On Sunday February 27th, 2011 I decided to explore the area off Bennett Mountain Road east of Mountain Home, Idaho. Looking for a place to hike that wasn't snowbound and relatively close to home, the portion of Bennett Mountain Road that heads into the mountains/hills seemed like a good place to explore.
What I discovered was, this road is actually paved right to the top of the hills. And there is a good parking lot up there also. I'm probably the last living soul in the Mountain Home area to figure this out!
The Hike up Peak 4686
When I left home I had no plans other than to take the dog for a walk and get some exercise along a dirt road. But once I parked the truck, the peak just to the west started calling my name. So we headed up the steep eastern flank of Peak 4686.
According to my GPS unit, I gained about 400 feet elevation with a max slope of 37% to get to the top of this peak. Yeah, I was huffing and puffing to get up there but not nearly as bad as during my previous Fall hikes. And the views were quite wonderful during the accent stretching south into Nevada and both east and west along the Snake River Plains.
Hiking Conditions on February 27th, 2011
Obviously there are no trails to follow so cross-country hiking is the only way to go. Even though my truck thermometer show the temperature to be 26F, the ground was quite spongy and semi-muddy.
But it was quite easy to stay off the muddy stuff as most of the ground is covered with softball to basketball sized rocks. These rocks also made for a “not so easy hike”. I had to keep my eyes on the ground the entire time so I wouldn't trip every few steps. For the most part it was snow free thanks to southern exposure of Peak 4686.
Unusual Object - What the Heck is it?
Some things I find out in the wilds of Idaho perplex me. But during this hike I found something that I don't think there is an easy explanation. As I was climbing out of a rock depression, I spotted a home made cross sticking in the ground. From a distance, it appeared to be 2 sticks formed in the shape of a cross.
As you can see, the cross is actually made of two metal fence posts. But why would someone make a sign with the names “Art, Terr, Mary” and place it on a cross? This sign is less than 100 yard from Bennett Mountain Road pointing roughly southwest? Perplexing...or a logical explanation? You tell me.
End of Paved Portion of Bennett Mountain Road Map
Click here to see a map
Comments and Suggestions
O.K., let's hear it. How long have you known this road was paved? Leave a comment and I'll know just how “out of the know” I am about the Mountain Home area.
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