[This video is the work of Robbin Schindele & Marybeth Conger.]

Just a Few Examples

Boise Chapter - St Judes Childrens Hospital Benefit
Heartland BCH
Heartland Chapter - 4-H Horse Arena

Heartland Chapter - Bomb Proofing Clinic
North Central Idaho
North Central Idaho & Camas Festival
North Central Idaho Educational Clinic
North Central Idaho - Annual Report - 2016
Panhandle Chapter

Panhandle BCH, Avery District
Priest River Valley Chapter - Wyle Knob Trail 483 Bridge Project

Salmon Chapter - Wagonhammer Trail Project
Sawtooth Chapter - Greenhorn Gulch & Fox Creek Trailheads
Selkirk Valley Chapter - Furnishing a Historic Structure
Selkirk Valley Chapter - In the Name of Science
Squaw Butte Chapter - 4H Halloween Trail Clinic

Squaw Butte BCH - Boiling Springs
Twin Rivers Chapter - Wilderness Gateway Trailhead

Twin Rivers Chapter - Annual Report - 2016

Twin Rivers Chapter -Weitas Creek Weed Spraying Pack Trip - 2018

In Memoriam

Twin Rivers Chapter
Weitas Creek Weed Spraying Pack Trip
June 18 - 25, 2018

Twin Rivers BCH have been packing into Weitas Creek, a tributary of the North Fork of the Clearwater River for the last four summers assisting the forest service North Fork RD. Spotted Knapweed and Hawkweed have been our main goal for the spraying with horseback and backpack sprayers.

The pack into the Weitas Guard Station for the first night was a little wet, as it rained right up until we headed out. The good news was the trail was cut out. The bad news, the road was not cut out, so the forest service support did not make it to the guard station the first night with all our supplies. We will never go without have our sleeping bags and some food in the future. Luckily we got into the guard station, started a fire to dry out and found a can of chili to heat up for dinner.

The next day members cleared  three miles of down trees to the pack bridge so the trail would be clear for the planned move to Windy Creek the next day. When we got back, we celebrated, as our gear arrived.

Our next unplanned event was when the fill over the culvert at Lean Creek gave out and a horse fell thru. His horses got skinned up getting around the bad culvert.

Our next problem was two days of rain, so we could not do any spraying those days. We pulled hounds tongue one day waiting for the grass to dry. We finally had good enough weather that we got the spraying done at Windy Creek and West Virginia Flats, two beautiful meadows with the removal of noxious weeds.

We had planned to take some day rides and fishing after the work was done, but with the minor problems we had, we had no time for that. We sure had a good time even with all the incidents. We had no problems on the sixteen mile pack out and headed up to Kelly Creek for the next pack project.

Emily Poor put together a nice YouTube of the trip:

Folks from the US Forest Service and Twin Rivers Chapter of the Idaho Backcountry Horsemen came together to manage weeds along Weitas Creek ... Weitas Creek Pack Trip


North Central Idaho & Camas Festival


Packing Clinic Welcome & Information Table

Minimum Impact Camp

Packing Demo - Steve Didier & Joe Robinson

Hanging a Load - Steve Didier & members
Ed & Sandy Enneking & Joe Robinson

North Cental Idaho Educational Clinic

The North Central Idaho chapter started 2013 by planning an Educational Clinic that would be open to the public.  The clinic was eventually scheduled for Saturday, May 18 from 10am to 3pm at the Idaho County Fairgrounds in Cottonwood, ID.

There were stations set up for packing demos, stock containment, stock care in the backcountry, knot tying, cross cut saw demo, spraying weeds & how to use a horse pack sprayer, a BCH information table & a table showing books with subjects from equines, camping, packing & everything in between, a kids coloring table for the youngest horse lovers, and a dutch oven demonstration by the Tahoe Hillbillies 4H group.  Rockin JB Bags was there selling bags, BCH hats & other items.  We also had a BCH member giving wagon rides with his mule team.  A reporter from the Lewiston Tribune attended & wrote a great article on the Pack Clinic.

Salmon Chapter

Wagonhammer Trail Project

Located 17 miles north of the town of Salmon, Idaho, is the Wagonhammer Trail Head which incorporates over 35 miles of trail which the Salmon BCH has maintained for over 12 years. 

Located in the Salmon-Challis Forest, these trails are part of the historical Lewis & Clark Trail and can be accessed from Hwy 93 at Trail Gulch just north of North Fork, ID or at the Wagonhammer Trail Head south of North Fork, ID.

This year the Salmon River BCH cleared well over 16 logs on the Big and Silver Leads trail portions with the assistance of the Salmon bicycle club who increased the tread on adjacent trails.

The Salmon River BCH is also responsible for the construction of a vault restroom located in the parking lot at the trail head where the Forest Service has installed hitching posts.

Panhandle BCH

Avery District Pack Trip July 18-19, Jerry Shriner, trail boss

The Panhandle BCH has a long standing tradition of assisting the USFS Avery District on the St Joe with at least one work project each summer.  The project this year was a little different. 

Tracy Gravelle, Avery District's trail manager, asked for assistance in packing in supplies to a crew of volunteers that would be rehabilitating Trail 108 from the North Fork of the Clearwater River to Larkin’s Lake.  We knew from firsthand experience that the trail was badly in need of work and the project would add greatly to the Mallard-Larkins trail system.

Five PBCH members, including Jill Reineccius, Bob Funke, Jim Kimball and Jerry and Diane Shriner, along with five head of pack stock met Tracy in Avery on 7/18 and she led us to the best camp spot near the trail head.  We went on to haul the supplies (on a road not suitable for horse trailers) to the Trail 107 trail head that would take us to the North Fork. 

The next morning we rode to the trail head, loaded an odd assortment of items, including several weed whackers, and headed for the river on a trail that had switchbacks dropping down into the gorge that you couldn't stop on if you had to.  The trail had brush overhanging that was hitting on top of the weed whackers.  We arrived at about 2 pm without mishap, cached the supplies and headed out on the steep climb back to our rigs.  Smoke Elser might not have approved of some of our loads but we got everything in one trip without a wreck or even a need to adjust a pack.

Wilderness Outing Clinic
In May we put on a clinic open to the public.  There was no charge and we did several demonstrations including how to set a pack, manning, knot tying and first aid on a horse.  We also had a talk on LNT, camping equipment, noxious weeds and edible plants.  Bob Williams and George Miller were the big hit of the day doing Dutch Oven cooking and giving out samples to everyone.

Trail Clearing and Other Projects
We cleared Chilco Mountain trail, Marie Cr trail along with some clearing on Blue Cr and the 4th of July Pass trails.

We set a hitching rail at Farragut State Park along with doing some clearing around the campsites at the equestrian area.

Heartland BCH

Heartland BCH Bomb Proofing Stock Clinic

Hi ya’ll,  The Bomb Proof event was a success!  Here are some photos. My friend, Deana used Chance and my new friend and student, Candy used Lyra. There were 15 horses total and all did pretty well!  It was so fun!  Helen.


4-H Halloween Trail Clinic
Squaw Butte BCH   Emmett, Idaho

The 4-H Halloween Trail Clinic at the Gem Country Race Track in Emmett Idaho on October 19th was a great success.

Lots of Learning and some serious fun was had by all on October 19th.  The Squaw Butte Chapter of Idaho decided it was time to get serious and promote Backcountry Horseman to those that do not have a plethora of gray hair.  Gail Duke, the 4Horse leader Superintendent Emmett. Idaho, embraced Linda Erickson’s outreach offer, and the Halloween Trail Clinic evolved with the SBBCH chapter of Idaho providing coaches at various obstacles and registration assistance. We also set up a booth with Backcountry Horseman of Idaho information and even had complimentary Horse Soaps from the SBBCH chapter for participants. The Peppermint Soap was by far the favorite of the participants and the horses.

Over 30 participants went thru the obstacles at the race track where there were experienced trail riders and coaches positioned thru out the course. Morning was for intermediate and advanced riders and afternoon for beginners. These obstacles were awesome and helped to build confidence in the rider and the horse. But there was fun too, and games included a Costume contest, Trick or Treating on horseback and even Horse bobbing for apples.  So Kudos should go to SBBCH members Phil and Kay Ryan, Charles and Lorraine Chick, Bill Holt, Janine Townsend, Rob Adams, and yours truly for volunteering that day and yes we made a difference.  The SBBCH Chapter is starting to receive hand written Thank you cards from 4 H members who participated. 

Next we are volunteering to help Gail Duke, 4h Leader Superintendent with a 4-H Trail ride so some of the Arena/ Fair horses will get a chance to get outside in the Backcountry. Since we must lead by example and the 4-H rule in Gem country is helmets, we should have some great photos. Promoting Backcountry Horseman to 4 H is a logical way for Backcountry Horsemen to grow. See you on the trail.

By Marybeth Conger, one of several Squaw Butte Back Country Horseman of Idaho Volunteers that day.

Furnishing an Historic Structure

The Selkirk Valley Chapter of Back Country Horsemen of Idaho recently used horses and mules to complete two packing assignments for the US Forest Service in the Idaho Panhandle National Forests, without once violating the "no motorized use" rule.

West Fork Cabin, an historic reconstructed smoke-jumpers' cabin, sits in a small meadow about a mile and a half from a forest service road. Originally built in 1931, it is open to the public for shelter and overnight stays. Because it sees heavy use, many things needed to be replaced.

Members of the Selkirk Valley Chapter of BCHI gathered at the trailhead and secured the awkward items on their pack stock. One pack animal carried a 150 pound wood stove and 150 pounds of water on the other side to even out the load. Another carried bunk bed frames, while two others were loaded with three mattresses. The last carried a variety of miscellaneous items.

When the motley-looking crew arrived at West Fork Cabin, the surprised resident campers helped Selkirk Valley BCH replace the old items with the new. After a brief visit, they packed the horses and mules with the old items and returned to the trailhead, accomplishing an essential job with a minimum impact on the land.

In the Name of Science

When the Sandpoint Ranger District in the Idaho Panhandle National Forests received a grant to conduct a study on white bark pine on Keno Mountain, they asked the Selkirk Valley Chapter of Back Country Horsemen of Idaho to pack in and out the necessary equipment. In July, they packed all the gear to the top of Keno Mountain. After equipment was put in place to harvest pinecone seeds in the trees, Selkirk Valley BCH packed the gear out. After the harvest, they will repeat the process to bring down the equipment and harvested seeds.

The Selkirk Valley Chapter of Back Country Horsemen of Idaho look forward to doing whatever they can to maintain local forests. They clear trails, tidy trailheads, assist with scientific studies, and pack in and out a wide variety of equipment and materials using the original horse power, which treads lightly on the land.

Sawtooth Chapter – Sun Valley ID
Greenhorn Gulch & Fox Creek Trailheads


The  Sawtooth chapter of the Backcountry Horsemen of Idaho worked with the Ketchum Ranger District to complete equestrian parking at the Greenhorn Gulch and Fox Creek trailheads.  This is the culmination of 5 to 6 years of work by the chapters president, Jo Heiss and her organization.  This entailed collaboration with the Ketchum Ranger District with donations from the Idaho Horse Board ($1,000) and The Backcountry Horsemen of America’s Education Foundation ($1,000).

The parking areas have new designated signage for horse trailer parking and for “packing out poop.”

The Sawtooth Backcountry Horsemen stress the multi-user trail system (motorcycles, bikers, hikers and equestrians) and stress education and proper trail etiquette to all user groups.

Most National Forest Trail Systems across the US have divided their trail systems into single-use, thus cutting down the miles of trails that all users can recreate on.  The Sawtooth Backcountry Horsemen stress education and proper trail etiquette to all user groups.

There are 321,544 acres of public lands in the Ketchum Ranger District and almost 400 miles of trails.

Jo Heiss, President of the Sawtooth chapter of the Backcountry Horsemen of America, was presented with a Certificate of Merit from the Ketchum Ranger District at their June 2013 annual meeting. Jo has been working with the KRD and the Sawtooth National Forest for the last 30 years in regards to trailhead parking, maintenance of trails and new trails.

As Renee Catherin, trails coordinator for the KRD, said when she presented the award, “every trail in this District has Jo’s fingerprints on them.  The trails are like Jo’s children.”

By Jo Heiss

Greenhorn and Fox Creek Trailhead Improvement Projects

Renee Catherine, July 17, 2013
Ketchum Ranger District, Sawtooth NF

This project was designed to promote and sustain equestrian use on public land by supporting the construction of dedicated horse trailer parking areas at two of the highest use trailheads on the Sawtooth National Forest, Greenhorn and Fox Creek Trailheads.  Areas used for parking at these two trailheads were undersized and require backing or awkward parallel parking.  The existing areas used for trailer parking were also often occupied by passenger vehicles and are not segregated from other users creating a stressful and dangerous situation for horsemen unloading and saddling their animals in the midst of crowds of mountain bikers, motorcycles and wandering dogs and children.

This project will addressed each of these issues by constructing five dedicated “pull through” style parking pads at Greenhorn Trailhead and four pads at Fox Creek Trailhead.  The pads, constructed to accommodate longer trailers are 75 ft long by 20 ft wide and are situated adjacent to but separate from other users anddo not require backing (see attached construction drawings).  Most of the pads feature an additional steel hitch rack and the trailer parking areas include informational and educational signing specific to horsemen.

Funds contributed to this project from the Backcountry Horseman of America contributed to funding signing at the new tarilheads and were used as match to apply to the Idaho Dept. of Parks and Recreation Roads and Bridges Grant Fund and were added to funds already committed to this project by the RAC fund and from the Idaho Horse Board.  By partnering with the Forest Service, the Idaho Dept. of Parks and Recreation,  RAC and the Idaho Horse Board the Backcountry Horsemen of America have helped promote the message that equestrians are viable trail users who are proactive in supporting public facilities designed for equestrians and  actively support projects that are tailored to reduce user conflicts and heighten the awareness of good trail etiquette by posting informational and educational signs.

The total construction cost of this project was $32,872.  This amount includes personnel, heavy equipment and materials but does not include design and project administration costs which will be paid for by the Ketchum Ranger District with support from the RAC fund.  Of the total cost of construction, $29,832 was  requested from the Idaho Dept. of Parks and Recreation Roads and Bridges Fund. 

BCH of North Central Idaho  ~  Grangeville ID

NSA Trails Program
Volunteers of the Year

The Back Country Horsemen of Montana and Idaho

Read Article

Heartland Chapter ~ Donnelly ID
4-H Horse Arena, Council

The Heartland Chapter led and partnered in developing the 4-H Horse Arena at the Adams County Fairground in Council. The work included fencing and installing 300+ feet of French drain.

Panhandle Chapter ~ Coeur d'Alene

Jim Kimball, Bob Williams, Bob Funke and Jill went up trail 75. Jill found out that her paint gelding had wings and her and Bob Williams were wishing they did. After a long ride and clearing the trail they got into camp about 8:30 in the evening.

Tom Johnston and his neighbor and Les Erickson took trail 74 on the other side of the road and cleared it and saw some beautiful country. They got into camp about 7:30.

Finally with everyone back at the trailers we had a great potluck. Three Forest Service people joined us for dinner and we listened to all the stories from the day’s work projects.

Sunday morning Jim and Karen made breakfast for everyone and then we all saddled up and took a ride up the river to the St. Joe Lodge. Had a little lunch and more stories before heading back to the trailers.

I think everyone had a good time and we want to thank them all for the hard work everyone did.

Jim and Karen Kimball, Trail Bosses

Twin Rivers Chapter ~ Lewiston ID
Wilderness Gateway Trailhead Project
Clearwater National Forest

The feed bunks in Loop D, the horse loop, at Wilderness Gateway were in real bad shape with the bottoms all broken and rotten. Bob Hough and Bill Correll approached the Clearwater NF and asked if we could repair them. These feed bunks have always been a maintenance problem so they asked if they could be filled with gravel instead of the wood bottoms. They agreed to this plan and the planning started. First the crew did some repair on several of the bunks and had to reset one of them on the bottom skids. The old bottoms were removed, and filled with gravel provided by IDT. This project was a real success thanks to Mark Bogar bringing his tractor to fill the feed bunks from the gravel stockpile. For those of you that camp at Wilderness Gateway, please remove any hay that your stock does not use and spread your manure before you leave. Set an example for others as BCH members.

Priest River Valley Chapter ~
Priest River ID
Wyle Knob Trail 483 Bridge Project

St Jude Childrens Hospital
Benefit Ride

Hosted by Boise BCH June 2012


Twin Rivers BCH Annual Report 2016


BCH of North Central Idaho Annual Report 2016



Back Country Horsemen of Idaho
PO Box 513
Salmon, ID 83467


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