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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 Rockhounding ATV Trip to Wilson Flats Area

Rockhounding ATV Trip to Wilson Flats Area

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Long views from Wilson Flats
Click for a larger photo.

After a wonderful May 25th hike up into the Wilson Flats area above Anderson Ranch Dam, Toni and I decided to take the ATV up there for some rock hounding. The whole trip turned out a little different than I thought.

Rock Hounding in the Wilson Flats Area
My previous hike up in this area made me think there could be a real treasure trove of quartz crystals just waiting to be discovered. And I still believe this could be a good place to rock hound. We just didn't really give it much of a look like we wanted to.

The places we traveled to around the Wilson Flats / Granite Mountain area contained a lot of smoky quartz, feldspar and one nice piece of drusy quartz. My thoughts were the flanks of Granite Mountain on NFS Road 611 would be a good place to explore. I also saw what I think was an old pit off NFS Road 607 that showed promise during the earlier hike. We never made it to either place.

The “Not Well Planned But Fun” ATV Trip Adventure
My planning for this trip was to input some “waypoints” into my Garmin GPS unit and wing it from there. Looking at Google Earth it sure looked straight forward but reality sometimes slaps you across the face. In this case, we had a great time, great experience and will head back to Wilson Flats again.

Click for a larger photo.

Experience the Unexpected and Beauty of Wilson Flats
Our Route:
1. Headed up Wilson Flats and stopped at the intersection of NFS Road 606 and 607. This is where we found the piece of drusy quartz.

2. I made my first “mis-turn” on the trail that heads straight towards the bluffs overlooking the dam. The views from “the edge” of this cliff were spectacular while looking almost straight down on the South Fork of the Boise River and the dam itself. Incredible!

3. We then headed north on this trail through a mixture of wide open country and many nice tree lined meadows. We stopped at 43.369599, -115.469921 for a look at the rocks in this area. My wife remarked that she “would buy this piece of land and build her dream home if she could”. Nice testimony considering some of the places in Idaho we've visited.

4. We ignored the turn onto NFS Road 611 that would have taken us up on the flanks of Granite Mountain. Time was getting short and I wanted to take the long loop back to the truck. Granite Mountain can wait for a different day.

5. My 2nd mis-turn was taking NFS Road 609 instead of 607. NFS 607 would have lead us on a nice loop back to NFS Road 606 and then down off the escarpment. NFS Road 609 is a little more primitive than what I expected and at the ½ way point a very large downed tree blocked the trail. The portion we did travel was very beautiful but we had to backtrack to NFS 606.

Deep forested are on Wilson Flats in Idaho
Click for a larger photo.

1st Impressions Can Be Misleading
As we have all been taught, 1st impressions are lasting impressions. In this case, my first impression of Wilson Flats was it was wide open country that was quite tame. My 1st impressions were dead wrong. Overall, some of the trail system up on Wilson Flats is quite rugged, rough and somewhat adventurous for an old couple like us. It's also quite scenic and lot more forested than it appears from maps, satellite imagery or even looking at it from the Dixie side of the gorge.

Stats and Additional Info About This ATV Ride
1. Total Mileage Ridden: 12.3 miles
2. Vertical Gain / Loss: 2,283 feet
3. Time on Trail Including Stops: 4 hours 9 minutes
4. Trailhead Distance from Mountain Home: 30.3 miles or 20 miles as the crow flies.
5. Rock Hounding Potential: This area needs to be explored more. I'd say “Fair-Good Potential”.
6. Backpacking Potential: Excellent for a 2 Day / 1 Night trip.
7. See some more photos from this trip:

Let Tim Bondy Know What You Think
Leave a comment about your experience in the Wilson Flats area or questions about this trip. I know all our fellow Idahoan rock hounds, ATV'er and outdoors people would enjoy hearing from you.


Comments (2)
  • Tom Hissong  - nice trip

    Looks like a pretty ride. Beautiful up there this time of year.

  • Tim Bondy the Admin

    Yeah Tom, it was quite nice on Wilson Flats. I doubt come Late July or August I'd want to be up there. And the Fall Creek area is also very nice right now. Hiked Tally Baker Creek and another area recently. Those stories are coming soon but looking for a job is taking up most of my energy.

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