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

Idaho Outdoor News

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Trip Review from Loveridge Snake River Hike

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Part 2 of Short Hikes Located Close to Mountain Home Idaho

View of Snake River from near the Loveridge Bridge off Highway 51 in Idaho
Click picture for bigger version

(15 November 2011)
The Loveridge Snake River Hike was quite nice for a 2 hour door-to-door outing. Located on the south side of the Snake River the hike follows the Oregon Trail Road through BLM lands. Clocked in at just under 2.8 miles and 1 hour of walking, my dog Addie and I enjoyed the views around the Snake River and an impressive number of birds. Addie enjoyed the birds much more than I did.

Where: 42.933771, -115.753399

View Loveridge Snake River Hike in a larger map

Download the Google Earth File (.kmz):

Considering the assumed heavy fishing pressure this area gets, I was quite surprised by how clean and trash free the hike was. The main dirt road is likely a good place to hike even during wet periods but getting off on one of the 5 roads that head to the river? I'd say it would get quite muddy.

While hiking off trail, I found one Oregon Trail marker. I did not see any evidence of the trail like I've seen in other places but it was in a marshy area with heavy undergrowth. From what I've read, there are some easily viewable rutted trails from our past on the east side of Highway 51.

Click HERE for Part 1 of this "Short Hike Close to Mountain Home" series.  



Last Updated on Thursday, 17 November 2011 21:37

Two Close to Mt Home Discovery Hikes

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With winter closing in on us and rattlesnakes likely all underground, short easy hikes close to Mountain Home can turn the cold weather blahs into a “Discovery Hour” of sorts. Below are 2 quick hikes that require nothing more than 1.5 - 2 hours of your time.

Veterans Day Well Hike
This hike started just off the Northwest By-Pass and headed into BLM lands. My destination was a “well” that was shown on the “ID Crater Rings” topo map. I did not expect to actually find a well but what I did find was kind of interesting.

Water tank found on hike near Mountain Home Idaho
Click for a larger picture.

My 3 mile discovery hike lasted about 1 hour. While not one of the most scenic hikes in the Mountain Home area, the unimpeded panoramic views of the Bennett Hills, and Danskin Mountains is refreshing. This is cattle country so expect to find an abundance of cow patties and a fair share of trash/garbage alongside the trail. I wouldn't recommend this hike after a heavy rain either.

Park Near: 43.149101, -115.765528
Well and Tank Near: 43.153729, -115.786653

Hot Springs Reservoir Two - Hike on a Dry Lakebed
Hot Springs Reservoir is located just off Bennett Rd or 4 miles east of the Elmore County Landfill. This 2.65 mile hike took a little over 1 hour to complete. Most of the hike was on dirt roads and on the top of the boulder dam that impounds the reservoir. But with the water levels way down, we (my dog Addie and I) walked around on the dry lakebed for awhile.

Park Near: 43.076726, -115.505680 Head north until you encounter the dam wall and then head east.

Hop Springs Reservoir Two near Mountain Home Idaho
Click for the larger photo

Being strictly an agricultural water source, the Hot Springs Reservoir has been drawn down considerably as of this November 2011 hike. Again, this is cattle country and there is likely some private property bordering the reservoir so watch your step. We saw some antelope wandering in the distance and a fair number of birds. Here is a “Birding” link for your enjoyment:

Back to Your Regularly Scheduled Website
Now that my campaign for the Mountain Home City Council election is over, expect to see more outdoor stuff again. As a matter of fact, politics will take a back seat to business news even. Please come on back to see some of the places few people visit right in our own backyard.

Comments and question are encouraged on the Bondyweb. I also would like to hear about your adventures and places you visit. So leave a comment, question or answers to life's most vexing question...what the heck is there to do in Mountain Home, Idaho.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 November 2011 09:19

Early Fall Hike Near Fairfield Idaho

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Sun filters through pines trees in the Soldier Creek area near Fairfield Idaho

Excellent scenery, solitude and surprises along Soldier Creek highlighted this hike in the Sawtooth National Forest on NFS Trail 005. And the drive from Mountain Home to the Fairfield, Idaho area was relatively short with only a few minutes of gravel road driving.

NFS Trail 005 at a Glance

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  • The trailhead is at 43.498638, -114.834533 but I parked 0.8 miles south of it in the Pioneer Campground.
  • This hike was an out and back type but for the overly ambitious, a long loop could be planned.
  • The trail follows the North Fork of Soldier Creek.
  • This is a hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking trail only. In other words, no motor vehicles.
  • The North Fork and I suspect the South Fork of Soldier Creek was flowing rather nicely for the beginning of October 2011.

From Hike Along North Fork of Soldier Creek near Fairfield Idaho in October 2011

The Hike
The hike starts near Soldier Mountain Ski Area and heads almost straight north into the Sawtooth National Forest. As anyone who has been in this area before you know the mountains are about 80% sagebrush covered hillsides and 20% pine and deciduous forest. Because NFS Trail 005 follows Soldier Creek, most of the hike is through forested area.

The trail gradually climbs in elevation and my GPS data indicated the average slope was a steady 7%. Of course there are short stretches where the trail is steeper but nothing most people couldn't easily handle. The trail itself is in very good shape and easily followed but this is ranching country so expect a few (or a lot) cow patties along the way.

From Hike Along North Fork of Soldier Creek near Fairfield Idaho in October 2011

As a general rule, the hillsides on the east side of the trail are wide open with scattered stands of aspen, pines and other trees. The hillsides on the west side of the trail appeared steeper and tree covered most of the way. This contrast is what made this one of the most enjoyable hikes I've taken.

From Hike Along North Fork of Soldier Creek near Fairfield Idaho in October 2011

While my hike mileage totaled only about 7.5 miles I didn't make it to my planned destination. My plan was to head out to where the trails turns straight west towards the headwaters of the North Fork of Soldier Creek and what I hoped would be a good rock hounding spot. I never even made it to the spot where the trail turned west though.

The Surprises Encountered on This Hike
- I encountered 2 beaver dams on Soldier Creek. There is a healthy population of beavers if the amount of downed trees is any indication.

From Hike Along North Fork of Soldier Creek near Fairfield Idaho in October 2011

- This semi-short hike would make an excellent camping area. There are a ton of flat creekside places just begging to have a tent set up on them. There is an abundance of firewood and Soldier Creek gives you a source of water if you have a good filtration system.

- Obviously this creek supports a large number of deer and elk. This valley seems like a good spot for moose to call home. I didn't see any animals except a large number of chipmunks and birds though.

From Hike Along North Fork of Soldier Creek near Fairfield Idaho in October 2011

- I suspect wolves have been recent visitors to this area. I encountered what I think was wolf scat that appeared rather fresh. And there were a few sections of the trail where my dog was as spooked as I've ever seen her. I had to put a leash on Addie just so she would continue up the trail. Once the leash was on she was more than happy to continue on...and pull me up some steep sections :-)

- This trail seems like it gets some heavy weekend traffic during the summer but it's not the typical hiking trail. There are 3 creek crossings where your only option is to rock hop across. On 2 of the crossing there really was no way to stay dry even this late into the “dry season”.

From Hike Along North Fork of Soldier Creek near Fairfield Idaho in October 2011

North Fork of Soldier Creek Hike Stats
  1. Total Distance: 7.63 miles
  2. Elevation Gain/Loss: 1,740 feet
  3. Time on the trail: 4 hours 45 minute
  4. Elevation Spread: 5,850ft to 7,024ft
  5. Road Miles from Mountain Home: About 70 miles or 1 hour 20 minutes in the car.

From Hike Along North Fork of Soldier Creek near Fairfield Idaho in October 2011

Overall, this hike was one of my most enjoyable hikes ever. The scenery, when it opens up over the sagebrush hillside, is spectacular. If I had taken this hike a few days later in October, the many aspen tree groves would likely have been much more colorful. Encountering the beaver dams was a big plus. I will plan a trip up the South Fork of Soldier Creek soon. With plenty of water for my dog (wet weather is coming too), a more direct route into the mountains where I suspect the Idaho Batholith is exposed for some rock hounding and the a better chance for some Fall Colors make this especially appealing.

Long walk back to campground near Soldier Mountain Ski area

Hope you enjoyed this article. It getting late in the season so if you are going to head out to the higher elevation like the Soldier Creek area it better be soon. This might be a fun snowshoe adventure later in the season. Leave me a comment if you like. I'd like to hear from you.

Bondy blogs about hike on Soldier Creek Trail

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 October 2011 15:25

Mountain Home Lions Club Car Show Update

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Update:  The 2011 Mountain Home Lion's Club Rumble and Roar Car Show is held on Sunday August 7th. 

I was having problems finding information about this "Car Show" so I figure others are too.

Saturday August 6th, 2011 / 6:00PM:  Poker Run and live music starting at Les Schwab Tire.  The poker run ends at Cal Miller Park and MAYBE more live music in the park???

Sunday August 7th, 2011 / 8:00AM - 3:00PM:  The Rumble and Road Car Show in Carl Miller Park in Mountain Home, Idaho

Hope this helps!


Last Updated on Saturday, 06 August 2011 11:46

Mountain Bound? Boise National Forest News

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Boise National Forest Fire Info, Stanley Road Closure and Hot Dogs

Info about forest fires in Idaho

1. Forest Fires: Yep, it was a wet winter and spring this year but things are drying out up in the mountains. Forest fires and wildfires are a real threat now and it's good to stay informed if you're heading into the Boise National Forest in the next 2-3 months. Where do I get this information?

Why get surprised when heading into the mountains and forest...right?

2. Closed: NFS Road 579 off Highway 21 will be closed from August 8th – August 19th, 2011. This is updated information that changes the dates of the closure of this popular road called “The Stanley Road”.

Here is a map of the approximate location of the closure

View Larger Map

- Read the full story here: Media Advisory: Temporary Closure of Forest Road 579 from August 8 through August 19


3. Burnt Dogs: Guess it happens. Owners of dogs let them get a little too close to hot springs. The National Forest Service has been getting some calls about dogs dying from bad burns when they stray into the hot springs in the Lowman, Idaho area.

I really don't know what to say or think about this? Read the NFS article and make your moral judgment or not. Dog Owners Need to be Careful in Hot Springs



Last Updated on Thursday, 04 August 2011 20:32

Superb – Whiskey Jack Creek Hike

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From Whiskey Jack Hike near Featherville Idaho

Looking for a short but picturesque day hike? How about some gold panning along 2 lush and verdant creek valleys? Time is running out but if you plan now, you can still experience one of the best day hikes I have taken in Southern Idaho. I'm calling this hike the “Whiskey Jack Hike”, but its official name is NFS Trail 172B.

Where is Whiskey Jack Creek
The trailhead for this hike is about 5.3 miles (as the crow flies) from Featherville and just off Trinity Mountain Road.

View Larger Map

- I parked at 43.638533°, -115.356897° next to the sign for Crosscut Trail #172.
- Walk up the often used NFS “ROAD” 172 through a switchback and then bear left or north at 43.639757°, -115.356328° or at the sign for NFS Trail 172B.
- After about 100 yards the trail forks either west or north. Take NFS Trail 172B to the north and your journey begins.

The Trail Heading Down to Whiskey Jack Creek
From Whiskey Jack Hike near Featherville Idaho

Heading Down to Whiskey Jack Creek
Once you head away from Trinity Mountain Road and get on to NFS Trail 172B you are at a ridgeline above Whiskey Jack Creek. You head steadily downwards on a nice hiking trail that also allows motorcycles. This portion of the trail is quite shady, lush with ferns, brushy and lots of downed tree in the intermittent creek valley. There was some water running in this stream but very little.

Crossing Whiskey Jack
Once you level out in the bottom of Whiskey Jack Creek valley, the hillsides are more open and bare. But along the creek there is a veritable fortress of brush and bramble protecting the streambed. The trail will lead you to an opening to cross Whiskey Jack but don't expect to stay dry.

Addie Didn't have any Problems Crossing Whiskey Jack Creek
From Whiskey Jack Hike near Featherville Idaho

I had to walk through the stream which was easy but I certainly didn't want to soak my boots at the ¼ way mark of the hike. On this mid-July 2011 hike, the stream was about 10-15 feet across and 12-18 inches deep in the middle.

Campo Creek to NFS Road 170L
The trail on the other side of the stream crossing heads downstream or east for a few hundred feet before heading north again. This is when the trail starts following Campo Creek. It's a moderate climb for the rest of the hike.

From Whiskey Jack Hike near Featherville Idaho

The scenery just got better and better the higher I climbed. It remained lush and green along the creek and a mixture of lodgepole pines, Douglas Firs bordered the trail. I suspect this area was logged at one time in the distant past as some portions of the hillsides were bare.

This portion of the trail has some obstacles to contend with but nothing a regular out of shape guy couldn't handle. These obstacles were some pretty large downed trees laying across the trail. I doubt any motorcycle could make it down the trail however.

Just some of the downed trees across the trail near Campo Creek
From Whiskey Jack Hike near Featherville Idaho

Campo Creek was a rather small stream on the day I was there. The parts I saw where less than 10 feet across with depths ranging from a few inches to maybe 1 foot deep. Again, dense brush and bramble shelter the streambed pretty well. I cannot imagine there will be any water in this stream by mid September or even earlier. You get to cross Campo Creek once, but you'll stay dry.

The End and Heading Back
This portion of NFS Trail 172B ends at NFS Road 170L which would allow you to extend this hike much further. I suspect 170L doesn't get much traffic so it might be worth it to continue heading north for a few miles on this road.

At the intersection of NFS Trail 172B and 170L
From Whiskey Jack Hike near Featherville Idaho

Heading back, you get some good views of what looked like the southern portion of the Trinity Mountains. There were also an abundance of wildflowers but most were a week or so past their prime. Still, quite beautiful.

Who Should Take “The Whiskey Jack Hike?
Let's face it, I'm getting older and 10-20 mile day hikes are not going to be on my agenda any time soon. So any person in reasonably good shape could easily make this hike. If you are slightly or more out of shape, you'd enjoy this hike and could turn around anytime you wish.

According to my GPS and Google Earth, I hiked 4.75 miles total with a 1,600 foot elevation gain/loss. I could have gone further along NFS Road 170L but there was no water to be seen for my dog and it was getting hot. Yeah, I worry about this dog but probably don't need to.

There was a fairly large population of deer/horse flies and mosquitoes to contend with but nothing out of the ordinary for an Idaho mountain hike.

This was a great hike and I will be looking forward to doing this hike next year.

Read and See More About This Area:
- Whiskey Jack Creek Idaho Information:
- Photo Album from Picasa:

Comments Are Welcome
Hit me up with your question, concerns or anything to do with hiking, rock hounding or gold panning.


P.S. 15th
Last Updated on Monday, 18 July 2011 08:03

Paradise Trail Near Featherville Idaho Hike

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Good hiking views from NFS Trail 620 near Featherville

With the Idaho summer now heating up (finally) I chose NFS Trail 620 for a hike and some rock hounding. This trail is also called the Paradise Trail and is located off the Grouse Creek Road between Pine and Featherville.

Strenuous Hike for the Views
The hike began by parking just off Grouse Creek Road across from the 620 Trailhead. My dog Addie and I checked out the nearby Grouse Creek before heading up into the mountains. Lets just say that IDS have frequented this section of the creek. There was a bucket, beer cans and an assortment of other trash sitting in the stream itself. Gross and inexcusable.

From Paradise Trail near Pine and Featherville

For the first 2.75 miles of this hike the trails is basically carved into the side of the mountain as it climbs steadily the entire way. Basically there is little or no opportunity for off-trail hiking as the terrain is way steep and the underbrush is quite thick. But the scenery and views are quite stunning.

As it was quite a warm June day, I was glad there is a lot of shade from the towering pine trees that dominate the vegetation along the trail. I was well aware there would be little or no running water for my dog to drink so I was hauling 64oz just for her on this hike. I'm glad I brought this much water as we both drank almost all of it by the end of the hike.

Once you gain enough elevation on NFS Trail 620, you get some outstanding views of the South Fork of the Boise River valley, the snow capped Steele Mountain complex and the Trinity Mountains. And I do mean OUTSTANDING. Photographs just cannot fully capture the views up there.

From Paradise Trail near Pine and Featherville

Rock Hounding Paradise Trail
Being in the Pine/Featherville area, I figured I might discover some cool or collectible rocks. Lets just say I can home with one sparkly and shiny rock that immediately ended up in the garden. In other words, it a barren place for the serious and non-serious rock hound.

From Paradise Trail near Pine and Featherville

General Info for Trail 620
  •   ATV's and motorcycles are allowed on this trail but I never saw one nor heard one on this day.
  •   During this 6.1 mile hike I gained/lost almost 3,300 feet in elevation with an average slope of 18%. Killer stats for a guy for me.
  •   There was very little water along the trail. One small seepage puddle that the dog took full advantage of both on the way up and back down again.
  •   The terrain on either side of the trail is very steep. One misstep 3-5 feet off the downhill side of the trail and you might not stop until you roll out onto Grouse Creek Road.
  •   Did I mention the views were outstanding? A good photographer might want to visit this area.
  •   Trailhead is located at 43.551303°, -115.266657° and I turned around at 43.543872°, -115.249489°.

Link to More Photos:

Comments Are Appreciated
Got some thoughts on this trail? Have suggestions for any other hikes in this area? Leave them for others to read so we can be better prepared for getting out into the great Idaho Outdoors.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 July 2011 08:24

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