Thursday, November 12, 2020

Six destinations near Boise for a boot hike, xc ski, snowshoe in the snow!

Deer Point service road leading to the Boise Ridge Road (taken 11-11-20)

Hi all, 

In less than a week's time, we've had an amazing amount of snow piling up in the Idaho mountains! Wendy and I went for a boot hike on the Deer Point service road on Wednesday afternoon (11-11), and we were amazed to be walking through nearly a foot of snow as we neared the high saddle between Deer Point and the Boise Ridge. 

The Mores Creek snowtel site shows 12 inches of snow at Mores Creek Summit, and there's at least 3-6 inches around McCall and Stanley, depending on elevation. Snow is beginning to build in the mountains, and starting tonight, there's a huge base-making storm descending on Idaho that could dump another 1-2 feet of snow in the Boise Mountains, West Central Mountains and Central Mountains. Woo hoo! 

Read my latest post in that details the weekend storm. 

Our snow hike yesterday just felt really invigorating on a sunny but brisk afternoon. The temperatures were in the low 20s. No wind. The late-afternoon sun created a cobalt-clear postcard sky with heavily snow-flocked trees in the background. Just gorgeous! 

Wendy and I are from the Midwest originally, so we always are eager to get out and play in the snow after the first significant snow storm. The Deer Point road is one of the best places to go boot-hiking, snow-shoeing, or xc skiing to access the Boise Ridge and enjoy a backcountry experience just a few minutes away from Bogus Basin Mountain Resort. The parking area is near mile 13 on Bogus Basin Road. Good place for dogs, too.

My outdoor tip this week highlights five other destinations where you could take a walk in the snow in the greater Boise area.

1. Bogus Basin Nordic Highway and Mores Mountain - The front side of Bogus Basin ski area is off-limits to backcountry skiers/snowshoers (see message here). People are being directed to the Nordic Highway, which is perfect for xc skiing and snowshoeing. Drive to the Nordic lodge to begin your adventure. Backcountry skiers are being steered to Superior, Pine Creek and Mores Mountain. 

New trail leading from BB Road over to Sweet Connie/Stack Rock jct. About 3 miles one-way.

2. New trail to Sweet Connie/Stack Rock - Park at the pullout on Bogus Basin Road (near mile 10) and take the new trail going over to Sweet Connie and Freddy's Stack Rock Trail. Good place for an out-and-back boot hike. Snowshoes will be suitable after the snow gets deeper. Dogs are A-OK.

3. Mores Creek Summit - Take Idaho 21 to Idaho City and continue to Mores Creek Summit, trailhead for Pilot Peak and Sunset Mountain. This is a popular spot for snowmobile riders going up to Pilot Peak and backcountry skiers and snowshoers. Also a fun spot for kids to play in the snow in the parking lot. Both of the snow roads taking off from Mores Creek summit are steep and continuous, but definitely doable. 

4. Idaho City Park n Ski areas - Idaho Parks and Recreation officials said that grooming won't start until December 1st in the park n ski areas, but anyone could still break their own trail at any of the trailheads. After Friday's storm, the park n ski parking lots may not be plowed until Saturday ... you might call the ITD shop in Idaho City to check on status.

5.  McCall/Bear Basin - People are skiing on the McCall Golf Course, and it should be possible to xc ski or snowshoe at Bear Basin as the snow gets deeper after Friday's storm system passes through. If you were thinking about skinning up Brundage Mountain, Brundage officials have specific guidance on skinning hours at the resort (before 9 a.m. or after 4:30 p.m.). See details here.

Have fun!
- SS

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