Hike To Peak 5289 And Above

This cross-country hike above the South Fork of the Boise River on November 12, 2017, was steep but quite beautiful.

Panoramic views to the northwest of a ridge leading up to Granite Mountain in southwest Idaho, USA in Nov 2017.

Summary of hike

This November 12, 2017, headed up towards the 6,818 foot tall Granite Mountain above Anderson Ranch Reservoir and the South Fork of the Boise River. For all practical purposes, there are no trails leading up to Peak 5289 and eventually the unnamed Peak 5403. The views from these peaks were spectacular. I recommend giving this route a try someday.

The Story

I was surprised the weather has cooperated enough to be able to hike this area in mid-November but I won't complain ... much. Rain, 36 hours prior to the hike, made the ground uncharacteristically soft and grippy but not muddy at all. 

Sproule Flat in the foreground and Bennett Mountain is the snow-covered peak in the distance


The route I chose took me straight up the escarpment to Sproule Flat above the Boise River. From there I spotted the peak I wanted to get to and started towards the ridgeline that would get me there. I had this hike all planned and annotated on the topographic maps loaded on my smartphone.  

Sometimes Google Earth and topo maps don't tell the whole story and other times I just feel like forging another route. That's the great thing about hiking in southern Idaho. For the most part, the landscape allows you to see your peak and chose what route looks most desirable. I deviated a little from my planned route in a grass-is-greener sort of way.

At the trailhead, you can see the first section of the hike is rather steep.


This was a steep and strenuous hike for me. The average slope of the entire hike worked out to be about 23% during the 2.92 mile out and back hike. While there weren't any official trails to Peak 5289 and beyond, game trails through the sagebrush steppe and thicket were numerous. There is also an abundance of large lava rock slide in certain portions of the hike. Avoid these at all cost ... ankle strainers for sure.

The options for a hike in this area are numerous. It could be cut short by stopping on Sproule Flats or it could be lengthened by continuing up to Granite Peak and past. I stopped well before my goal which would have added 2 miles and 1,000 elevation gain/loss to the hike. 

The rocks in the foreground is what I considered Peak 5389 and the "U" shaped rock outcropping on the ridge beyond is peak 5404


The weather? The forecast was for relatively light winds and mostly cloudy skies. And for the most part, the National Weather Service forecast was correct. However, as I approach Peak 5289, the winds were screaming. by the time I reach Peak 5403, the winds were even stronger. While this was disappointing, my experience tells me this is quite normal. Weather models and weather forecaster rarely can correctly forecast the winds on mountain ridges and peaks. Moral of the story? Be prepared for wind whenever hiking in Idaho. I was.

The Hike Details

Date Of Hike: November 12, 2017.
Name of Hike: Hike To Peaks 5289 and Peak 5403 Above Sproule Flat
Link To Photographs: https://photos.app.goo.gl/n2ObMYsnG2q2fSKu1
Total Hike Mileage: 2.92 miles
Vertical Feet: +1,833 feet / -1,833 feet
Average Slope: +23.0% / -23.9%
Elevation Ranges: 3,770 feet / 5,398 feet (Peak 5,403)
Hike Time: 3 hours 32 minutes
Facilities At Trailhead: None
Gear Used: Outdoor Product hiking pole and New Balance hiking boots
Land Ownership: 100% National Forest public lands (Boise National Forest)
Road Mileage from Boise, Idaho to Trailhead: 72 miles
Online Map of This Hike/ Bike / Adventure: It's available and you can contact me via the form on this site or leave a comment stating your wishes.

Outdoor Concierge Service

I will prepare a digital hiking plan in this area for you for as little as $20 or other places in southern Idaho. Use my “Contact Me” form on this site or leaving me a comment on this story stating your wishes.

If you would like more information about mountain biking, hiking, rockhounding or any type of adventures in the (Boise National Forest, Owyhee Front, Danskin Mountains, along the Bruneau-Jarbidge Rivers Wilderness or Bruneau Desert), I will be glad to discuss some outdoor options. Use the contact form on this site I'll get back to you.

In Decline Statement

If venturing to this area, please understand the local opinion is my hometown of Mountain Home, Idaho is a city in decline. There are some businesses thriving, but not many. Your best options are to avoid the place completely and stock up on food, supplies, and gas elsewhere. #MountainHomeIdaho #CityInDecline

This story was originally published on November 13, 2017.

Thanks,





Tim Bondy
Freelance Writer & Citizen Journalist

I am currently a proud citizen journalist, aka, "enemy of the American People!"

Some Businesses Are Demanding To Go To The Head Of Our Public Lands Use Line

The election of Donald Trump has emboldened local governments to demand their corporate constituents go to the head of the line when it comes to public land use. Of course, their corporate constituents, consisting mainly of the extractive industry, logging, and ranching, already have access to public lands, they just don't like the hoops they have to jump through to gain or maintain that access. We, the people cannot let this jump to the head of the line to go unanswered or unchallenged.

At the summit of the Pixley Basin Road in Owyhee County, Idaho. There was no place to comfortably rest within 100 yards+ of this spot. Taken on Oct. 29, 2017.
Fueled by the pro-extractive industry rhetoric of President Trump, citizens are now banding together to demand counties take control of federal lands currently managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the National Forest Service and to a lesser extent the State (Idaho/Oregon and likely other). The premise of these demands? They want more cattle grazing, more logging, more mining and more farming on land owned and managed by "we, the people."

It's not like "we, the people" don't already share our public lands with those commercial interest. We do and evidence of this "sharing" are abundant during each and every hike or mountain bike adventure I go on in southwestern Idaho. Outdoor recreationalist share ... but groups like Central Oregon Patriots are crafting laws and policies to ensure hikers, birdwatchers, fishers and rock climbers are pushed further out into our deserts, canyons, and mountains.



Yes, these organizations that want to jump to the head of the line to use our public lands say they will be good stewards of the land and some even say they are conservationists. They'll even argue they want to create jobs to increase the tax base. Let's be honest, federal, state and local government are likely already subsidizing ranching, timber interests, and the extractive industries in some way.

It seems to me, discouraging the extractive industries and encouraging the recreation industry would be the smart move for local and state economies ...
In 2016, 101.6 million Americans 16 years old and older, 40% of the U.S. population, enjoyed some form of fishing, hunting or wildlife-associated recreation. Outdoor recreation is a huge contributor to our nation’s economy, and expenditures by hunters, anglers, and wildlife-watchers were $156.3 billion.  
Those figures equate to 1% of Gross Domestic Product; one out of every one hundred dollars of all goods and services produced in the U.S. is due to wildlife-related recreation.And how many times do you see wildlife clamoring for more cattle, mines or logging?

Logging? 

I'm not sure if a smalltime logging operation can even be profitable anymore in our "big industry" economy. My instinct tells me a small logging company cannot compete economically with mega-corporations like West Fraser Timber Co, Canfor, Weyerhaeuser and Georgia Pacific. I don't begrudge small firms for trying but "we, the people" are already subsidizing those mega-corporations.

Mining? 

There are mines out in the deserts of southern Idaho that have already left their mark on the lands "we, the people" own. Uncovered vertical shaft, land scaring, rusted old pieces and parts of mining equipment dot the landscape. Heck, arsenic from a mine near Atlanta, Idaho is still seeping into a feeder creek of the Middle Fork of the Boise River and the company knows about it, is being fined for it and apparently doesn't care. I love fishing the Middle Fork but not as much since finding out about arsenic in Montezuma Creek.

Public lands parking area on a trailhead and sharing with a herd of cows. Yes, a lot of sharing of our public lands happens.


Grazing? 

I have hiked a very small portion of the Owyhee Desert and Mountains but more than most area residents. I haven't found one part of the Owyhees that is "cow patty free." In the last 24 months, I've even ventured into the wilderness portions to find places smeared with poo. It's just not pleasant. And a BLM employee told me I wouldn't ever be able to find a place in the Owyhees that won't contain cow patties.

On a recent mountain biking adventure into the Owyhee Front, I couldn't find a place to comfortably sit and have lunch because the landscape was so smeared with shit. The weird part of this sharing of BLM land I was riding on? If I had continued one-half mile further on the dirt road, I would have been stopped by a gate. A gate that separates private property from those public lands I was riding upon.

I queried the BLM recently to find out if I could legally trespass on that private property dirt road (through that gate) to access public lands on the other side of it. The BLM was pretty darn definitive. They said I had other options in that I could climb a mountain to skirt that private property and access the dirt road I wanted to continue on. I'm guessing here, but I suspect the shit smeared landscape mentioned above was likely created by the owners of that private property? They don't seem to share even the road that goes through their property with "we, the people."

Private property signs became abundant after leaving our public lands. "No Trespassing" was the sentiment all the way back to the trailhead.


Clean Air, Clean Water, Clean Environment

This land is my land, this land is your land and the Trump administration seems to be determined to make sure all that land will be degraded by mining, logging, and ranching. And the administration continues to show the citizens they have no need or desire for clean air, clean water, or a clean environment if someone can make a buck or just thinks they can make a few rubles₽.

Inspiration For This Opinion Post

An Idaho Statesman article titled "County in Oregon asserts greater role in use of federal land" was part of the inspiration for this blog post and can be found at http://www.idahostatesman.com/news/nation-world/article183732571.html

Just as much inspiration came from my recent mountain bike ride mentioned within this post.

Some of the statements from the Statesman article that rankled me were:

  • "Encouraged by the Trump administration's pro-development policies, an Oregon county wants to take some control over federal lands that cover half of the high desert, mountains and forests within its borders."
  • "humans are entitled to an equal opportunity to use federal and private lands for both recreation and economic growth."
  • "At least two other counties — Owyhee County in Idaho and Baker County in Oregon — have enacted similar provisions."
  • "Budd-Falen served on President Donald Trump's transition team and has been mentioned as a possible nominee to lead the Bureau of Land Management."
  • "He said he believes in guns and agreed with those who occupied the wildlife refuge in an adjacent county for 41 days to protest federal land use policies. But Sharp said he wouldn't take up arms to push his agenda."
  • "Steve Forrester, who had a career in forestry products and is now city manager of Prineville, the county seat, said he favors the new policy."
  • "The new policy takes effect in 120 days."

People First and then corporations when it comes to public lands. Keep public lands public.

This story was originally published on November 11, 2017.

Thanks,



Tim Bondy
Freelance Writer & Citizen Journalist

I am currently a proud citizen journalist, aka, "enemy of the American People!"


Hike In To Crown Creek In The Danskin Mountains

An Interesting May 18, 2017, Southwest Idaho Hike With Trout Fishing In Mind - The Danskin Mountains Crown Creek

Crown Creek from the ridge above. Hike down and start fishing all alone.

Summary: Crown Creek is a little-visited river valley located below Danskin Peak located 32 miles from Boise, Idaho. Trout live in the creek and the scenery was exquisite especially during this spring green-up period. The total hike mileage into the creek isn't daunting but my path took me on some pretty steep slopes. In addition, there are no trails into Crown Creek so it's a full-on cross-country hike ... just the way I like it.

The Hike: The trailhead for this hike is located on BLM land and one just needs to load up the daypack and head up the ridge to east. Then just keep walking until you encounter the Crown Creek river valley. You'll have to navigate the very steep slope down to the creek before choosing to explore either upstream or downstream. It's that straightforward.

The trailhead


Crown Creek isn't a very substantial creek and that is why I was surprised by the sheer number of trout that live in the waterway. Even after years of drought, the trout are still thriving. It was because of the drought that I decided against bringing my fishing pole. I didn't expect there to be any fish in the stream.

The hike back to the trailhead can go numerous ways. All of them involve a healthy climb out of the canyon. Take your time and enjoy the scenery as you head back to your vehicle.

FYI: Private property hems in the lower portions of Crown Creek and road access to the valley halfway to its headwaters. I had to get a little creative in finding a 100% public lands route access in there. But I did.

"Thar be trout here, Captain" ~~ Scotty the Engineer 


Earlier in the year, I tried to find an easier route into Crown Creek that involved driving my truck and just a short hike. The BLM researched my idea that I should be able to legally trespass to get to public lands on the other side of fenced-off roads. It was eventually ruled illegal to trespass even though I was just passing through. The best way to motivate me to find an alternative route into a fishable creek is to tell me ...
"You can't get to that public land because there is private property between our lands and their lands."

The Hike Details
Date Of Hike: May 18, 2017
Name of Hike: Scouting For Trout in Crown Creek of Idaho's Danskin Mountains
Link To Photographs: https://goo.gl/photos/zF5fBQHQA3PZx6gz8
Total Hike: 3.86 miles
Vertical Feet: +1,216 feet / -1,220 feet
Average Slope: +10.4% / -11.6%
Elevation Ranges: 4,142 feet / 4,816 feet
Hike Time: 3 hours 12 minutes
Facilities At Trailhead: None
Land Ownership: 98% BLM and 2% Idaho State Lands
Gear Used: Cheap Walmart hiking pole
Road Mileage from Boise, Idaho to Trailhead: 45 miles
Online Map of This Hike: It's available. Just leave a comment stating your wishes.

Outdoor Concierge Service: An online map of this hiking adventure is available by using the “Contact Me” form on this site or leaving me a comment on this story stating your wishes.

If you would like more information about mountain biking, hiking, rockhounding or any type of adventures in the Danskin Mountains, I will be glad to discuss some outdoor options. Use the contact form on this site, leaving a good email address or phone number and I'll get back to you.

In Decline Statement: If venturing to this area, please understand the local opinion is my hometown of Mountain Home, Idaho is a city in decline. There are some businesses thriving, but not many. Your best options are to avoid the place completely and stock up on food, supplies, and gas elsewhere. #MountainHomeIdaho #CityInDecline

That poor sap didn't bring his fishing pole. 
A hike and adventure with my fishing pole into Crown Creek is already on my calendar for mid-May 2018. If you'd like to join me for this 3/4 day trout fishing adventure, let me know before May 5, 2018.

This story was originally published on November 6, 2017.

Thanks,


Tim Bondy
Freelance Writer & Citizen Journalist

I am currently a proud citizen journalist, aka, "enemy of the American People!"

Mountain Bike Ride To The Big Draw Near The Bruneau-Jarbidge Rivers Wilderness

Mountain Bike Ride To The "Big Draw" In The Bruneau-Jarbidge Rivers Wilderness Canyon

This is a photograph of the Big Draw


Summary of a ride: This little-visited part of the Owyhee County, Idaho is called the Bruneau Desert and my mountain bike ride took me out next to the Bruneau-Jarbidge Rivers Wilderness area. The true and official wilderness is literally two steps from my Giant Talon 2 bike (in the photo above) while the rest of the land is 100% publicly owned. During this October 18, 2017, ride, I gained a new appreciation for this part of our country. If you want a truly unique place to ride, this southern Idaho area would be one of the locations you should seek out.

More information about the Bruneau–Jarbidge Rivers Wilderness can be found at https://www.blm.gov/visit/bruneau-jarbidge-rivers-wilderness-area

The Story: Finding a place to park and use as a trailhead was a little difficult because almost the entire ride is on narrow two-track ranching roads. The chances of encountering another vehicle are pretty slim but one doesn't want to impede neither ranchers nor the occasional hunter on their way to fill a deer or elk tag. I found a spot.

The trailhead and parking area for the Big Draw Ride


I had the entire ride planned out and annotated on my 7.5-minute topo maps. It seemed like a pretty straightforward ride but I missed my first turn that would have taken me towards the deep river canyon. As it turned out, missing the turn wasn't a negative. It got me to the "Big Draw" portion of the canyon and it was spectacular. I would have come upon the Big Draw later in the ride but being fresh when coming upon such awe-inspiring scenery is better. Good for me.

The landscape when unable to view any of the deep river gorges in the area is actually quite unremarkable and dare I say, boring. It's also quite flat. The mountain biking couldn't ever be called technical by any means but there was still some dangerous bits to ride. Let's just say tumbleweeds cover many of the small draws and that dead vegetation tends to cover up large bolder and basketball sized rocks on the not-ever-maintained two-tracks. Just a fair warning.

The sagebrush steppe of the Bruneau Desert in Idaho. My lunch stop too.

On this Wednesday afternoon I was riding, two A-10 fighter aircraft were flying through the nearby canyon. Quite impressive to watch these weird looking aircraft flying, nap of the earth, 300 yards from the two track I was navigating. Very cool. Seeing those A-10 aircraft isn't unusual because the U.S. Air Force maintains a bombing range a few miles to the east.


The Ride Details
Date Of Hike / Ride: October 18, 2017
Name of Hike / Ride: Mountain Bike Ride To The Big Draw Near The Bruneau-Jarbidge Rivers Wilderness Canyon
Link To Photographs: https://photos.app.goo.gl/fNfYsEAwyRMEjfld2
Total Biking Mileage: 13.8 miles
Vertical Feet: +669 feet / -689 feet
Average Slope: +1.7% / -1.5%
Elevation Ranges: 3,401 feet / 3,736 feet
Total Time On Trails: 2 hours 40 minutes
Facilities At Trailhead: None
Land Ownership: 100% BLM public lands
Gear Used: 2017 Giant Talon 2 Mountain Bike
Road Mileage from Boise, Idaho to Trailhead: 79.7 miles

Outdoor Concierge Service:
If you would like more information about mountain biking, hiking, rockhounding or any type of outdoor adventures along the Bruneau-Jarbidge Rivers Wilderness or Bruneau Desert, I will be glad to discuss some outdoor options. Use the contact form on this site or leave a comment and I'll get back to you.

In Decline Statement: If venturing to this area, please understand the local opinion is my hometown of Mountain Home, Idaho is a city in decline. There are some businesses thriving, but not many. Your best options are to avoid the place completely and stock up on food, supplies, and gas elsewhere. #MountainHomeIdaho #CityInDecline

This story was originally published on November 4, 2017.

Thanks,



Tim Bondy
Freelance Writer & Citizen Journalist

I am currently a proud citizen journalist, aka, "enemy of the American People!"


My Most Popular Stories