Life off Interstate 84 - Idaho

The BondyWeb in Mountain Home

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(19 April 2014)  My name is Tim Bondy and the owner of this website.  As of Jan 1st, 2014 we moved to a different domain.  Please head over to the Bondy Blogs Website at  Different address, different system but same type of great articles, photos, stories and information. 

You are here: Mtn Home Outdoor Local Outdoor News Long Tom Reservoir Area Hike

Long Tom Reservoir Area Hike

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Addie looks at Bennett Mountain Idaho
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Saturday April 30th, 2011: Decided to check the Long Tom Reservoir area for some rock hounding, gold panning and to just get out of town. My dog Addie accompanied me on this trip. With the past week's weather I knew conditions might be rather muddy so I planned to stay on dirt roads the entire time.

Where I Went
I headed north out of Mountain Home, Idaho on Highway 20 and turned north on what I call the “Prairie Cut-Off Road”. Officially I think this gravel road is called National Forest Service Road 131 and heads to the South Fork of the Boise River below Anderson Dam. About 3 miles after turning on to the Prairie Cut-Off Road there is a dirt road heading up into the hills. I parked at this intersection and started walking roughly southwest. The hike was only about a total of 3 miles out and back.

Conditions on April 30, 2011
The dirt road I walk was semi-muddy and partially dry but a nice easy walk. At one point there is a gate you have to go through so don't forget to leave it the way you found it. I'm guessing this is a grazing allotment as all the maps and data I have indicate it's all BLM land.

Fence along ridge to Long Tom Reservoir Overlook
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As far as trash? The lower sections of the road has its fair share of junk ranging from tires, an old metal barrel, cinder blocks and other crap. Obviously this area in squarely in the middle of the infamous IDS. Once you get inside the fenced area the trash magically disappears but you still get to deal with the many cow patties.

What I Discovered
My goal was to get a view of the Long Tom Reservoir from a ridge southeast of the lake. I've never been to this reservoir but figure I'll head out there sometime soon and get an up close and personal look at it. From my vantage point of 560 feet above and 1.3 miles southeast of the reservoir, it looked like Long Tom was still frozen. Yeah, I know it doesn't make much sense but that's what it appeared to me.

Long Tom Reservoir from above and southeast of the lake
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There were plenty of birds in this area and my dog got close (no closer that 10 feet) to a few of them. Addie flushed two bigger sized birds that were at least partially orangy-rust colored. Not a clue what species they were even after searching the internet for a long time. The road inside the fenced area also appears to be what I call a coyote freeway. Lots of coyote sign! Deer and elk have visited this area recently as their footprints were all over the road.

The views along this hike were quite impressive. House Mountain, Bennett Mountain and a distant slice of what I think were the heavily snow covered Trinity Mountains made the whole hike worth it. There are a few deep valleys I would have liked to explore but the closer I got to them the muddier things got.

Is this House Mountain Idaho?
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Rock Hounding and Gold Panning
I forgot my gold pan but I certainly didn't need one. I suspect this isn't gold country and I didn't even get close to a streambed. As far as rocks? Not many surprises where found. Either old rhyolite and some less hard gray rock was the main stuff here. I found one small quartz “crystally” type rock and that was it.

Why? You Say!
These little hikes into the nearby mountains are a good get away and good exercise for a guy like me. I've rarely ever see another human in all the hikes I've been on so I guess not many other Mountain Homeys venture out to these places. Cannot understand why there aren't more hikers out and about but you should try it. The worst that could happen is you'd come upon a gold deposit and get rich? In any case, April 30th was the last day of "Unplug and Be Outside" (

What Say You
So was Long Tom Reservoir still frozen on April 30th, 2011? Why aren't there any hikers out in the local mountains? Know of any good rock hounding spots close to Mountain Home? Leave a comment or just get out into the semi-wilds and wave when you see me.


Comments (2)
  • Tim DeSantis  - Long Tom Jog

    Hey Tim, I am an avid near 50 jogger. I go real slow but this year I hit several trails and dirt roads outside of Mountain Home. October 8th 2011 was a nice day to get outside i jogged up the ridge and it wore me out but when I was on top of the ridge it was a nice view of the resevoir. I then jogged back down and turned right down into the water so my dog could get some water and a swim. Total jog was just over an hour but it is nice to be outdoors. I was not sure what this little lake was until I watched your video; this is where i was. Thanks for the video.

    Tim D

  • Tim Bondy the Admin

    Tim: Thanks for the comment. So, have you ran into any snakes while out and about with your dog. It will be nice to start hiking the Owyhees and the Bennett Hills area and not have to worry about the dog.

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