|Ride Sun Valley!|
|Cool off at Lake Cascade State Park!|
|Harriman State Park ... Mesa Falls is nearby!|
|Loon Lake would be refreshing this time of year ...|
Well, the 4th of July is coming up next week, and extreme heat is descending on the Boise Valley after a nice respite of cool weather. Five days of 100-plus heat are forecast in the Boise area, beginning Friday. Geez! This week, I'll share some thoughts about where you could go to beat the heat, but first, I'll tout some events coming up.
The Ride Sun Valley Bike Fest kicks off on Friday with an enduro event and opening party at Sawtooth Brewery on Friday night, and then there is a full slate of events going on through next week that promise to please cyclists of all kinds.
The Ketchum-Sun Valley area will be a nice place to cool off as well. One event that looks fun is the SRAM Gold Rusch Tour, a series of mountain bike rides for women led by Sun Valley's own Rebecca Rusch, known as "the queen of pain." She's a three-time world-champion in mountain bike endurance events and four-time winner of the Leadville 100 mountain bike race. Reba's Ride Camp runs from July 2-7. There is no charge. Seems like an awesome opportunity.
On July 1-2, demo bikes are available from Cannondale, GT, Mongoose, Ellsworth and Scott, among others. The bikes are available at no charge to ride on Sun Valley's 400+ miles of singletrack from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Another great opportunity.
On Wednesday, July 3rd, there's a criterium race in Ketchum starting at 3 p.m. in the afternoon. That would be fun to watch! And from Monday, July 1 through Friday, July 5th, there are a bunch of "local stoker" rides on the creme de la creme of Sun Valley's singletrack trails. For folks who want to ride the best singletrack that Ketchum-Sun Valley has to offer, here's a chance to explore those rides with local ride leaders.
Next Saturday, July 6th, the USA Cycling Marathon Mountain Bike National Championships will be held at Bald Mountain ... good chance to watch the strongest riders in the nation compete on the 45-mile course featuring over 5,000 feet of climbing and descending. Plus, there's the MASSV Music Fest on July 5 and 6 at the base of Bald Mountain.
I've got to tip my hat to the folks in the Ketchum-Sun Valley area for packing an incredible amount of fun, food and music into a week's worth of quality activities. If you're looking for lodging, check out the Visit Sun Valley web site for the best deals that fit your budget. You also could camp in the Sawooth National Recreation Area nearby.
Cool off in the Payette River and learn about river safety ... On Saturday, June 29, the Idaho Whitewater Association is hosting a safety clinic on the Main Payette River from Banks to Beehive Bend. Put-on the Main Payette between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Participate in clinics on boat-flipping (and flipping back over), first-aid and throw bag safety.
Here are a few recommendations for cool-off trips during the 4th of July week:
- Head up to Bogus Basin, where it's always 10-15 degrees cooler than it is in the valley, and go hiking or biking on tons of trails at the ski area or nearby in the Eastside, Stack Rock area.
- Go camping in the Trinity Mountains near Prairie in the Boise National Forest. It's a high-elevation area with a number of high mountain lakes near the end of the road.
- Head for Lake Cascade State Park in Cascade. Ponderosa State Park is likely booked for the whole holiday week, but Lake Cascade State Park will have some openings. The north unit of the park along Lake Cascade west of Donnelly has a number of nice campgrounds right on the shores of Lake Cascade. You can go canoeing or lake kayaking on the lake, bike the Crown Point Trail (great for kids and families), go tubing or kayaking at Kelly's Whitewater Park, or hike/ride the Eagle's Nest Trail (click on free download).
- Go camping, hiking and biking in the Payette National Forest, north of McCall. Areas like Upper Payette Lake, Squaw Meadows, Burgdorf Hot Springs, Loon Lake and others will be much cooler than the Treasure Valley. Be sure to bring your bug juice as the mosquitoes will be out in force in the evening.
- Go camping in Eastern Idaho, visit Harriman State Park and Mesa Falls or go fishing on the Henrys Fork or the South Fork of the Snake River.
- Rent a cabin in the Boise or Payette national forest and dip your toes into a nearby creek. Go to recreation.gov to check on availability. The cabins are inexpensive and make a great base camp, especially with kids.
- Go kayaking, rafting or canoeing on the Payette River.
- Float the Boise River.
- Go backpacking to a high mountain lake in the Sawtooths, White Clouds, Boise National Forest, Payette National Forest, Sawtooth NRA or Frank Church-River of Return Wilderness. Go swimming in the high mountain lake ... it'll be refreshing, I guarantee it.
- Escape to the Oregon Coast.
- Head up to Priest Lake or Lake Pend Oreille in North Idaho.
- Go Ice Skating at Idaho Ice World. Ha! That'll keep you cool.