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Public Recreation: Idler's Rest Nature Preserve
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County: Latah

Year Acquired: 2004

Acreage: 35

Public Access: Yes

Project Partners: 
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Palouse Land Trust
Project Summary: 
Given its cool temperatures in the summertime, Idler’s Rest has long been a haven for hikers and families, with some people estimating it was used as such in the early 1900’s.  It became a nature preserve in 1966 when The Nature Conservancy bought it, and then in 2004, The Nature Conservancy turned the preserve over to the Palouse Land Trust so the property could benefit from local management. The preserve is located approximately 6 miles northeast of the City of Moscow. Idler’s Rest Creek flows through the peaceful cedar grove, and visitors can enjoy four distinct plant communities: ponderosa pine/snowberry, Douglas-fir/ninebark, western red cedar/mountain lover, and grand fir/mountain lover.

Project Goals: 
  • Protect and preserve the native flora and fauna.
  • Provide an opportunity for scientific research (compatible with protection of the flora and fauna) that will lead to a better understanding of natural ecosystems and a person’s relationship to his/her natural environment.
  • Provide public education in natural history and stewardship of the land, with the ultimate goal of improving attitudes toward nature.
From the intersection of Highway 8 and Highway 95 in Moscow, go east on Highway 8.  Turn left on Mountain View Road and follow road until the T- intersection with Idler’s Rest Road.  Bear right and follow Idler's Rest Road until near the end.  The parking lot is just past the sign on the left side of the road.

PLEASE NOTE: There are signs for the parking lot entrance and trail heads.  Please respect our neighbors at the end of the road and remember that is a private road beyond the Preserve.

  • Walk pets on a leash
  • No loud noise
  • Pack out trash and pet waste

Scavenger Hunt for young adventurers, click here.
Idler’s Rest is managed for the preservation of native flora and fauna; please keep this in mind at all times while visiting the property.  To protect the natural habitat, the following activities are prohibited:
  • Hunting
  • Firearms and/or paintball
  • Fires
  • Wood-cutting
  • Building structures
  • Disturbing plants or animals
  • Large unauthorized gatherings
  • Motorized vehicles or mountain bikes
  • Overnight camping
  • Pre-dawn or post-dusk use.

Scavenger Hunt for older kids and adults, click here. 
Idler's Rest Map

Trail Map:
For a copy of the 2005 Trail Map
developed for Idler's Rest, click here. You can also download a mobile friendly version here.
While the phone number and some sections are out of date, we think
you might find it useful until we are able to update the map.  Please
note that it was designed to be printed and assembled like a
booklet, so the stations appear
out of order unless this is done.

Research at Idler's Rest:

Ikju Park, a Ph.D. student, collects the floral scent from houndstongue plants.

Houndstongue (Cynoglossum officinale L.) is a noxious weed that is poisonous for livestock.  Researchers at the University of Idaho are studying insects that could be used to control houndstongue and they're using Idler's Rest to help with that research.  Mark Schwarzlander's lab at the UI is conducting research on native tiger moth caterpillars and a European weevil that could be a candidate for biocontrol.

They are collecting houndstongue plants from Idler's Rest to feed the caterpillars.  They are also collecting the scent of houndstongue flowers to find out if the weevil seeks out houndstongue plants based on its scent and overlooks other native plant species in the Boraginaceae family, especially those that are federally or state listed as threatened or endangered.

Click here for a more detailed description of their work.