April 29, 2017, was the first nice hiking day in the last ten days and I took advantage of it. My chosen route took me up a ridgeline just past some private property in the Syrup Creek area of southwestern Idaho. The hike took me along the self-named "Teaser Ridge," a ridge that overlooks a dirt road located on private property. I wanted to see what I was missing beyond those "Private Property" signs. Coolness and some good hiking and mountain biking possibilities are what I'm missing.
|View from near Peak 4702 in the Danskin Mountains|
The All Public Lands HikePeak 4702 is located in the Danskin Mountains about 35 as-the-crow-flies miles southeast of Boise, Idaho. The trailhead I parked at is mostly surrounded by private property. With a little careful research and determination, I completed the out-and-back hike completely on public lands, This included both State of Idaho and Bureau of Land Management lands.
Actually, most of the land seen in the above photograph is public land. The only private property is located on and near the valley floor. And even some of valley floor is also public property. I did the research and discovered those dirt roads seen in the photo cannot be legally accessed without the property owners permission. See my April 3, 2017, story on this specific issue at https://timbondy.blogspot.com/2017/04/researching-public-lands-access-can-be.html
GPS Track Of This April 29, 2017, Hike
Also see: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1nNnsmwTdgV8V5R1S1DwnfasZjyE&usp=sharing
The Cross-Country CharacteristicsThis hike is mostly a cross-country hike. There were a few places where a trail or fenceline two-track road made the going a little easier. By far the most significant trait of the hike was the steepness of first 3/4 of a mile ascent and last 3/4 mile descent. Calf-burners on the way up and thigh burners on the way down. The rest of the hike was relatively mild and unremarkable.
The views were pretty spectacular with visibility easily stretching over 100 miles to the southeast with the snowcapped Jarbidge Mountains of Nevada clearly outlined on the horizon. The boots-on-the-ground environment was again slightly disappointing. Mainly short grasses and very little sagebrush steppe type vegetation growing on the ridges.
This is cattle country. Old cow patties plus big game droppings were plentiful. The many barbed wire fence lines out in the middle of "nowhere" still have me a little baffled. The private property fences seem to be right where I expected them. However, the border between the state and federal lands aren't fenced. But there are fences semi-close to those property lines. Grazing allotment? That's my guess as to why land management boundaries aren't well defined.
|A fence line on my self-named "Teaser Ridge" extends off into the distance.|
Geology and History Of The RangeAs a recreationist rockhounder, I keep a pretty close eye on the ground and rocks I walk on and around. I also keep an eye on the rock faces looking for rock art or petroglyphs.
The USGS provides a detailed "Geologic Units and Structures" digital map of the western U.S. All the land I tread on during the hike is classified as:
"Rhyolite, quartz latite, and latite ignimbrites and flows; Miocene felsic volcanics; Owyhee Plateau."
From past experience, I knew that would mean I wouldn't be finding many cool or valuable rocks sitting on the surface. The map also indicated I walked along a fault line for about one-third of the outward bound portion of the hike. I saw no indications of this geologic feature.
Rock art is present in the Mount Bennett Hills area according to some literature I discovered. As of now, I have yet to discover any of that coolness during my off-road adventures but I hold out hope. One of these days...
The Statistics and InformationTrailhead coordinates: 43.287315, -115.679190
Peak 4702 coordinates: 43.305865, -115.694153
Hiking Mileage: 3.9 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: 1,547/1,548 feet
Slope: Avg = 14.3% Max = 43.5%
Time on trail: 3:15 hours
Topo Map: Syrup Creek, Idaho
From Downtown Boise: 45 road miles
Link to photo album: https://goo.gl/photos/8it47htGry8PjKkR6
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Originally published on May 1, 2017.
Freelance Writer & Citizen Journalist
I am currently a proud citizen journalist, aka "enemy of the American People!"