Thursday, May 26, 2011

Gonna have to be creative for Memorial Day weekend

Morel mushrooms - Yum!

Find a hot springs pool to keep you warm ...
Hi all,

It's pretty depressing looking at the weather forecast for Memorial Day weekend in Idaho ... it's supposed to be either raining or snowing pretty much everywhere. Dang!

So, here are a few ideas to make your weekend more enjoyable:
  • Hot Springs - If it's going to be wet, you might as well hunker down in one of Idaho's many non-commercial hot springs or visit a commercial hot springs establishment such as Givens Hot Springs near Marsing, Silver Creek Plunge near Crouch, or Gold Fork Hot Springs near Donnelly.
  • Raft in the Rain - If you're going to go river rafting, you're going to get wet anyway, so you might as well go rafting in the rain. One of the best sections for that is the Upper Payette River from Bonneville Hot Springs to Kirkham Hot Springs. Warm up before you go in Bonneville, and warm up after the trip is over in Kirkham. Rain is forecast for the big Memorial Day gathering on the mighty Lochsa River, where the river is running at 7.5+ feet, so that's another place you can raft in the rain. Warm up in Jerry Johnson Hot Springs or Weir Creek Hot Springs after the float trip. (There might be a few hundred people with the same idea).
  • Party under the Tarp - I have a feeling that lots of people will be doing some variation of this, this weekend. Make sure your tarp doesn't leak, bring plenty of beverages to keep the gang occupied, and dress warm. Look for camping areas in lower elevation areas in the Boise National Forest. The Rabbit Creek Road from Idaho City to numerous car-camping areas along the North Fork of the Boise River is open. The Edna Creek road to Atlanta is closed.
  • Go Road Biking in the Rain - As long as you dress for it, road biking in the rain can be tolerable, especially if you have fenders to keep the water from spraying into your face from the front wheel. Check out my Boise Road Cycling Guide for tips on where to go. One ride that'd be fun would be to tackle the Snake River Canyon Scenic Loop between Marsing and Walter's Ferry.
  • Go Mushroom Hunting - I've heard that morel mushrooms are sprouting in the Idaho City area. I checked with the Idaho City Ranger District, and the people in the office had no idea where mushrooms are being found. But I had one report from a friend that he picked 3 pounds of morels earlier this week.
  • Head South to Warmer Weather - In looking for good weather, I noticed that the forecast for St. George, Utah, is 88 degrees this weekend, and 80 degrees in Moab, Utah. It's a long drive, but maybe it's worth it!
  • Rent a Cabin and Stay Cozy - It's probably too late to reserve a Forest Service cabin or a Parks and Recreation yurt this weekend, but you might be able to find a good last-minute deal on a cabin in Garden Valley, McCall or Ketchum on That's where we list our McCall cabin (sorry, it's taken this weekend), and lots of people find cool and affordable places to stay on
  • Look for last-minute deals on hotel rooms - has a great selection in the McCall and Ketchum/Sun Valley areas.
BTW, here is a roundup of national forest and BLM trail, road and camping conditions that you may find useful.

Hope you find a way to have some fun despite the crappy weather!

- SS

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