Thursday, October 15, 2015

Tap into great hikes, bike rides and high mountain lakes near McCall in the fall

Wendy on the new Huckleberry Trail. Great lake views the whole way.

Views of Payette Lake today from the Huckleberry Trail. 
Short hike to Josephine Lake.

Elena enjoyed the hike. 
Jim Giuffre and Doug Lawrence on Bear Pete Trail 

Yours truly at 8,000 feet on Bear Pete 

Riding at Jug Mountain Ranch is a blast! They also have a shuttle. 
Riding downhill on Elk Trail at Brundage ... always a hoot! 
Hi all,

I've been hanging out in McCall this week, doing a little deer hunting in the mornings, working in the afternoons, and getting a few chores done at our Cozy Cabin.

The weather has been stellar in McCall this week, and there are no issues with smoke or visibility whatsoever. The fall colors are ablaze, with aspens going off in deep yellow, shrubs a deep red, and tamarack trees also are turning as we speak.

It's worth traveling to the McCall area to do some late-season hiking or biking at any elevation you want -- that kind of opportunity certainly won't last too much longer. Remember that it's hunting season so wear bright colors!

Here are some ideas for quick get-aways before colder and wetter weather comes soon. There is a 50 percent chance of showers on Saturday afternoon, so try to get up there on Friday to enjoy some sunshine ...

  • Five easy-to-access kid-friendly high mountain lakes close to McCall - Check out this blog from the summer of 2013. Still just as valid today.
  • Hike, ride or run the 10-mile Loon Lake Loop while you still can ... check out my previous blog post on the Loon Lake Loop. It's a beauty!  Cap off the day with a soak at Burgdorf Hot Springs.  
  • Now's a great time to tackle Bear Pete Trail before it snows - it's an expert to advanced trail because of the vertical (3,524 feet) and distance (17.5 miles), some of it hike-a-bike. See my guide, Mountain Biking in McCall for details. Bear Pete Trailhead starts at Cloochman Summit, north of Upper Payette Lake, and ends north of Burgdorf. Allow for a full day for this ride. And then soak at Burgdorf Hot Springs afterwards! 
  • Go biking at Jug Mountain Ranch, Tamarack or Brundage. The lifts at Brundage are closed now, but you can climb the mountain on a variety of trails and then ride Elk Trail back down to the bottom. Or try the "big ride" from McCall by riding Bear Basin Road to the top of Brundage, ride Elk Trail to the bottom, and then ride Growler and 488 back to Bear Basin.  
  • Ride the Huckleberry Trail loop at Ponderosa State Park, ride Bear Basin or the Payette Rim Trail. See my previous blog post from this summer for details on these trails. All of these trails are great for hiking or trail-running as well.  
If you're stuck in Boise this weekend, consider getting involved with the Boise Water and Open Space Campaign. There's a canvas event going on Saturday with Mayor Bieter at Redwood Park. See the campaign web site for more information. And vote yes on Nov. 3rd!  

There you have it! Have fun! 
- SS 

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