OGLE THE HEAV­ENS FROM YOUR PORCH

STARGAZE YURT BOISE NA­TIONAL FOR­EST, IDAHO

Backpacker - - VIEW WITH A ROOM -

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

Con­tact park­san­drecre­ation.idaho.gov

Time your trip to Stargaze Yurt for the new moon when skies are dark­est: Novem­ber 18 or De­cem­ber 17 this year.

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