Thursday, August 31, 2017

Stueby's last-minute camping and river-floating tips for Labor Day weekend

Stay cool! Go boating on the Cabarton reach of the Payette River! 

How about a spin around Redfish Lake? 
Sit on top kayaks are a perfect choice for the weekend ... 
Lick Creek Summit area, Payette National Forest ... near McCall.
Hi all, 

Labor Day weekend is upon us, the typical last weekend of camping in the summer season, so I'm dishing up some last-minute tips for the three-day weekend. 

Before we get into the camping ideas, both Bogus Basin and Brundage Mountain have some fun stuff going on this weekend. 

This Saturday, Sept. 2, marks the final Music on the Mountain at Bogus Basin for the summer. The event, sponsored by 10 Barrel Brewing Co., will feature live music throughout the afternoon in the newly landscaped base area outside of the Simplot Lodge. Fun Zone activities, including summer tubing, bungee trampoline, gem panning, and climbing wall, will operate from 11 am to 7 pm., and so will the Deer Point Chairlift. Single ride tickets are $15 and a full-day pass is $30. Get up there early in the morning, do a hike or a bike ride, and then kick back in the afternoon and enjoy some live music. 

The music lineup is as follows: 
1:00 – 2:45 pm Sono Fuego
3:00 – 4:45 pm Hot Pursuit
5:00 – 7:00 pm Voice of Reason
At Brundage, the Bluebird Chair will be running from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm Thursday through Monday. Lift fees are $15 for one ride, and $35 for a full day. 

On Friday night, Sept. 1st, Brundage is hosting a Dinner and Music event, featuring the Emily Stanton Band, a Soul R&B artist. The event starts at 6 p.m. They're serving a cajun crawfish boil for dinner. The event costs $25 each. 

Now, on to the camping ideas and other Labor Day ideas ... since it's going to be warm in Boise this weekend, with temperatures in the high 90s Saturday and Sunday and maybe 100 degrees on Monday, it would be nice to cool off at higher elevations in the national forest! You might even want to go paddling or boating on a lake or a river!

Cabarton run on the Payette River as it flows below the Rainbow Bridge ID 55
  • Float Cabarton on the Payette River one more time - The flow is 1,500 cfs, which is the typical summertime flow on the North Fork of the Payette River. Get a group of friends together or hire an outfitter and go float Cabarton, the best day trip in SW Idaho. It's got a little whitewater, swimming in the flatwater sections, and great lunch spots along the way. 
  • Float the Boise River, Swirly Canyon on the South Fork Payette, or the Main Payette. There's only a few more days of raftable flows on the South Fork Payette Canyon and Staircase runs, so it'd be good to nail those runs before the flows go away. These are Class 4 runs best done with outfitters or experienced boaters. See my guide, Paddling the Payette for information and waterproof maps. If you run the Main Payette, use caution at Go Left, and scout it from the highway on the way to the put-in. Lots of rafts are flipping in there.

  • Cascade area - Stolle Meadows and Landmark are my favorite camping areas in this neck of the woods. There are tons of primitive car-camping spots in both locations, east of Cascade, off the Warm Lake Highway. Plus, there are hot springs in the vicinity. The main road to Stolle Meadows #474 is closed due to a bridge washout, but you can take the Warm Lake cutoff #427 to the meadows. Once there, you can take the road south up to a trailhead for Rice Lake and Rice Peak. Nice and easy hike up to Rice Peak, and you can explore ridge tops from there ... In the Landmark area, there's a little-known mountain bike loop from the McClure Trail to the Buck Creek Trail ... it's kind of obscure, so not sure how much downfall is on the trail. 
    Lick Creek area in the Payette National Forest 
  • McCall area - Camping, hiking and backpacking in the Lick Creek area NE of McCall should be fabulous. Some of the nice mountain lakes up there include Box, Snowslide, Duck, Hum, Enos and Thirty-three lakes. Pick up a Payette National Forest map or a McCall Adventure Map to get the details for access. Also, check my blog from earlier this summer on five easy-to-access kid-friendly mountain lakes in the McCall area. 
    Stanley Lake 
  • Stanley area - I'm sure the Stanley area will be hopping with lots of campers at Stanley Lake, Redfish Lake, Pettit Lake and points along the Salmon River. Backpacking in the White Clouds should be dandy, particularly from the East Fork side, being a three-day weekend and all. Don't forget the Marsh Creek Trail as another potential destination ... great hiking and fly fishing spot. Hike up to the junction of Bear Valley and Marsh Creeks, and there's a huge glory hole right there. 
    North and Middle Forks of the Boise River ... car-camping mecca 
  • Idaho City area - The North and Middle Forks of the Boise River work great for car camping. See my post from last week.  
  • Salmon River beaches - Should be fab upstream of Riggins. Pick your spot, bring your rafts and kayaks, and your volleyball and bocce ball sets. Get there early! The prime beaches will be taken early. 
If you're staying in town, I'm hearing that some people will be taking in the Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic, going on from Thursday through Sunday. There are supposed to be more than 5,000 balloon launches.

Also, Labor Day weekend is chock full of big sales at your favorite outdoor retailers in the Boise area, places like Idaho Mountain Touring, George's CyclesBoise REI, Greenwood's, McU Sports, Alpenglow Mountain SportIdaho River Sports, and Shu's Idaho Running Companyall have some fantastic clothing and gear on sale right now. Great deals! Go get 'em! 
- SS

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