Trips Trips

Are dogs allowed on any of the hikes or snowshoe trips?

Dogs are allowed on Idaho Mountain Recreation trips at the discretion of the trip leader.

Several of our trip leaders regularly lead hikes with dogs. If the trip does not explicitly say "no dogs" ask the trip leader, and in most cases canine companions are welcome.

Snowshoe trips with dogs are less common. For one, a number of the local nordic facilities do not allow dogs on the trails. Second, dogs have a penchant - especially in deep snow - for stepping on the backs of snowshoes. While I personally don't mind because I love their company, I haven't taken my dogs on group trips for this reason. Dogs or no dogs is always at the discretion of the trip leader.

What do the Trip Classifications mean (A, B, C, D, etc)?

IMR uses a trip classification system to help members decide which trips are suitable for their abilities. The trip classifications are listed on the IMR Activities Page. Please review them, and know your abilities. If you are interested in doing a 'C' or 'D' activity, expect the Trip Leader to ask you some questions about your fitness level, past experience and recent trips. We do this so that not only you enjoy the trip, but that your co-participants do too. We don?t leave people by themselves on our trips. However, if a person overstates their abilities and ends up being a detriment on an IMR activity (a 'C' trip for example), then they are probably making the trip miserable for the rest of the group. As a result, that person may not be eligible to join another 'C' trip until they have proven their ability to do so.

How do I sign up for an IMR Trip and how does it work?

Each trip description in the calendar has a contact name/Trip Leader. All you need to do is a) assess if your fitness and ability are in line with the trip demands and b) call or email the Trip Leader to sign up. Most trips are limited to 12 or fewer people so that you and your co-participants aren't literally tripping on each other, or damaging a fragile trail with too many feet.

What can I expect on an IMR Trip?

IMR Leaders will have researched a given trip, they will have briefed you on what to expect when you signed up for the trip. They will provide a meeting place/time to drive to the trailhead (TH), and will have instructions on getting to the TH. For IMR purposes, the trip 'officially' begins at the TH. The Leader will likely provide some historical or comments of interest about the particular activity at the TH, to help participants understand their trip even more. The Leader likely ask the group to stay together somewhat (usually within voice or sight distance), and will provide rest stops along the way. For day trips or half-day trips, a lunch break provides a longer rest to take in views and build camaraderie.

You can expect to meet some pretty interesting people along the way, learn something about the Northern Rockies and/or desert, enjoy a challenging outdoor activity and feel good about accomplishing a goal. The trip is officially over back at the TH.

What is expected of me on an IMR Trip?

First, you need to be fit enough for the trip requirements. IMR offers relatively easy outings such as 'A' trips to challenging 'D' trips. Know your limits and ask your Trip Leader questions if you are in doubt?before you sign up for the trip! Refer to IMR Trip Classifications for more information.

Second, participants should be prepared with Trip Essentials. Your Trip Leader will probably ask you some questions about your fitness level (depending on the trip classification) but perhaps also tell you extra things to bring. For longer day trips, you should carry some simple Trip Essentials (check out IMR Trip Essentials - What to Bring for some insight). Our philosophy is that prepared hikers are safe ones. Even if you don't end up needing that First Aid kit on your big hike, someone else on the trail might. And you might make the difference between some injured person having an uncomfortable day versus a disastrous day.

Third, we ask that you understand that your Trip Leader has volunteered their time to share their anticipated trip with you and several others. Trip Leaders have a destination/goal they have planned for and the entire group is now a team. We ask that participants respect the plan if you wish to explore another side trail or peak, then we encourage you to plan a trip separately from your Leader's activity. The Leader determines what the team will do, but may take input from participants too. For example, if someone is having a bad day, the Leader will try to be in tune to this and people are not left behind alone. This means the Leader may ask for a couple volunteers to remain with that person for safety reasons. If the weather turns bad suddenly, the Leader may decide to turn around and the entire group will need to do so for their safety. Suffice to say, the Leader may need to make an unpopular decision, even if the group is near their intended goal and we expect participants to respect this. Who knows? You may feel fine today, but you will appreciate the fact that Leaders do their best to ensure safety of the entire group if you are injured or having a bad day the next time.

Fourth, if you are carpooling, be prepared to give some money to the vehicle owner. IMR asks that non-drivers provide the driver/vehicle owner with a reasonable amount of money to cover fuel and other vehicle costs (we also ask vehicle owners to not be greedy). Car-pooling is an important element in IMR activities, since many TH?s have room for only a few vehicles, and it is silly to have everyone drive separately.

Fifth, be positive and flexible. Trips sometimes don't turn out as planned, even with the best preparation. When participants are flexible, it will help everyone enjoy the trip even more when adjustments need to be made due to trail conditions, weather, injury, etc. But good preparation often allows people to have more options and in the backcountry that's a great thing!