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City of Rocks

Early morning walk at sunrise.

Early morning walk at sunrise.

 

This is Idaho!A couple of ITA members spent the weekend of 12/6/14 in the City of Rocks south of Burley Idaho camping and hiking the trails.  The weather was in the 50s with cool nights and great hiking!  The trails were open and soft, only a little ice in the deep shaded areas, but overall a great weekend!  Here are some photos of the weekend!  It is a great time to hike the lowlands and get into the Owyhees!

 

This is Idaho!

This is Idaho!

Sunrise in the canyon below camp.

Sunrise in the canyon below camp.

The Amazing City of Rocks!

The Amazing City of Rocks!

Some of the canyons and geological features of City of Rocks.

Some of the canyons and geological features of City of Rocks.

Granite spires and slabs in the City of Rocks

Granite spires and slabs in the City of Rocks

 

 

Boulder Lake

Description

Few people know the grandeur of Idaho’s Pioneer Mountains. This gem of a lake is a well-kept secret because it’s far from any population centers. But don’t let the drive dissuade you. Plan a nearby camping trip or weekend in Sun Valley, and suddenly, a trip to Boulder Lake becomes a realistic day hike.

Tucked away in some of Idaho’s tallest Peaks, Boulder Lake is surrounded by a rim of jagged, sky-scraping peaks that will leave your eyes popping out. You’ll find extraordinary views of the Devil’s Bedstead and other unnamed peaks topping out near or above 12,000 feet.

The trail begins at a pull-out along Wildhorse Creek Road. You will immediately have to cross Wildhorse Creek, hike across the the floodplain, and begin trekking up switchbacks into a slot canyon. At about two miles in, the views of the stunning alpine scenery begin to unfold. The last half of the trail is primitive, but you can easily follow the route through avalanche chutes, stands of alpine fir, and boulders to the lake. There are a few primitive campsites available, as well as off-trail opportunities to explore the surrounding basin and lakes.

Don’t plan on visiting until the end of July. Snow lingers in this north-facing cirque well into the summer.

Distance

3.8 miles (one way)

Elevation Gain

2,226 feet

Directions

From Ketchum, drive northeast on Trail Creek Road for 22.5 miles, passing over Trail Creek Summit into the Lost River Basin. Turn right on Wildhorse Creek Road. Drive approximately 7.7 miles to the trailhead, bearing right at the junction with East Fork Lost River Road. The trailhead is located at a pullout on the right side of the road.

Maps

Forest Service: Challis National Forest

USGS Quad(s): Standhope Peak, Phi Kappa Mountain

Maintenance Report

The first 2 miles of trail 4057 were maintained by Forest Service crews in 2010. However, at 2.5 miles, the trail becomes more primitive. Follow the most prominent foot path, avoid cutting switchbacks, and stay off of user-created trails to protect the fragile environmental conditions.

Land Status

The Pioneer Mountains are a proposed wilderness area.

Guidebooks

 

Beehive Lakes

Description

Climb through lush forests, of cedar, hemlock, alpine fir, and spruce to the beautiful Beehive Lakes, tucked into a high cirque basin in the Selkirk Crest.  Hikers are rewarded with views of Roman Nose, The Beehive, Pack River, and Twin Peaks.  Options for scrambles to the top of the Crest are also available, where even more spectacular views can be found.

The trail begins on the east side of the upper Pack River and immediately crosses it.  From the river, the trail ascends the hillside following gentle switchbacks.  Views improve with every mile.  Bottleneck Peak, Roman Nose, and The Beehive come into view.  At approximately 4 miles, the trail reaches large slabs of granite outcroppings.  Follow the cairns over the slabs to the upper lake.

There are grizzly bears in the Selkirk Mountains.  Hikers are advised to take special precautions to avoid negative encounters with bears.  The Forest Service installed a bear-proof food storage locker at the upper lake, where overnight campers may store their food.

Distance

4.5 miles (one way)

Elevation Gain

2,040 feet

Directions

From Sandpoint, drive north on U.S. Highway 95 for 10.5 miles, and turn left (west) onto the Pack River Road at Samuels.  Drive 19 miles, following Forest Service signs toward Beehive Lakes, and turn left, driving a short distance off the main road to the trailhead.

Maps

Forest Service: Kaniksu National Forest

USGS Quad(s): The Wigwams, Roman Nose

Maintenance Report

ITA partnered with the Sandpoint Ranger District to brush out the Beehive Lakes Trail in August of 2011.  In 2009, the Forest Service installed a new trail bridge across the Pack River.

Land Status

The Selkirk Crest is a proposed wilderness area.

Guidebooks

100 Hikes in the Inland Northwest by Rich Landers (2nd Edition, 2003)

Trails of the Wild Selkirks by Dennis Nicholls (2004)

 

Scotchman Peak

Description

Stunning views of Lake Pend Oreille, the Cabinet Mountains, and the Selkirk Mountains await you on top of Bonner County’s tallest peak. Hikers will likely find company at the top, where mountain goats negotiate rock outcroppings and steep cliffs.

From the trailhead, the route begins relentlessly uphill for the first mile until reaching the first set of switchbacks.  At that point, the grade becomes more bearable. About two-thirds of the way up, the trail passes through a large hillside meadow, with stunning views of Lake Pend Orielle and the Clark Fork River Valley.  The trail eventually intercepts the ridge and follows it to the summit.  Follow cairns and other indicators through the talus.

The Scotchman Peaks are inhabited by grizzly bears and mountain goats.  Hikers are advised to take special precautions to reduce the risk of negative bear encounters.  Please do not feed the mountain goats or any other wild animals.  Feeding wild animals may result in serious injury or death.

Distance

3.5 miles (one way)

Elevation Gain

3,700 feet

Directions

Take Highway 200 (east from Sandpoint) and in downtown Clark Fork turn north at the Chevron Station.  Go past the school and continue up Mosquito Creek Road #276.  Go past the (former) Clark Fork Field Campus to the junction of Road #2294.  Turn right and go a little over a mile.  Watch for signs for trail #65. Turn left on road 2294A.  Follow this road a little over a mile to where it ends at the trailhead.

Maps

Forest Service: Kaniksu National Forest

USGS Quad(s): Clark Fork NE

Maintenance Report

No information.

Land Status

The Scotchman Peaks are a proposed wilderness area.

Guidebooks

100 Hikes in the Inland Northwest by Rich Landers (2nd Edition, 2003)

Trails of the Wild Cabinets By Dennis Nicholls with Jim Mellen (2nd Edition, 2008)