Thursday, March 19, 2015

Five spring hiking destinations inspired by new edition of Boise Trail Guide

Rick Gerrard pauses to enjoy the view on the way up to Cervidae Peak.
2,000-foot climb in 2.2 miles. Steep!  
Look how the trail goes directly up the ridgeline ...
That'll get the heart pumping! 
Another steep section ... watch for elk and deer 
Rocky rims lord over Shoofly Creek in the Owyhees
Steve hiking the Shoofly Quick Loop 
Wonder if the wildflowers are going to bloom early this year? 
Hi all,

Well, the weather looks pretty fab once again in the low country this weekend, with temps in the 70s on Friday, slight possibility of rain Saturday, and a slightly cooler day on Sunday, with temps in the 60s, but clear skies. And then rain on Monday.

So I'm recommending five spring hikes inspired by the 2nd edition of Boise Trail Guide, my hiking and trail-running book which is expanding from 75 hiking and running routes to 90. There's a whole new book cover, new photo spreads inside, and more. The 224-page book should be available for retail sales in about 3-4 weeks (mid-April). A full-color ebook will be available as well.

Here are the hikes!

1. Hike to Cervidae Peak near Lucky Peak Reservoir and Spring Shores Marina. Rated strenuous. Distance: 2.2 miles up; 2.2 miles back. 4.4 miles total. Travel time: 2.5-3 hours. Vertical gain: 2,000 feet. Take Idaho 21 east of Boise. Cross the Mores Creek high bridge. Turn right after the bridge and go 2.2 miles up the road (you'll go by the Spring Shores Marina) and park in a large pull-out on the right. Cross the road and pick up a jeep trail that climbs up to a ridge and then you're on the trail to Cervidae. It's a steep hike that goes directly to Cervidae Peak, climbing 2,000 vertical feet in about 2 miles. Leg-burner and lung-burner! It's hard on the knees on the way down. Go easy. Trekking poles would help soften the blow. Good hike for strong kids. Great views at the top of the peak.
Trail map for Eagle Island State Park. Enjoy! 
2. Eagle Island State Park in Eagle - Rated easy to moderate. Distance: up to 5.5 miles. Travel time: You make the call. Take State Street west, past Eagle Road, to Linder. Follow the signs for Eagle Island State Park. Park at the trailhead. There's a hiking/trail-running circuit that you can do at the park that follows the north channel of the Boise River, crosses the park, and then follows the South Channel of the Boise River, before returning across a field to the trailhead. The park has hand-out maps of their trail system. Their trails are open to hiking, running, horseback riding and mountain biking. I enjoyed the Eagle Island leafy setting.

3. West Fork Shoofly Quick Loop - I detailed this hike in a previous blog post when I was working on my guide The Owyhee Canyonlands: An Outdoor Adventure Guide with Mark Lisk. But it will be included in the new version of Boise Trail Guide. Rated moderate. Distance: 5.5 miles. Travel time: 3-4 hours. I like this hike because the trailhead is less than an hour from Boise near Grand View. It's a scenic location, but it's an adventure hike, involving some route-finding and bushwacking. Read my blog post for a trip map, photos and details.
Harrison Hollow trail is popular with families and dogs 

Great views of the city from the ridge above Harrison Hollow 
4. Highlands - Corrals - Bobs Loop, Boise Foothills - The recent completion of Highlands Trail #1 makes this loop possible for hikers and trail-runners. You used to have to shuttle a vehicle to do this loop as a hike/run. But not any longer! Rated easy to strenuous. Distance: 8 miles. Travel time: 3.5 hours. Vertical gain: 1,328 feet. Take Bogus Basin Road north to Curling Drive. Go left on Curling, left on Braemere, go up the hill, then take a left on Hearthstone. Go to the end of Hearthstone and park at the trailhead at the end of the road. This hike provides a mixture of terrain. It starts out kind of steep on the Highlands Trail and then moderates on a steady uphill climb to the junction with the Corrals Trail. Then the walking is moderate on Corrals for about a mile or so before trail gets steeper to reach Corrals Summit. Turn right at the top of the hill to reach Corrals Summit and then follow Trail #31 downhill for a couple of miles to Bob's Trail. Make a sharp right on Bob's and enjoy the rock-dodge down the trail.  

5. Harrison Hollow Loop - Rated easy. Distance: 2 miles or more. Travel time: 1 hour. Take Bogus Basin Road north from Hill Road. Turn left at Highlands Hollow Brew House next to Healthwise and follow the paved road to the parking area. Cruise into the Harrison Hollow area on the all-weather trail provided by the Land Trust for the Treasure Valley. Take a right and climb up to the ridge. Go left on the ridge and follow the ridge trail for a mile. It winds toward a saddle next to some large homes. Climb to the saddle to check out the view. Return to the trailhead via the main trail that goes down the bottom of the gulch. There are many other options in this area, depending on how much time you have, and you much climbing you'd like to do. Once at the saddle, you also could climb uphill to the Buena Vista Trail, which winds around the south side of the hills and heads over to Hillside Jr. High. There are several ways to return to Harrison Hollow.

There you have it! Have a nice weekend!
- SS

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Spring hiking, biking in full swing in Boise Foothills, Owyhees; camping would be good, too!

The Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area
is an ideal spring destination for hiking, biking, boating and birding.
Hi all,

Mayor Bieter will be reporting on city affairs during my normal time on The River 94.9 FM tomorrow morning (7:30ish), so I don't have a new blog for this week.

Instead, I'll recommend some great spring trips from previous blogs:

  • Hiking, biking and trail-running in the Boise Foothills is in full swing! Here's a blog I wrote about five recommended spring hikes, a cross-foothills biking trip and Watchman trail. From last March, the headline was "Boise Foothills dry up fast, ready for hiking, biking, trail-running; Have fun!"  Sound familiar? 
  • Hiking, biking and camping in the Owyhees would be perfect this weekend. Here's one destination that is worth checking out near Succor Creek State Park, near Homedale. It's called Sage Creek
  • Six spring camping recommendations - Bruneau Dunes State Park, Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area, Celebration Park, Succor Creek State Park, Leslie Gulch and Steens Mountain. How can you go wrong? 
There you have it! 

I'm holding a yard sale for my son's AA travel hockey team on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. if you'd like to stop by. See our Craigslist ad for details ... 

I'm also working on finalizing a new version of Boise Trail Guide, which is growing from 75 hiking and running routes close to home, to 90 hiking and running routes close to home. The book will have a new cover and new photos inside as well. I'm hoping the book will be available for retail sales by mid-April. 

Have a good weekend!