Thursday, August 30, 2018

Here's at least 25 last-minute outdoorsy destinations for Labor Day weekend

Folks could go camping in Stolle Meadows and look for spawning salmon 
Just a faint bit of smoke haze at the top of Brundage today. Beautiful temperature up there! 
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. 

Mountain bikers ride the Deer Point lift FREE on Friday! On Saturday, Sept. 1, marks the final segment of Music on the Mountain at Bogus Basin for the summer, highlighted by the Aldape Bootstompers and Jeff Crosby. The event feature live music throughout the afternoon in the nicely andscaped base area outside of the Simplot Lodge from noon to 6 p.m. 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.

Bear Valley is a nice off-the-beaten-path spot for camping these days. 
On Friday night, Aug. 31,  Brundage is hosting a free concert with Jeff Crosby and the Refugees. The seafood boil is sold out, but other dinner food will be available during the concert. The Bluebird quad will be running from 10 am to 5 pm Friday through Monday. I saw it running today, but I rode up from McCall! 

Now, on to the camping ideas and other Labor Day ideas ... the weather looks stellar camping, hiking and biking this Labor Day weekend, with daytime highs in the 80s in the Boise Valley, and the 70s in Stanley, Sun Valley and McCall.
  • Close to home, you could work on the Boise Foothills Trail Challenge, essentially work on riding all of the trails in the Ridge to Rivers trail system in one month. People are doing the challenge in memory of Jason Delgodilla, one of the founders of, who died earlier this year.  
  • Also close to home, hike Mt. Kepros or Mt. Cervidae, both part of the Boise Grand Slam Peaks. 
  • 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. FYI: There should be salmon spawning in Stolle Meadows this weekend. Take Forest Service Road #427 to Stolle 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 ...  
    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.  
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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