|Kelly Bachman enjoys Elk Meadows Trail at Bogus Basin|
|Lupine and penstemon|
|Wendy and Liz hiked up summit via Lodge Trail from Pioneer Lodge|
|Looking off to the rooftop of the Boise National Forest|
|Looking north over to Mores Mountain|
|Trail-runners by Stack Rock (courtesy The Pulse)|
|My son Drew on the Deer Point Trail|
I camped at Shafer Butte Picnic Area a few weeks ago with some friends on a Friday night, and it turned out to be a great way to beat the heat. Bring your mountain bike, hiking shoes or trail-running shoes and go for an adventure the next morning during the cool hours of the day. If you have time, spend a couple of nights up there, and you'll really be able to cover some ground.
Getting there: Take Bogus Basin Road from the north end of Boise to Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area. Keep going on the dirt road past the day lodge and for several miles past the Nordic Lodge, and you'll see a signed turnoff for the Shafer Butte Picnic Area.
Here are some suggestions on mountain biking, hiking and trail-running trips in the Bogus Basin area:
1. Hike to the top of Mores Mountain - Since you're already there at the trailhead at Shafer Butte Picnic Area, this is the most obvious and convenient hike close to camp. Very kid friendly. It's .75 miles to the top and 400 vertical feet. There is some educational information on the interpretive trail by the trailhead -- stuff about plants, flowers and shrubs.
2. Mores Mountain - Bogus Basin Contour Trail combo mountain bike ride - Ride the Mores Mountain Trail from the picnic area/campground. It's mostly downhill, and it has a bunch of whoop-dee-do's in the trail for a little air time. Go left at the junction with the Boise Ridge Road, climb back to the base area of the ski resort, take Deer Point Trail #91 to the top, pick up Elk Meadows Trail #94, and contour around the backside of the ski area. After the Elk Meadows singletrack joins a contour road, follow the road under Superior Chair #3, and then take the switchbacks to the top of Bogus for a great lunch spot. Then take the switchbacks back to the contour road junction, and drop down to your campsite at the picnic area. The ride is about 14 miles and features several thousand feet of vertical gain. Here's a Shafer Butte trail map for reference.
3. Trail-runner special: Twin Peaks at Bogus Basin Loop - This is a 9-mile trail run. Rated strenuous. Do the Mores Mountain Loop, and when you return to the picnic area, climb a dirt road and the switchbacks to the top of Shafer Butte. Then descend back to your campsite. The run takes about 2 hours, and it features 2,509 feet of vertical gain. Thanks to Lynette McDougal for logging this one for my Boise Trail Guide.
4. Hike, bike or run Freddy's Stack Rock Trail - This route is 9.5 miles, from the turnout on Bogus Basin Road that accesses Freddy's Stack Rock Trail and Eastside Trail. The parking area is close to mile 12 on Bogus Basin Road. Drop down the singletrack from the parking area to Eastside Trail. Go west on Eastside and do the loop around Freddy's Stack Rock Trail. Retrace your tracks to the trailhead. This hike/run/bike ride is fairly strenuous ... it features 2,676 feet of vertical gain. The route is featured in the Boise Trail Guide and Mountain Biking in Boise.
5. Mondo mountain bike ride - Ride the Mores Mountain Trail, take the ridge road back to the Bogus base area, climb Deer Point Trail #91, then go right at the top over to Deer Point and drop down the Boise Ridge Road .9 miles to the Mahalo Trail via Forest Road #275C on the left. Do the Mahalo Loop, turn left when you reach the Boise Ridge Road, and descend a couple of miles to the Dry Creek Trail turnoff on the right. Descend Dry Creek Trail about 8 miles to Bogus Basin Road. Return to Boise.
6. Long hike - For those thirsting for a longer day on the trail, go to the top of Shafer Butte from the picnic area via the two-track road and the switchbacks to the summit. Here's a Shafer Butte trail map for reference. Take "the Face" Trail #93 downhill to a saddle, and follow "Shindig" Trail #92 to the bottom of Bogus Basin. Then climb Deer Point Trail #91 to Elk Meadows #94 and follow Elk Meadows around the mountain back to a dirt road that descends to the picnic area/campground. This would be a good trail-run, too. You've earned your dinner!
There you have it! Beat the heat and enjoy the trails at Bogus Basin. I bet there are still a few wildflowers to be found.
Reminders on fun events coming up: