Idaho Backcountry Airstrips

Idaho Backcountry Airstrips are known by pilots as a gateway to Idaho’s  wilderness areas.

Idaho Backcountry airstrips are thought of as hidden gems in the State of Idaho.   Even 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. Recreation enthusiasts 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  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 recreationists 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′


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.

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

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 one of our agents. 

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