Preserving Idaho's Treasures:

Backcountry Airstrips & Small Community Airports

The Idaho Aviation Foundation benefits general aviation in Idaho by supporting initiatives and projects designed to maintain, upgrade and develop airstrips, improve access, and promote safety at backcountry and recreational airports. Although IAF projects and grants primarily benefit general aviation users, many non-aviation outdoor enthusiasts also reap benefits from these efforts.

The IAF is a 501(c)(3) organization, which means that your donation is tax deductible. Consult your tax advisor .

Because of the way our donations are managed, 100% of your contribution goes to projects, not to administrative costs.

Big Creek Lodge 2024

Big Creek Lodge 2024

 If you would enjoy living off the grid and working in a beautiful backcountry lodge for the summer, this could be the job for you. Couples or singles welcome to apply. Full season employment preferred but monthly terms can be negotiated.

On site room and board are provided. Duties include typical hotel/restaurant hospitality industry jobs including: Housekeeping, kitchen help, waiting tables, guest interaction and, if needed, light maintenance.

See for a look at the lodge and the area.

Contact Jim Davies at  [email protected] or Sally Molitor at   [email protected] with resume and a personal letter for information and consideration.

You Built It, Now Use It! 

Opening Date is May 25, 2024.  

Reserve the Best Room of your life:


Closing Date is Approximately October 6, 2024.  

Book Now to Hurry up and Enjoy Big Creek Lodge this year:

Webcam Looking North:

Webcam Looking Southeast:

35th Annual Wilderness Within Reach

35th Annual Wilderness Within Reach
2023 Wilderness Within Reach  From John Davis:
Wilderness Within Reach 2023 was another one for the memory books. In conjunction with the Boise Parks and Recreation Department’s adaptive sports program, the Idaho Aviation Foundation was able to treat several plane loads of disabled children and their parent/guardian to a memory making back country experience in the Frank Church Wilderness area.

Our program got underway on a beautiful early summer morning June 29th at the Nampa Municipal Airport, the Treasure Valley’s gateway to the backcountry. IAHOF Board Member John Blaklee and his team at McCall Air / Avcenter Nampa donated the primary transportation, a beautiful turbine powered Kodiak aircraft which along with volunteers in several Cessna 206 and Cessna 182 aircraft transported our participants, volunteers and equipment to the Flying B Ranch located on the lower Middle Fork of the Salmon River.

All enjoyed a stunning, smooth flight up and over the Boise foothills, down the magnificent Middle Fork to our retreat location, the Flying B Ranch. At the Flying B the group was greeted by ranch staff and treated to mid-morning refreshments as campers settled in for the two night three day camp event. During their days in camp participants enjoyed activities including hiking, fishing in the middle fork, horseback riding, campfire complete with Smores ,stargazing and camp craft activities. Our longtime volunteer staff including Sonya Bucholz from Boise Parks, Joe Corlett and Vic and Janene Jaro as well as camp staff really place the emphasis on the individual kids and adapt the activities to whatever their physical capabilities will allow. Janene, a noted horsewoman, along with ranch staff adapted equestrian events so that any child, regardless of disability , was able to experience interacting with and riding a horse. For many children this was the first time they experienced a horse up close and the sensation of being carried along by the Flying B’s gentle ranch stock.  Several were able to experience longer trail rides along the historic Middle Fork trail, while others enjoyed a corral experience depending on ability.

 By the 3rd day our planes departed the ranch with a load of tired, dirty and thoroughly happy children… just like any summer kid campout. Many thanks to our volunteers who get the people in and out of the backcountry safely. A shout out to the entire staff at the Flying B Ranch who pull out the stops to make sure their visitors are welcomed, comfortable and have the experience of a lifetime. As usual Joe Corlett and Vic and Janene Jaro are the best “camp councilors” anyone could ask for. Gratitude to our volunteer pilots, commercial operators like McCall Air, Sawtooth Flying Service and Boundary Aviation who year after year provide the transportation to make these special events happen. 2023 was something like our 33rd year of making Idaho’s Wilderness Accessible to disabled children, adults and veterans, and we look forward to continuing this tradition for many years to come. If you are charitably inclined consider a donation specifically to the Wilderness Within Reach program… your tax deductible contribution goes a long ways to providing a disabled child or veteran with a potentially life changing experience and the memory of a lifetime.

A huge debt of gratitude to the Idaho Aviation Foundation and its President Jim Davies for providing the financial resources necessary to make it possible these many years. When you see an aviation license plate on your or another’s car, be reminded of the good works that program puts in place and Wilderness Within Reach is a great example.

John Davis, Wilderness Within Reach Coordinator
Idaho Aviation Foundation 

What's Ahead in 2024

What's Ahead in 2024

Airport Maintenance Work Parties

These will be in conjunction with the Idaho Aviation Association (IAA). Check the IAA calendar for upcoming work parties and aviation events. 

New Webcams!

A new webcam at Meadow Creek Summit is coming soon!  Keep an eye out!

Have Suggestions for a New Webcam Location?

Send us your suggestions for ideas on new webcam locations!  Go to Contact Us: Contact Us

Idaho Aviation Book "Images of Aviation"

Idaho Aviation Book

This book is a permanent record of how aviation has become a critical component of life in Idaho.  It serves as a testament to the value of Idaho aviation in all its forms, and the legal right of all our backcountry airstrips to continue to be open to all pilots, in perpetuity. 

The IAF provided a grant to subsidize the Author for the writing of this book.

Since the dawn of Aviation, Idahoans have employed aircraft to carry people, groceries, mail, freight, and livestock over inhospitable terrain. Idaho’s airstrips are the stuff of dreams, offering pilots, anglers, hikers, and river-rafters access to deep wilderness less than an hour from the city. Aerial firefighting was born–and is based–in Idaho. Flight instructors in Idaho prepared thousands of pilots to fight in World War II. As the birthplace of United Airlines, with its famed “friendly skies,” Idaho is one of the country’s most aviation-friendly states. Government officials, private landowners, and volunteers have worked together to create and then preserve an infrastructure of big-city, small-town, and backcountry airstrips that are the envy of pilots worldwide.

Former IAA President Larry Taylor noted that the book “captures the history of Idaho Aviation and the people who have made it what it is. This is a book that should be in the hands of every aviator who has flown in Idaho or plans to.”

Pilot and author Crista Videriksen Worthy lives in Idaho and has been flying around the United States with her family since 1995 and writing about fun places to fly since 2006. Her favorite places to explore are the backcountry strips of Idaho and Utah’s red-rock country. Worthy is the author of over 500 articles about aviation, travel, bodybuilding, and wildlife and is the former managing editor of Pilot Getaways; she currently serves as editor of The Flyline, the monthly publication of the Idaho Aviation Association.

Copies ordered on the IAA website will be signed by  Crista Worthy.  Click on link to order your copy today:

Additionally, here is a link to a story in the January issue of Idaho Magazine that Crista wrote about Aviation here in Idaho.  Enjoy!

License Plate Campaign Succeeded Because of YOUR SUPPORT!

License Plate Campaign Succeeded Because of YOUR SUPPORT!

Thanks to all who helped by purchasing the special license plate in 2021 to keep the program going!

If you haven't already, order yours today (Click on the following link):

Please click on the following link to see a thank you letter from Idaho Aviation Foundation President Jim Davies:

Click HERE for License Plate Thank You Letter

IAF Big Raffle 2021 Was a Success!


 We held the Big Raffle Drawing on Saturday, September 18, 2021.  

Click HERE for a List of Big Raffle Winners 2021

The raffle is sponsored by the Idaho Aviation Foundation (IAF), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All net raffle proceeds are donated to organizations that preserve, protect, and maintain backcountry aviation. 

Featured Airstrip

Featured Airstrip

Cougar Ranch Airstrip on the Middle Fork of the Salmon 

Across the Middle Fork from Mahoney Airstrip sits another Idaho aviation jewel – Cougar Ranch Airstrip!  Opened up in 2018 it is a great place to visit.

The identifier is D47.  It is 1400 feet long and the elevation is 4,270 feet with an interesting approach.  It is close to the river and on the historic Cougar Ranch. 
Get instruction if you have not been in this area before, and then go have fun!  Here are some pictures: 


    YouTube videos of landing/departing from Cougar:

Enjoy the efforts of the Idaho Aviation Foundation and Idaho Aviation Association to make these airstrips available!