Thursday, June 30, 2022

10 must-see, must-do outdoorsy ideas for the 4th of July holiday and Summer 2022

If you've got a suitable 4x4, truck camping in hard-to-reach places can be gratifying! 

Hi all, 

The 4th of July long weekend is coming up! Many people have already made plans, but in case you haven't and need some inspiration, I am recommending 10 must-see, must-do activities not only for this weekend, but for the whole summer season:

1. Float a river (day trip) - we're blessed with so many options here, but the summer season is now open on the Boise River! See details about floating the Boise River, renting a raft, etc. Warm summer weather also gets people jazzed about floating the Payette River, either the Main Payette, South Fork Payette or Cabarton run on the North Fork. Check with Cascade Raft & Kayak, Bear Valley RaftingIdaho Whitewater Unlimited and the Payette River Company about guided trips. The Payette's calmer sections are great for stand-up paddle boarding (SUP), sit-on-top kayaking and canoeing. See my post about 10 premium locations to go kayaking or SUP'ing in SW Idaho. 

Float a river! This is on the Cabarton stretch of the Payette River. 

2. Climb a mountain - The pinnacle is to climb Mount Borah, but there are so many other options in Idaho, with dozens of peaks over 10,000 feet and 8 peaks over 12,000 feet. See Idaho mountain expert Tom Lopez's list of recommended mountain peaks. McCall mountain expert John Platt also has an extensive list of peaks and mountains that he's climbed. 

3. Ride the ski lift to the top of Bogus BasinBrundage Mountain, Tamarack Resort or Sun Valley and go hiking or biking from there.

4. Take your kids fishing - See the list of Idaho Fish and Game's Family Fishing Waters to find some great recommendations close to home.

5. Go backpacking in the Sawtooths, White Clouds, Pioneers or Big Lost Mountain Range. Snow levels are at roughly 7,500-8,000 feet in the Sawtooths, creek crossings are high and hazardous, See Michael Lanza's recommended hikes in the Sawtooths in his blog, the Big Outside. See a recommended major loop in the White Clouds in Backpacker mag. For a great hike in the Pioneers, see my blog post about hiking Broad Canyon. For the Big Lost range, see this overview in Summit   

6. Sleep under the stars in a dark sky venue like Bear Valley in the Boise National Forest, the Owyhee Canyonlands or outside of Stanley.

Catch a trout on the Middle Fork Salmon River. 

7. Fly into the Middle Fork of the Salmon River and go fly-fishing for native cutthroat trout. Air taxi services in Boise, Cascade or McCall can take you into the Middle Fork in less than an hour. All fishing is catch and release.

8. Go mountain biking on a classic loop trail like Fisher-Williams in the White Clouds, Loon Lake north of McCall or Around the Mountain at Bogus Basin. 

Climbing up a short hill to finish the Fisher-Williams Loop (courtesy Salsa cycles)

9. Go SUP'ing, boating or swimming in a refreshing, natural Idaho mountain lake like Payette Lake, Redfish Lake, or Priest Lake. See my post on 10 perfect paddling destinations for kayaking and SUPs in SW Idaho for ideas. 

10. Go car camping in the Middle Fork Boise River area, North Fork Boise River area, the Middle Fork of the Payette River area or Bear Valley. There are some reservable fee campgrounds and some dispersed camping areas. See the Boise National Forest, Payette National Forest or Sawtooth National Forest web sites for more information. 

For further enrichment on Idaho bucket list trips, see an Idaho bucket list post from Boise State radio, and a post that I did listing another 30 bucket list trips that they didn't cover. 

Remember: Be smart about Fire Safety this weekend ... we put out a post yesterday from Recreate Responsibly Idaho reminding folks that no fireworks are allowed on public lands, no exploding shooting targets, and be sure to put out your campfire before you leave the site ... make sure it is completed out, cold to the touch. 
- SS

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