Idaho ATV Laws: Where And How To Ride Your ATV Legally

idaho atv laws

Idaho is a state in the northwestern part of the United States. It is very popular for its many protected wilderness areas, mountainous landscapes, and outdoor recreation areas. This state is known as a state of natural beauty; there are many parks and trails suitable for ATV riding.

Idaho ATV laws are: you must have a valid IDPR registration sticker which must be placed on your ATV in an area that it is visible, and your ATV has to be titled before you can operate it. Some places to legally ride an ATV are Sagehen ATV Trail System, Jubilee Park, and Musselshell OHV Area.

Idaho is one of the states that is very strict with its ATV laws, and all these laws are in full enforcement. You cannot ride an ATV in every location, so there are popular places where you can ride an ATV in Idaho.

sand dunes in idaho

Idaho ATV Laws

Idaho has many laws laid down for ATV drivers and operators. These requirements or laws are strictly enforced, and their violation has some consequences; your ATV might be seized, or you may be asked to pay a fine. We will look into all Idaho ATV laws.

  • When riding an ATV in a designated off-road area like ATV trails or motocross track, you must always wear a DOT-approved helmet if you are under age 18.
  • To ride an ATV on public lands in Idaho, your ATV must always display a valid Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR) registration sticker.
  • ATVs registered in Idaho will expire on the 31st of December of the year it was issued regardless of when the registration took place.
  • To ride an ATV on a snowmobile trail, you must have registered your ATV to get a snowmobile registration sticker that must be displayed on your vehicle.
  • ATVs used on ranches and farmlands or for snowplowing and agricultural uses are exempted from the registration requirements.
  • An ATV cannot be registered unless it has been titled in your name and all processes involved completed.
  • Non-residents of Idaho who desire to ride their ATV in Idaho do not need to register their ATV in Idaho as long as they have a valid OHV registration from their state of residence. If not, they will have to obtain a valid Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR) OHV registration sticker before riding their ATV in Idaho.
  • Every ATV in Idaho is required to have a forest service-approved spark arrestor and a muffler. The muffler must be quieter than 96 decibels.
  • ATVs must also have a mirror that can show at least 200 feet behind, a horn audible from 200 feet, a working brake light, functioning headlights, and taillights.
  • To operate an ATV in Idaho, you must be over six years and undergo online training.
  • To operate an ATV on a public road in Idaho, you must have a valid driver’s license, a valid restricted license plate, liability insurance, and a valid IDPR OHV registration.

Where Can You Ride An ATV In Idaho?

Idaho has a large number of places you can ride an ATV. These areas include parks, OHV areas, and the ATV trail system.

Musselshell OHV Area

Musselshell OHV Area is also known as Musselshell Creek; it is open only from July to September. This OHV area is part of the Clearwater National Forest designated for ATVs and other off-road vehicles. While riding, different wildlife can be seen in this area, such as mule deer, bears, moose, and grey wolves.

An Idaho OHV registration sticker is required for you to operate an ATV in this area. Every ATV operating in this area must have a spark arrestor exhaust silencer and not exceed 50 inches in width. Other vehicles allowed at this park include UTVs, Jeeps, Side by Sides, Motorcycles, 4X4s, and Dirt bikes.

Pittsburg Landing

Pittsburg Landing is open all year round; it provides riders with an amazing view of rugged mountains, the Snake River, and Hells Canyon, the deepest river gorge in North America. This area provides a campground with 28 sites, each having picnic tables, concrete pads, and shade trees.

4X4s, UTVs, SXSs, Sand Rail, Dune Buggy, Motorcycles, Jeeps, Dirt Bikes, and ATVs are all permitted in this area. Campfires are allowed only in some areas in this location. The first trail in this area goes for a short distance and is more suitable for beginners. On the other hand, the second trail is about 11 miles and more rugged, suiting experienced riders.

Baumgartner Trails

Baumgartner Trails is also known as Iron Mountain Trail; it is open all year round and riding an ATV in this trail requires an Idaho OHV registration sticker. This area offers some challenging ATV trails, tracks, and dirt bike trails that interconnect with a mixed pine tree forest providing an excellent adventure for riders.

A campground is also available; it provides easy access to the trails, a hot springs-fed soaking pool, and a natural swimming pool. Every ATV operating in this trail must have a spark arrestor and not exceed 48 inches in width. Motorcycles, Dirt bikes, SXSs, UTVs, and ATVs are the only off-road vehicles permitted in this area.

boise idaho in the sunset

Where Can’t You Ride An ATV In Idaho?

Inasmuch as there are some excellent places to ride an ATV, there are also some parks where ATVs are prohibited. Hence, you will not be allowed into these areas if you are on an ATV. Some of the areas where you cannot ride an ATV in Idaho are:

  • Casino Creek
  • Graham Mountain
  • Pocatello TMX
  • Independence Creek Trail System
  • Greenhorn Creek
  • Stanley Lake
  • Pioneer Mountains

Can You Ride An ATV On The Street In Idaho?

Riding an ATV on the streets of Idaho is legal. However, there are some requirements you must meet before you can ride your ATV on the street. You must possess a valid license plate, driver’s license, IDPR certificate, liability insurance, and a United State Forest Service Approved Spark arrestor.

Popular Places To Ride Your ATV In Idaho

Seeing as there are several places to ride an ATV in Idaho, you can also decide to ride in a popular place. Riding an ATV in a popular place provides an avenue for you to interact with other ATV riders, engage in ATV racing competitions and even make lifelong friendships.

Sagehen ATV Trail System

Sagehen ATV Trail System is the most popular area for ATV riding; it provides roughly 20 miles of ATV trails with terrain filled with loose dirt, hardpack, mud, trees, berms, rocks, dust, and steep hills. The park was formerly known as Joe’s Creek Trail; it also has miles of single tracks for motorcycles and dirt bikes.

This park is open all year round and also has a campground. Jeeps, 4X4s, Dune Buggies, and Sand Rail 4×4 are prohibited in this park; only motorcycles, UTVs, Dirt Bikes, SXSs, and ATVs are permitted. There are no fees for riding or entry into this park.

Other popular places to ride your ATV in Idaho include Jubilee Park, South Hills, Pleasant Valley Road OHV Area, Indian Creek, Ridge To Rivers Trail System, Idaho City, and Little Gem Cycle Park.

Final Thoughts

Riding an ATV is usually fun and exciting; even better is riding on a very rugged and challenging trail. Idaho is one of the states in the United States that will provide you with the type of trail you require to enjoy your ride on your ATV fully. As long as you follow all the ATV laws, you are good to go!

By Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher loves to play with new toys and dive into new hobbies. As a serial entrepreneur, work definitely comes first but there is always room for hobbies.