Thursday, May 12, 2022

Weather drying out in the Bruneau Desert this weekend; Three trips worth exploring!

Courtesy Roots Rated web site CKnowles. 

Hi all, 

What an amazing week it's been! The freak snowstorm on Monday dropped 18" of new snow at Bogus Basin, and backcountry skiers flocked to the ski area to enjoy the fresh *pow.*

I found myself cutting up giant tree limbs and branches that fell off big maple trees around our house for the next 2 days! Did 4 runs to the Ada County Landfill on Tuesday morning. All of the tree services were booked out for weeks! Got 'er done! 

The weather looks wet in the mountains in this weekend (more backcountry skiing?), but there should be some weather windows to enjoy the Boise foothills trails at least by Sunday, when a high temperature of 82 degrees is forecast. 

I rode the Cartwright 4 Summits road ride yesterday (the dump loop), and the bitterbrush was beginning to bloom with some sunshine in the afternoon. Arrowleaf balsamroot is blooming everywhere as well along with some lupine and other flowers. 

Courtesy Roots Rated site/CKnowles

I'm not seeing any rain in the forecast in the Bruneau or Grandview areas this weekend, and they may see a high temp of 85 degrees on Sunday, so I'll share a few ideas to try in that direction.  

1. BLM Shoofly Oolite Interpretive trail - This is a great spot for young kids and families and anyone who'd like to explore some cool rock formations and learn more about the region's geology (ever heard of the ancient Lake Idaho?). How to get there - Go to Grandview, go left on ID 78, then right on the Owyhee Backcountry Byway. The Oolite site is 10.3 miles up the byway, on the right-hand side of the road. 

West Fork Shoofly Loop

2. West Fork Shoofly Quick Loop - This is a little discovery hike that I pioneered when researching the Owyhee book. Click on the link to an earlier blog post with all the details. The trailhead is located 18 miles off of the Owyhee Backcountry Byway, turning left off the main road onto a two-track road (AWD vehicles OK) that leads over to a trailhead in the Little Jacks Wilderness. Distance: 5.5 miles; travel time: 3 hours; 850 feet of vertical gain. The hike requires some navigation so be sure to print out the map before you go. 

3. Bruneau Overlook - If you've never been to the Bruneau Overlook, it's a spectacular sight to behold. Definitely worth the trip. Click on the link for driving directions. It's easy to get there, and you don't need a 4WD vehicle to navigate the good gravel road. Bring a lunch and plenty of water and enjoy the views. You can walk along the rim to see more of the canyon if you want. 

BTW - For trip-planning purposes, you might want to know that the weather gods are expecting that we will have continued wetter-than-normal weather, and cooler-than-normal weather in May.


Have fun! 
- SS 

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