Hill City Snow Kiting
Near Fairfield, Idaho
This area has incredible amounts of flat and rolling terrain with larger hills in the distance. It is great for beginners as the open areas are huge, allowing for a lot of room to learn and recover from mistakes. Expert kiters will also enjoy the rolling terrain, the clean wind and if the snow is good, the larger hills in the distance will call to you. There are lots of places to go, depending on wind direction.
This area boasts about 150,000 kitable acres.
Early season, you may see brush poking up through the snow. Do not let the brush prevent you from kiting. Take a good look at the terrain if brush is poking up as there will be areas that the snow has filled in and the snow can be quite good. Much of this brush is 2-3' tall. Kiting though the brush that sticks up though the snow isn't too bad, just make sure your kite does not crash in these areas!
The main location that people kite is the Snowmobile Park at mile marker 131 on Hyw 20. Our get directions and location in the upper right hand corner of this page will build you a map to this location. At the West end of the Snowmobile Park, kiters go through the barbed fence to launch their kites.
Where to kite based on wind direction
This area is so vast that you can move to different areas of the valley and get different terrain and lighter or stronger winds.
The dominant wind is out of the Northwest. When the wind is from the NW, you can kite almost anywhere in the Valley.
When the wind is blowing from the East to Southeast, the more you move East, the lighter the wind gets, and the strongest wind will be at the West end of the valley at the pass.. On the road at the pass, if you have a light wind of 5mph, you will find stronger winds once you tour/walk/kite south along the ridge. The lower you go from the ridge, the lighter the wind will get and the higher on the ridge, the stronger the wind. There are some large rocks in one area that you can kite past to get more terrain. There are some nice hills to glide down and a wind lip can form off of the ridge. There is a fence that runs North and South at the top of the ridge, so please be careful not to hit the fence.
These links will help you figure out what the wind is doing
Idaho Transportation Weather and mouse over Pine Turnoff RWIS on Hyw 20, east of Boise.
Web Cam for the Pine Turnoff, which is where the wind gauge is located. Locals have tied a wind sock to the pole, so you will see the wind direction and get an idea of the speed from the web camera.
NOAA weather for Hill City
NOAA has a great map of Idaho that you can use to see temperatures, wind + direction, snowfall etc. Give it a try, it is pretty cool. NOAA Graphical Weather Forecast
Wind Gauge locations and readings by Meso West
Other things to do
This area does allow snowmobiles. Snowmobiles can be both a benefit and a problem for kiters. Be careful of snowmobiles that are not familiar with kiting, as they may not give you the distance you would like, and they may not know about your strings being laid out near your kite leading to strings being run over. I suggest that you wind up your strings when you take a break from your kiting. Many of the snowmobilers are kiters or are familiar with kiters and they can be helpful.
Local Kite Schools
Gear Daddy Schools and Lessons
Local Message Board for Kiters
Andrew Monty Goldman
Instructor Fairfield, ID
Snowkiteidaho.com Is maintained by Soldier Mountain Kite School.
Soldier Mountain website has a great kite spot map of this area.
Local Snowmobile club
This club maintains the Snowmobile Park and donations are accepted.
High Desert Sledheads
1080 Sunset Strip
Mountain Home, ID 83647
Additional Links and Information
Snowkiting.com has some great links to You Tube Kiting videos of this areas.
Ozone Imp Kite
For directions from where you are to where the Snow Mobile Park Kiting Area is located/meets at, enter your starting point as: City, State or Zip Code or Airport and click on our button.
Snowmobile Park warming hut + bathroom
New online Snowkiting Magazine: Driftsnowkitemag.com
Snowkiting lessons in Colorado
Avalanche Level One Certification
BOC Backcountry Check List
Where to Stay
The Prairie Inn is the closest motel to the kiting. The town is a rustic, classic mountain town. There is a restaurant, pizza place, one bank and a post office.
The Prairie Inn
Highway 20 Fairfield Idaho 83327
Phone: 208.764.2247 Fax: 208.764.2244
You can also stay in Mountain Home on the other side of the pass. The drive time is about 45 minutes to the kiting areas. There are quite a few hotels, restaurants and stores. Mountain Home is the home of the Mountain Home Air Force Base.
Hotels in Mountain Home
1180 Us 20
Mountain Home, ID 83647
Best Western-Foothills Motor
1080 Hwy 20, Mountain Home - (208) 587-8477
Hampton Inn & Suites Mountain Home, ID
3175 NE Foothills Avenue, Mountain Home - (208) 587-7300
Mountain home Idaho Thunderbird Motel
910 Sunset Strip, Mountain Home - (208) 587-7927
Additional helpful links
Utah Avalanche Center
Utah kite locations