek near the Selway River, as well as many others, the joy of small aircraft getting to remote locations is like passing through a doorway to a completely different world

Idaho’s rural airports and airstrips offer a taste of something a little different for travelers, outdoor recreationalists and small aircraft pilots. Navigate any number of these backcountry locations for extravagant picnics, wilderness adventures, hunting, fly-in rafting, kayaking, hiking, backpacking drops and whatever you can think of to celebrate the beauty of Idaho and its treasured public lands.

For reasons besides recreational pilots,  Idaho’s backcountry airstrips serve as staging areas for search and rescue operations, fire suppression, and wildlife and natural resource management activities. If you’re planning an excursion into the Idaho backcountry, be sure to check ahead of schedule to ensure there are no problems to encounter during your adventure flight into North Central Idaho’s Gateway to the Wilderness. Of course while you’re planning your travel through North Central Idaho, Idaho County Airport (GIC) welcomes your flight plans with a stop for fuel, supplies and other services.

We’ve also provided a resource here for detailed flight book references and some web cams at backcountry locations:

If Google Earth is installed on your computer, click here to open a kmz file identifying all of the backcountry airstrips in the central Idaho region.

Fish Lake – no information available at this time.

Johnson Creek (near Yellow Pine)

Lat x Long: 44.9122 x 115.4857 | Elevation: 4933′

Webcam

Moose Creek
Lat x Long: 46.1208 x 114.9273 | Elevation: 2454′

New Meadows
Lat x Long: 44.979 x 116.2843 | Elevation: 3908′

Slate Creek 
Lat x Long: 45.6748 x 116.3093 |  Elevation: 1660′

Shearer Airstrip – no information available at this time.

Wilson Bar

Other General Aviation Airports in the North Central Idaho Region
 

Kamiah (S73)
Lat x Long: 46.2193 x 116.0135 | Elevation: 1194′

Craigmont (S89)
Lat x Long: 46.2472 x 116.4802 | Elevation: 3805′

Orofino (S68)
Lat x Long: 46.4913 x 116.2768 | Elevation: 1005′

Community Airports

Cottonwood (S84)
Lat x Long: 46.0388 x 116.3315 | Elevation: 3474′

Elk City (S90)
Lat x Long: 45.8227 x 115.4398 | Elevation: 4097′

Elk City Aviation – 208-842-9220  Contact Curtis Jones for Pilot and guest camping spot during summer months. http://www.airnav.com/airport/S90

Kooskia (S82)
Lat x Long: 46.1327 x 115.9788 | Elevation: 1263′

Nez Perce
Lat x Long: 46.2373 x 116.2427 | Elevation: 3201′

Primary Service Airport

Lewiston
Lat x Long: 46.3745 x 117.0153 | Elevation:  tbd
 Interested in more information about Central Idaho’s backcountry?   Call our office to speak with our recreational property specialist Cindy Hake and get closer to a world apart.

 

 

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