idaho adventure — majestic summit creek, a dog’s and hiker’s dream

summiting summit creek

summiting summit creek

Taylor and I often wish we could be paid to do the things we love like our fly-fishing guide friends and significant others. While our skills would likely include “drinking wine, reading and yoga,” hiking would undoubtedly be at the top of that list.

While we don’t have any “customers,” the only motivation we need is each other and the great outdoors of Idaho. We never struggle to find another area to explore, and the summit never disappoints.

One challenging combination to find in Idaho is a hike that lasts longer than your post-work grind hike, offers a unique view, won’t result in an ATV rescue, and features water for the smash sisters throughout the trail. Enter Summit Creek (the excellent recommendation of Charlotta Harris, mother of dear friends and die-hard brass blossom supporter).

To access Summit Creek, you drive about 30 miles east of Ketchum to the summit of Trail Creek Pass (a curvy dirt road not meant for the faint of heart or thin-tired vehicles). Park in the first grassy lot on the right side, and head down the only trail in sight.

What follows is a moderate 7-mile hike (there and back) that meanders through meadows, over a creek countless times, across a couple bogs, through an “elephant graveyard” (an avalanche drainage from years ago that makes for an impressive view), and eventually up a grueling .75 mile saddle — trust us, it’s worth it.

The finale is nothing short of majestic. Devil’s Bedstead and the Northern peaks of the Pioneers are all of a sudden directly in front of you, making you feel at once accomplished, intimidated, inspired, and insignificant. Bring a sweater and lots of water for the top. It gets chilly, and you probably haven’t hydrated enough!

We highly recommend this hike. It would make for a great backpacking trail, mountain bike ride (although TBD if mountain bikes are allowed access), and hike with middle school aged kids, as evidenced by Stacey’s notes in Taylor’s hiking book.

The entire trip took us about 4 hours including driving, but Taylor and I feel confident that we could bust this sucker out in about 2 hours (at least the hiking part)…We’ll have to prove that to ourselves at some point.

The adventure ended with two entirely wiped out black dogs (they probably made the hike into a 15-mile hike with their shadowing shenanigans and river otter antics) and the best burger, possibly ever, at Grumpy’s — complete with a gluten free bun and a schooner full of hard cider.

It was a quintessential Ketchum Saturday… Thanks to our dear friend, Cody, and our new friend, Lisa, for accompanying us!

beaver ponds

beaver ponds

dog's dream

dog’s dream

first meadow

first meadow

tay's favorite flower in a pretty purple

tay’s favorite flower in a pretty purple

perfect black dog swimming hole

perfect black dog swimming hole

summit creek

"elephant graveyard"

“elephant graveyard”

the bigger the stick...

the bigger the stick…

IMG_8903

maude pod excited about the summit

maude pod excited about the summit

northern aspect of the pioneers — first glimpse of the fantastic view to come

northern aspect of the pioneers — first glimpse of the fantastic view to come

cody and lisa

cody and lisa

summit creek

summit creek

summit creek

both girls on point

both girls on point

one of many wooden bridges

one of many wooden bridges

bog and a dog

bog and a dog

thank goodness for the creek!

thank goodness for the creek!

the full view

the full view on the way down

IMG_4185

IMG_4160

headed back down

the drive back down — beautiful but seemingly treacherous

the drive back down — beautiful but seemingly treacherous

maudey trying to keep her eyes open

maudey trying to keep her eyes open

best burger ever at grumpy's

best burger ever at grumpy’s

schooners full of cider and a radler

schooners full of cider and a radler

krista and taylor

 

brass blossom

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