OGLE THE HEAVENS FROM YOUR PORCH
STARGAZE YURT BOISE NATIONAL FOREST, IDAHO
Poke your head out the front door of this hut for a view of the Payette River Valley set in front of the Sawtooths—or do as its name implies and wait for evening to spot constellations. To up the ante, head .3 mile west to Stargaze Point, situated another hundred feet above the yurt, where the view goes all the way around.
To get to the small shelter (sleeps six), follow the Stargaze Trail roughly 1.2 miles from the Beaver Creek Summit Park N’ Ski on ID 21. Scan for a yellow blaze and then head the final .2 mile through the pines to the yurt. Inside, find a wood-burning stove, a gas stove, and solar-powered LED lights. Since Stargaze Hut’s large deck faces east, plan an early wake-up for the sunrise over the 10,000-foot Sawtooths. After, explore the area’s 50-mile trail system; head down to West Fork Beaver Creek for an easy day trip to summer wildflowers. In winter, the avy-savvy can carve tracks into the north-facing slopes off 6,682-foot Stargaze Point.
Trailhead Beaver Creek Summit Park N’ Ski Season Yearround (snowshoe or ski in winter) Red tape The yurt is closed for repairs until the first snow of 2017; check availability with Idaho Parks & Rec. Amenities Bunks with mattresses; futons; wood-burning stove; two-burner stove (BYO propane); cookware Reservation Starting at $55/person; reserve online
Time your trip to Stargaze Yurt for the new moon when skies are darkest: November 18 or December 17 this year.