Trip – Idaho, November & December

Snowmobile Getaway at Priest Lake

Awe-inspiring panoramas, a wonderland of remote forests laden with mounds of snow and more than 400 miles of groomed trails make Priest Lake one of the Northwest’s prime destinations for snowmobiling. And the probability of winter sun in the Priest Lake Basin? High.

On Priest Lake trails you can find easy play areas or those geared for more challenging hill climbing. In other words, there’s plenty of room for both beginners and adrenaline junkies. The snowmobile trails are mostly on state and federal forest service roads that range in elevation from 2,500 to higher than 7,000 feet.

One of the great aspects of snowmobiling Priest Lake is that you can easily access the trail system from the doorstep of most resorts. You can even make arrangements for snowmobile rental outfits to deliver to your door.

Three great resorts on Priest Lake—Cavanaugh’s, Hill’s and Elkins—are all excellent choices for your snowmobiling getaway. Priest Lake Outfitters on site at Cavanaugh’s Resort make your snowmobiling vacation easy, while Cavanaugh’s luxury suites make your off-trail time relaxing (cavanaughbayresort.com). Snowmobiling trailheads are just minutes from Elkins Resort; after the trail, hunker down by the fireplace in your cozy, private cabin (elkinsresort.com). At Hill’s Resort, you can access many of the trails from your door, and back at the resort you can enjoy a variety of accommodations from lodge rooms to cabins to condos (hillsresort.com).

Priest Lake snowmobiling season is typically Nov. through April. For more information about visiting Priest Lake (and where to rent snowmobiles), go to priestlake.org.

P-51-Mustang-takeoffLegacy Flight Museum, Rexburg

Serious flight history buffs or anyone simply wanting to see a fascinating historical collection should visit the Legacy Flight Museum of Rexburg, Idaho. The museum staff maintains all twelve planes to ensure they remain in working order, and many of these planes commonly dot the skies above the Museum.

Each of the planes in the collection marks a historical part of aerial combat. Take, for example, the P-63 King Cobra. Never registered for use in the U.S.A, the Cobra found home in Russia through the lend-lease act to combat the German Luftwaffe. Only three King Cobras remain airworthy in the world.

Especially important to Rexburg history is the P-51 Mustang, dubbed the “Mormon Mustang” after its wartime pilot Roland Wright of Utah. On the opening year of the museum in 2006, the Mormon Mustang made a forced landing on the Rexburg Highway due to engine failures. While the pilot escaped the wreckage with minor injures, the plane wasn’t so lucky. The Legacy Flight Museum has since restored the plane, which once again flies the Rexburg air.

Volunteers conduct the tours of the museum. Each of these volunteers provide valuable insight into the history and mechanics of the planes. These planes require continual upkeep; not all planes will be on display at all times. For additional information, visit legacyflightmuseum.com. For information about visiting the Rexburg region in southeastern Idaho, go to rexburg.org or visitidaho.org/regions/eastern.