Showing posts from July, 2008

Warm Springs Meadow

Location: Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Idaho
Distance: ~5-6 miles one way
Elevation gain (loss): 850 feet
Date: July 28-30, 2008

Warm Springs Meadow in the White Cloud Mountains is not spectacular by White Cloud standards. But I went on the three day, two night backpacking trip there to survey surrounding streams for bull trout. The entire area that I hiked through in the three days was devastated by the 40,000+ acre Valley Road Fire in 2005. There were no living trees except for those isolated in the middle of the meadow, but there were fantastic wildflowers everywhere.

The hike begins at an elevation of 8,100 ft at the top of the Fisher Creek Road and descends 850 feet to the middle of the meadow. Most of the elevation change is in the first couple miles, while the trail along the valley bottom only gently loses elevation, and the meadow is mostly flat. The initial descent is a part of the very popular Fisher Creek mountain biking loop, so beware of bikers coming up on you fro…

Yellowstone National Park

Location: northwestern Wyoming
Dates: July 11-13, 2008

My first visit to Yellowstone National Park was in July 2008. I'm not going to go into details, but here is a list of the places I visited:

Grant Village - I camped here the first nightUpper Geyser Basin - includes Old Faithful, and I walked around the basinGrand Canyon of the YellowstoneMadison - camped here the second nightLower Geyser Basin - includes Fountain Paint Pot Here are some photos from that visit. For more see my post on my June 2011 visit.

© Copyright 2017 Matthew Pintar. All rights reserved.

Jenny Lake

Location: Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Date: July 11, 2008

During my first time in Grand Teton National Park I made the hike around Jenny Lake. I also went to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point. The loop around the lake is mostly flat, but getting to the falls and Inspiration Point requires a bit of elevation gain. The falls and Inspiration Point are located on the far, western side of the lake.

This entire area is heavily used, and if you want to see the falls without walking around the lake you can pay to ride a ferry across the lake. Here are some photos from that hike.

© Copyright 2017 Matthew Pintar. All rights reserved.

Fourth of July & Washington Lakes

Location: Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Idaho
Distance: 2.5 miles one way
Elevation gain: ~800 ft
Date: July 3, 2008

Fourth of July Lake is one of the most easily accessible lakes in the White Cloud Mountains of Sawtooth National Recreation Area. The well-maintained dirt road along Fourth of July Creek ends at a trailhead at an elevation of about 8,800 feet. From the trailhead it is only 1.5 miles and 500 feet of elevation gain to the lake, which sits at an elevation of about 9,390 ft. The trail can be somewhat steep in sections, but it is well maintained.

The trail to Fourth of July Lake goes through forest and meadows, and Patterson Peak rises to 10,887 ft above the eastern end of the lake. From Fourth of July Lake it is a one mile hike to Washington Lake. The two lakes are at the same elevation, but the trail gains and then loses 200 ft as it crosses a divide between the two. This section of the trail passes through thin forest and a rocky clearing on the pass where a small un…

Frog Lake

Location: Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Idaho
Distance: 11.5 miles one way
Elevation gain: ~2700 feet
Date: July 2, 2008

Frog Lake is on the eastern side of the White Cloud Mountains, but can also be accessed from the Fourth of July trailhead on the western side. Since I was at Jimmy Smith Lake the previous day doing amphibian surveys, I hiked to Frog Lake from the trailhead along the East Fork of the Salmon River. From this trailhead it is 11.5 miles to Frog Lake with moderate (for that distance) elevation gain of 2,700 feet. I did this 23 mile round trip hike as a day hike before making the 1.5 drive back to Stanley.

The beginning of the trail is the worst part. It begins by rapidly gaining 500 feet in elevation through the high desert on BLM land. There are no trees here, and even in the morning the sun was very hot. But soon after this climb trees appear in the valley and the elevation gain is more moderate. The majority of the trail follows Little Boulder Creek, and there we…

Jimmy Smith Lake

Location: Custer County, Idaho
Distance: ~0.5 mile to lake
Elevation gain: ~250 feet
Date: July 1, 2008

Jimmy Smith Lake is a natural lake formed by a landslide on Big Lake Creek in Custer County, Idaho. The lake is located above the East Fork of the Salmon River just outside the eastern boundary of Sawtooth National Recreation Area. The land immediately around the lake is owned by the state of Idaho, but much of the area around there is BLM land.

The trail to the lake is short but steep and well maintained. A 1.5 mile long trail goes around the north side of the lake and continues for many miles into the White Cloud Mountains. There are some campsites on the BLM land along the road to the trailhead. I first made the hike to the lake after setting up camp in the evening on July 1, 2008. There was no one else at the lake, but there was a cow moose and her calf in one of the lake's coves. The lake is in the high desert, so there are no trees surrounding it, but the riparian area at …