|Fishing Crooked River|
|Leo Hennessy, Jerry Quick and Doug Lawrence near War Eagle Mountain.|
|Jim Young enjoys the views on the Silver City Skyline Tour|
I've got a couple of last-minute ideas for Labor Day weekend, places where you could go for a hike or a bike ride and camp nearby -- Crooked River near Idaho City or the Silver City Skylline Tour, starting and finishing in Silver City in the Owyhee Mountains.
The weather will be on the cool side in the mountains on Saturday, Sunday and Monday for Labor Day weekend, with temperatures in the 60s forecast in McCall, Stanley and Ketchum/Sun Valley, but to me, that's a bonus. Love the cool temps that come with fall weather! If you stay in town, it's supposed to fall into the high 70s, which sounds pretty fab for Boise, too!
The Crooked River Trail is featured in my Boise Trail Guide - 75 Hiking and Running Routes Close to Home. The easiest way to access the trail is via the Edna Creek Road off of Idaho State Highway 21, northeast of Idaho City and Mores Creek Summit. You'll see a highway sign for the Edna Creek Road and Atlanta, turning right off Idaho 21, about 60 miles east of Boise. There is a pull-out for the trailhead on the Edna Creek Road in the first half-mile from the highway. You can either hike or bike from here.
The trail is a moderate hike, but a little more challenging as a mountain biking trail because it is all singletrack, and that makes the riding a little trickier and technical. The trail runs downhill along Crooked River, but remember, you will have to climb back to the trailhead. About 4 miles down the trail, it becomes more sketchy with downfall, and you may want to turn around. The trail is supposed to extend all the way to the North Fork of the Boise River (10 miles one-way) but it needs much more clearing and maintenance to make that trip doable for Joe 6-Pack.
|Crooked River map. Click to enlarge.|
Camping nearby: There are many unofficial camping areas on the Edna Creek Road in the first few miles after you turnoff of Idaho 21, and there's an official campground called Willow Creek about five miles up the road. There also are many self-support camping areas along the North Fork of the Boise River on the way to Deer Park.
|Silver City Skyline Tour map|
|Back in downtown Silver City after the ride. Wa-hoo!|
Doug Lawrence on the left, and Paul Hilding.
Have you heard of the Idaho Smoke 'n Fire 400? A friend of mine, Scott Frey, told me about it at Tour de Fat, and it sounds totally amazing. It's a self-support mountain bike race starting on Wednesday, Sept. 10th in Boise, and god knows when riders will finish. They will be carrying their own overnight gear -- call it "bikepacking" -- as they ride an incredibly arduous course from Boise toward Anderson Ranch Dam to Ketchum to Stanley via dirt roads and trails to Bear Valley, Deadwood Reservoir, and then back toward Placerville before climbing over the Boise Ridge back to town. Wow!
Sign up if this sounds appealing. Thirty-seven riders have signed up so far, including Scott. There is no entry fee and there are no prizes. Just bragging rights and survival.
If you do stay in the Boise Valley this weekend, be aware that there are numerous Labor Day sales going on at your favorite outdoor stores -- preseason sales on skiing equipment, and closeout sales on boating, biking, hiking and camping equipment. Great time to buy!