Hike Up Peak 5915 - Near Camas Prairie

This December 12, 2017, hike was mainly an outing to escape the gloomy clouds and cold air of the Treasure Valley Inversion. 

Peak 5915 on Dec. 12, 2017 - still snowless even as of Dec, 18, 2017

The Snake River Valley in the western half of southern Idaho had been sitting under a strong low-level cold air dome with strong inversion above that cold air for about one week as we approached mid-December. The result of this weather phenomenon is a cloudy, foggy and gloomy valley atmosphere, while the mountains were sitting in above freezing temperatures and bluebird days. It's times like these that valley residents head to the mountains to warm up and find some sunny skies. I did.

This wasn't a strenuous hike and wasn't in a location that is particularly scenic but a hiker's got to take what a hiker is given. And a snow-free, 45℉ bluebird mid-December day in the mountains of Idaho was handed to me. I just needed to find that peak and a few hours of free time. I did.

A little planning or a lot of planning can go into a hike like this December 12, 2017, outing. This one took more planning than most. Most of the planning involved evaluating the short and long term weather forecast and researching land ownership in a location that wouldn't be too high and snowbound or too low and cloud-bound. And like the story of the three bears, this one location was "just right."

This is an upper air sounding from the Boise NWS. It shows a vertical cross-section of the atmosphere from the surface to about 50,000 feet for the day of the hike.

Why Do I Tell You This? The Hard Sell Is Why

If you are looking to get away from the city or the air base and just don't know where to go, I can research a trip for you. That research cost about $30 and you'll get digital maps for your adventure. I wanted to point out the lengths I go to research a hiking or a biking adventure. I also do research for rockhounding, fishing and sightseeing trips in southern Idaho also. 

You'd get a high resolution/geo-tagged pdf with your adventure route annotated right on the topo map.
Let me take most of the guesswork out of your adventures in the wilds of southern Idaho. My motto is "know before you go" and my Outdoor Concierge Service will do just that. It will also save you time. Most people use the "just heading for the mountains for a hike" method. Most times you'll end up on private property or a route that ends up in a less than ideal spot. Let me be your concierge.

The Hike Details

Date Of Hike: December 12, 2017
Name of Hike: Bennett Hills - Hike - Peak 5915 just off Highway 20
Name of KML/KMZ File: 12Dec2017-Bennett Hills- Hike-Peak 5915-Camas Prairie.kmz
Link To Photographs: https://photos.app.goo.gl/mcWKG1hibfSm4ytw1
Total Hike: 1.6 miles
Vertical Feet: +583 feet / -582 feet
Average Slope: +11.9% / -14.7%
Elevation Ranges: 5,416 feet / 5,915 feet (GPX file = max 5,896 feet)
Time On Trail: 1 hour 51 minutes
Facilities At Trailhead: None
Gear Used: New Balance hiking boots and Outdoor Product hiking pole
Land Ownership: 100% public Boise National Forest Service lands
Road Mileage from Boise, Idaho to Trailhead: 78 miles
Online Map of This Hiking / Biking / Adventure: It's available by contacting me, Tim Bondy through this website.

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, fishing or any type of adventures in the Bennett Hills (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 December 19, 2017.


Tim Bondy
Freelance Writer & Citizen Journalist

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

In Decline! One Moves Out Of Downtown, Two Go Out Of Business And A Newspaper Publication Ceases

Mountain Home, Idaho in December 2017. A town in decline as seen through news and photographs

"2 Bros Vape" (green arrow below) closed up their retail store in the downtown core business district and moved to the south part of Mountain Home.
One business closed and the other moved away from downtown Mountain Home, Idaho
The "Healthy Way" (red arrow above) retail store closed up shop after about one year in downtown Mtn Home.

Tattoo shop closed
The above shop was home to a tattoo parlor for the last few years. With a town of about 14,000 people, maybe four tattoo shops were too many? The Mountain Home, Idaho downtown core business district appears to be struggling even though many other towns outside of Elmore County have recovered.

The Mtn Home Newspaper Discontinues A Weekly News Publication

The Mountain Home News "Family Line" publication ends Jan. 1, 2018.

Plus, the Publisher goes on to say:
"The Mountain Home Patriot currently provides news and activities for our Gunfighter military neighbors on Mountain Home Air Force Base as well as the large retiree community in Mountain Home. This publication will see a revised circulation in distribution, but it will remain available on base at various distribution spots as well as in town where our veterans and military neighbors frequent." (http://www.mountainhomenews.com/story/2466110.html)

The Family Line will cease publication in 2018.

I don't know what "a revised circulation" means for the "Patriot." I suppose we'll find out in the coming weeks and months.

Mountain Home, Idaho Revitalization? Will The Decline Continue?

It's hard to figure out where the chamber of commerce starts and the city's economic development office end. It's for certain a "good old girls club." And there is absolutely nothing wrong with a good old girls club but don't get roped into volunteering for this most current revitalizing effort. They'll ask for your input and ignore you if you're not in that secret club. Just go to a meeting, nod your head at the right time ... validation is what these Mountain Home businesspeople want.

With the downtown core business district in a state of upheaval, the rapid opening and closing of small businesses will continue no matter how many flower pots they plant or sidewalks they cobblestone. And rest assured, the revitalization efforts, meetings, and money will slowly disappear over the next 18 months.

Cobblestone or paver sidewalks will not help revitalize downtown Mtn Home. Neither will flower pots. (© photo taken on Dec. 8, 2017) 

Whose in charge of these efforts right now? Courtney Lewis, a Mountain Home Economic Development specialist. I've talked with her a number of times in the past. If there is one thing I've learned about Courtney is "it's her way or the highway." Again, there is nothing wrong with that attitude except she insists she wants the public's feedback and ignores you if you are not a chamber or department insider.

Mountain Home, Idaho is a city in decline for a reason. My opinion as to why? Attitude. And because the same type of people are trying to do doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. That's what some might call "insanity."

This story was originally published on December 8, 2017.


Tim Bondy
Freelance Writer & Citizen Journalist

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

Protection For 2 Millions Acres of Public Land Gone

The Secretary of the Department of the Interior helped President Trump slash protection on 2 million acres of public lands during a recent ceremony in Salt Lake City. These posers didn't even step foot on the two national monuments they just shrunk in size. Cowards ... all of them. 

On December 4, 2017, we the people, lost much of the protections on 2 million acres of public lands in Utah. Some will celebrate and other will be disappointed. Me? I'm annoyed more than you can imagine.

From the Patagonia website

But I'm getting old and these lands won't mean as much to me before too long. My hiking and biking distances will surely get to the point I'll be able to do both in a large parking lot. When that happens I'll just trespass at the local Walmart or convenience store.

It's the younger generations that will suffer if this trend of relaxing the "monument" protections of prime outdoor recreation lands for the extractive industries like mining, oil, and gas plus increased ranching activity on our lands.

These are the Trump supporters who would rather see our public lands "shared heavily" with the extractive industry - Idaho Congressional Delegation.

I urge this younger generation to insist your mostly old and gray representatives who rarely if ever, step foot on a hiking trail or bike a single track should keep their fucking hands off our land and not let it fall into the hands of corporations.

You are the crowd that will suffer, so stand up and tell them what you think. Be loud, be proud and be relentless. These politicians will have to deal with your huge numbers in the future but are free to do as they please right now. While I'm not sure they even care about their own constituents, they obviously care about the future of their failing political party. Without your young voice, the Republican raping and pillaging of our public lands will surely continue. Dec. 4, 2017, was the opening salvo. 

Trump Supporters Repent

Look, I have neighbors who sing the praise of our new knuckleheaded president. These same neighbors who hate it when a dog leaves a steaming pile on their lawn or even tinkles in their grass, don't seem to mind when regulations preventing mining companies from dumping mine waste into our local streams and rivers are rescinded. Stupid, mindless Fox News loving imbeciles?

The Republican Theory: Pee on the grass =  Bad -///- Toxic mine waste = Great

Obama's Protections Revisited

On December 28, 2017, this is what President Obama said about the creation of the Bear Ears National Monument. (Emphasis mine)

Today, I am designating two new national monuments in the desert landscapes of southeastern Utah and southern Nevada to protect some of our country’s most important cultural treasures, including abundant rock art, archeological sites, and lands considered sacred by Native American tribes. Today’s actions will help protect this cultural legacy and will ensure that future generations are able to enjoy and appreciate these scenic and historic landscapes. Importantly, today I have also established a Bears Ears Commission to ensure that tribal expertise and traditional knowledge help inform the management of the Bears Ears National Monument and help us to best care for its remarkable national treasures.

Following years of public input and various proposals to protect both of these areas, including legislation and a proposal from tribal governments in and around Utah, these monuments will protect places that a wide range of stakeholders all agree are worthy of protection. We also have worked to ensure that tribes and local communities can continue to access and benefit from these lands for generations to come.

Trump's Fake Protection Proclamation 

“My main concern with monuments to make sure public access is protected, and that hunting and fishing rights are intact. Bears Ears is 1.5 million acres. Is that size the smallest area necessary? What does the local community think?” - Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke

My Promise Stands

If like-minded individuals, including a significant number of the 18-40 year old crowd will fight the Trump Administration and his supporters like the entire Idaho Congressional Delegation over our public lands, I will publicly stand with you. But I won't stand alone.

This story was originally published on December 6, 2017.


Tim Bondy
Freelance Writer & Citizen Journalist

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

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