Popular Tubing Hill Near Boise to Remain Closed Until a New Operator is Found

Friday December 15, 2023

Idaho City, Idaho - The Steamboat Gulch Tubing Hill, a popular winter destination located less than two miles from downtown Idaho City and an hour from Boise on endowment land, is looking for a new operator to bring back the thrills.

Doug Pottenger, the former operator, can't continue due to his health and need for a liver transplant. Now, someone is needed to both keep the tubes sliding and help ensure recreational mischief on the site doesn’t damage this endowment land parcel.

Steamboat Gulch has been left open for unattended public recreation in the past, but there were significant problems.

Endowment land is managed by the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) under a constitutional mandate to generate revenue for specific beneficiaries. “The department fulfills this mandate by maximizing revenue and minimizing costs,” said IDL Director Dustin Miller. “Given the past abuse and high rehabilitation costs, leaving Steamboat Gulch open for unattended public recreation would likely lead to more costly damage.”

“During one period when Steamboat Gulch was without a caretaker, the department removed two truckloads of trash from the hill each week during the winter,” said Miller. “Our prior partners kept this parcel accessible to the public and helped protect it from vandals and litterbugs.”

To help minimize the disruption to sledding enthusiasts, IDL is working with the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation to find someone to take the reins and make it a winter hotspot once more.

“Closing endowment land to the public is a last course of action we always strive to avoid,” added Miller. The site will remain closed to the public until a new partner is found to prevent irresponsible people from dumping trash and tearing up the hillside with their vehicles.

# # #
Additional Note: Did you know that the liver is the only organ in the body that can regenerate? According to the American Liver Foundation a transplanted segment of a liver can grow to normal size within a few months. Since the liver has such regenerative ability, a living person can donate a portion of his or her liver to someone in need of a transplant. Learn more by visiting www.liverfoundation.org.