Free Range Hiking


I had a great list of to-do’s last summer; one was to hike a trail every week. Well, that didn’t happen.  In the first blush of retirement I lost my mind and couldn’t focus on one thing for longer than a gnat’s eyelash.  Soooo…. this year I am restating my goal … hike a trail every week.

Mala's my hiking partner today ... & Her First Selfie

Mala’s my hiking partner today … & Her First Selfie

Up here in Council, Idaho we are surrounded by the Payette National Forest (PNF) and many Idaho state parks are within easy driving distance and around Boise there is the famous Ridges to Rivers trails.  (see no excuses for me is there?) The past couple of nights I’ve spent more than a few hours on the PNF website searching for direction/location to the trails listed …    The forest website is less than helpful with any directions or lat/longs that might be useful in locating said trails … which means I googled and google earthed to find locations for these hikes.  Sweetie asked if I needed a forest map … Me? Use a paper map?  Well I suppooose I could have done that.

One of my goals this summer is to hike all 22 trails on the Council Ranger District … these trails have intriging names like Calamity Creek, Indian Mountain, and Warm Springs Creek Hummm…warm springs? Could there possibly be a hot spring there ?? (my inner soaker wonders aloud).

As of this morning check off Deseret Trailhead. A trail head from which I presumed would lead to the Deseret Cabin Trail #201.  Did it? How would I know …  did I mention a lack of signage? Never one to let a little thing like a sign or correct directions deter me I figured I would just free range and headed up a ridge line path that may or may not have been a trail, but did have the occasional human treadmark along with various deer, elk, cow and dog prints.

Lunch Break ... cool views

Lunch Break … cool views

Oh! I downloaded a very cool app to try out … iHikeGPS … I just turned it on, downloaded the forest and usgs maps, clicked on track and took off.  I now have a track overlay on the map showing my upward climb, however after lunch I forgot to turn it back on for the return trip. I only used the basic features and will try out the more advanced ones throughout the summer.  Oh! Another cool thing it does is adds photos as waypoints.

Spring Flowers Smell Wonderful

Spring Flowers Smell Wonderful

Here’s my Council hikes list for summer 2015. Give me a hollar if you’d like to join me on an adventure or two.

  1. Allison Creek Trail #514
  2. Bear Creek Trailhead
  3. Cabin Creek Campground
  4. Calamity Creek Trail
  5. Council Mountain Trail #198
  6. Crystal Creek Trail #205
  7. Deep Creek Trail #218
  8. Deseret Cabin Trail #201
  9. Deseret Trailhead           4/21/15
  10. Eckels Creek Trail #223
  11. Eckels Creek/Kinney Creek Trail #222
  12. Evergreen Campground
  13. Goodrich Creek Trail #241
  14. Grouse Creek/Grizzly Creek Trail #252
  15. Huckleberry Campground
  16. Indian Mountain/Fall Creek Trail #518
  17. Kinney Creek Trail #221
  18. Little Bear Creek Trail #226
  19. Sheep Rock Interpretive Site (minor)
  20. Sheep Rock Trail #519
  21. Warm Spring Creek Trail #203
  22. Wilson Creek Trail


I’ve realized I don’t need to be Dorothy and sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow …. there are exotic, odd, interesting and different places to experience “right here at home”. And when I return I feel like Dorothy, “there’s no place like home”.


So ... what do you think?

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