Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Boulder Mountain Hike

Last Saturday I hiked Boulder Mountain near McCall. Having never been in the Lick Creek Mountains, it was a great opportunity to see a new corner of Idaho. As is typical for me, I slept in and got a late start. After checking out the reservoir near the trailhead I was immediately stunned by the number of people on this trail... dozens of teenagers were backpacking out and I saw quite a few other hikers on the trail moving in both directions. Pretty high volume for Idaho where most outings result in seeing no one!

In less than an hour I reached Boulder Lake where a brief conversation with a kid resulted in him telling me I should hike slower and enjoy nature more. Perhaps he was right but that means getting up earlier - a total no-go! From there I hiked the trail around the lake under increasingly snowy and muddy conditions. Despite the conditions, there were people camped along the lake including some that brought llamas with them. Upon reaching the upstream side of Boulder Lake I ditched the trail and hiked the mostly bare south slopes of Boulder Mountain to the summit. The mostly dry terrain was a welcome respite, however near the summit I was forced on to some rotten snow that made me glad I went the way I did!

On top, I mostly had the summit and incredible views to myself. Not having hiked this area before, I was greeted with a summit panorama populated by many unfamiliar summits. More terrain to learn! Before I left four other hikers reached the summit... the one guy I talked to was from Caldwell. I thought about continuing on to nearby Jughandle Mountain but the low snow levels and late hour eliminated that option. Thus I headed directly down to Boulder Lake and to the trail, bypassing the snowy and muddy terrain that vexed me on the ascent. I should have ascended that way - the terrain was a little bit rocky and much more enjoyable!

After getting back to the car, I headed back home. However I decided to check out the bankrupt Tamarack Resort near Donnelly since I hadn't been there before. It's not every day you get to see a bankrupt ski resort! I found lots of partially built structures along with a general post-apocalyptic vibe. Quite unusual, but the scenery along Lake Cascade was incredible!

Trip statistics: 7.17 miles, 2418' elevation gain, 4:28h

Boulder Mountain Photos!
GPS Track


Cathy said...

Another nice day for a walk in the woods. I love all the detail that the new watch yields!

Cathy said...

Great pictures as well. I always did love the mountain scenery.