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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Mile High on Green Creek Trail

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(May 31st, 2012) The last days of May saw me hiking on Green Creek Trail between Pine and Featherville, Idaho. This out and back hike is both strenuous and gentle depending on which way you are headed. To me, this is a claustrophobic hike as the trail remains in a narrow canyon while following Green Creek rather closely and sometimes, too close. Take a look at some of the photos I took on this hike.

Trailhead for Green Creek Hiking Trail near Featherville Idaho

The Hike Green Creek Trail
The Green Creek Trailhead also known as National Forest Service Trail #270 is located inside a rather large vacation home subdivision near the Johnson Hot Springs. And as such one would assume there would be a designated parking area but there isn't. I could also assume there would be signs leading you to the trailhead but there isn't. Signs and parking would likely ease any tension between landowners and hiker but it's no skin off my nose either way.

Parking near the trailhead at 43.542973, -115.287412 you start the hike going through private property. But it's not long before you are fully on NFS lands and heading uphill. You could possibly be sharing the trail with motorcycles, mountain bikes and horses as these folks are allowed. On this day, I didn't see a single soul on the trail but there were motorcycle tracks.

From Mile High on Green Creek Trail
Click for a larger photo.

For the most part, Green Creek remains relatively close to the trail and the sounds of the “babbling brook” were a constant companion and watering hole for my dog. On the section I hiked there were 2 stream crossing where your feet will get wet. And there were some sections were the stream was the trail but these sections were rather shallow and easy to navigate/stay dry.

My goal on this hike was to get high enough to enjoy sweeping views of the valley below. But the combination of a rather steep trail gradient and a section where the trail become a stream ended my hike. My secondary goal was to make it to the “mile high” or 5,280 foot point on the trail. I had to do a little off-trail hike to make it that high but I made it. And just to be honest, I was pretty darn tired and ready to turn around where I did.

From Mile High on Green Creek Trail
Click for larger photo

Overall, I have done better hikes in this area. My only complaint was the lack of sweeping views. Yeah, I know...whine, cry and complain, when I don't get spectacularly long vistas when hiking in Idaho. But the solitude, short range views and ruggedness made for a good hike. A hike I'll do again just to challenge myself to make it to that saddle.

“Tracks On” National Forest Service Trail #270

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Interactive Map:  The blue line is the track from my GPS unit and you can move the map.

Stats of Bondy's Hike on Green Creek Trail

  • Hike Mileage: 4.84 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1,412 feet
  • Average Slope of Hike: 9.6%
  • Water for Heat Intolerant Canine: Suspect creek runs most of the summer-fall season
  • Road Miles Mountain Home to Trailhead: 56 miles
  • Land Ownership: Mainly National Forest Service, Mountain Home Ranger District of Boise National Forest
  • 1:24,000 USGS Topo Map: Featherville, Idaho quad
  • Link to all uploaded photos from this trip:

Consider This
Spread the word...if you liked this article share it with someone you think might enjoy it also. Use the Twitter, Facebook and/or Google + buttons below if it would make it easier. Got questions or something burning a hole in your brain? Then leave a comment. So, have you ever hiked on the Green Creek Trail? Nope? Then get moving and do it.



Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 June 2012 18:55

Hike High Above the South Fork of the Boise River

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(May 30th, 2012) Review of a surprisingly good hike on the bluffs high above the South Fork of the Boise River...and that just downstream of Anderson Ranch Dam. This National Forest Service Trail was completely unknown to me until I just stumbled upon it. Views, water, location, and a ton of wildlife make this a “must walk trail” just 17 miles northeast of Mountain Home, Idaho.

View from high above the South Fork of the Boise River

The Hike on NFS Trail 164A
I parked just off NFS Road 164, more commonly known as the Dixie Cut-off Road, at coordinates 43.316615, -115.496536. From there, the hike is rather hilly as NFS 164A heads northward towards the bluffs above the Boise River. Once you hit the bluffs, and I use the term “bluff” loosely, the views along and into the Canyon are spectacular but the trail flattens out.

From Hike Above South Fork of the Boise River

The big surprise during this hike was the “water”. Who thought there would be a large source of running water about 1,000 feet above the South Fork of the Boise River! The water comes in the form of an irrigation ditch that eventually dumps into the East Fork of Long Tom Creek. And this trail follows the irrigation ditch for about 1 mile all the while looking over the South Fork.

From Hike Above South Fork of the Boise River

At the ~ 1.5 mile point, NFSR 164A heads steeply up the hillside. At the top of this hillside you have 2 choices. Head south down to the Dixie Cut-off Road or head north along a ridgeline above the river. I took the ridgeline but stopped well short of where I wanted to go. Let's just say the terrain is rather steep getting up to the ridgeline at coordinates 43.325616, -115.482263. This point was my turn around and head back to the car point.

The Animals of 164A
Snakes, birds, ducks, geese, and an pronghorn. All animals were harassed by my dog except the antelope who remained far enough away to be detected by Addie. But the ducks and geese really got the dog excited and she spend a lot of the time hunting them down in full speed sprints.

GPS Track on Google Map

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Blue line is the exact track I took.

Hike on NFS Trail 164A Stats and Information

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Last Updated on Friday, 01 June 2012 18:08

ATV Photo Tour of Long Tom Reservoir

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(May 8th, 2012) A fun ATV trip into and around the Long Tom Reservoir would be my first motorized trip of the year. My plan was to head to the southwest and maybe even the northwest side of this lake. Pretty lofty plans considering I would be alone with the exception of my dog Addie the Plott Hound. I took pictures, videos and watched a mule deer and Plott Hound dog stand-off.

View of Long Tom Reservoir from my Arctic Cat ATV

The Ride Into the Reservoir
This ride was meant to be mellow being the first time I had my Arctic Cat 500 this year. And it was considering I only traveled about 9 miles of the planned 20 miles. The weather was incredible for early May and the roads/trails were dry and not very dusty.

From ATV Trip Around Long Tom Reservoir

I parked just off the Prairie Road about 2 miles north of Highway 20 (coordinates 43.279101, -115.532393). Once I had the ATV unloaded, we headed northwest a miles or so before heading west on a rough dirt road that leads to the south end of Long Tom Reservoir. While a 4 wheel drive vehicle would easily get you into the lake, I'd think twice about something without good traction and higher clearance.

From ATV Trip Around Long Tom Reservoir

Pole Creek Area
The 1st cool spot was the Pole Creek area at coordinates 43.282001, -115.568816. This creek was still flowing rather nicely and feeds into Long Tom. I suspect there is a pretty healthy spring keeping Pole Creek flowing this late into the season. It was quite green and lush in this canyon with lots of birds so it's well worth a few minute “stop and explore” session.

From ATV Trip Around Long Tom Reservoir

The Trail is Fenced and Could Get Steep
After the Pole Creek stop we continued west along the southern side of the reservoir on a dirt road that progressively got steeper and rougher. As we were about to drop into the Long Tom Creek canyon, we encountered a fence. Once through the fence I found the trail to be rutted, rough and it looked like it would get steep. This was an easy decision...I turned around and headed back. There will be other days to tackle this section of Long Tom Reservoir Road.

From ATV Trip Around Long Tom Reservoir

To the Edge...of the water
With my trip cut short I figured Addie could use some swim time and I could explore a little around the lake shore. I found a nice place on a stone beach and I let the dog run free (coordinates 43.286433, -115.574690). After watching the dog wade into the water, I came to the conclusion this place isn't a great place to fish as it's too shallow? In any case, it was fun exploring the lakeshore.

Plott Hound and Idaho Mule Deer

Did You Hear the One About a Plott Hound and a Mule Deer?
We left the reservoir area and motored up a trail that leads to the ridgeline above Long Tom. The trail was rather rough and I needed a little exercise. So we headed up the hillside on foot.

Much to my amazement, I watch my dog walk up on a mule deer. The muley had his back to the dog and was munching on the abundant grass in this area. Addie the Plott Hound continued her exploration of the trail without a clue there was a deer only 20-30 feet in front of her. Finally, Addie caught wind of the deer and when it moved, I think both animals were shocked.

Addie the dog stalks a mule deer

The mule deer took off and an uneasy Addie started after it. Obviously, at least to me, the deer didn't fear my dog as much as Addie feared the deer. But eventually Addie got into the spirit and chased the deer about ¼ mile through the sagebrush before giving up. It was a fun watching this “deer verse dog” story unfold.

Map of this ATV Ride My GPS Unit

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Blue line is my 9.2 mile track during this trip

Link to the Photo Album:

Link to a Video I Took:

Bondyweb Comments
Leave a comment or question? I think it's a great idea if you enjoyed the article or learned something. If you have nothing to say at least send the link to this article to someone who might enjoy it.



Last Updated on Friday, 25 May 2012 13:09

Wilson Flat Part 2 - Excellence in Idaho Hiking

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(May 16th, 2012) A moderate to strenuous hike located only 30 miles from Mountain Home, Idaho? And this hike was so enjoyable when I did it in 2011, I decided to try it again. The diverse scenery, solitude, terrain and proximity to home combine to create the perfect day hike. Read on to see if this trip suits your style...

Bondy hikes up to Wilson Flats

The Hike
There is very little to add to this hike that my May 25th, 2011 hike didn't cover. You can read that story at:

About the only thing that changed between these 2 hikes was the “wetness” of the land. This 2012 hike was considerably drier than 1 year and 9 day earlier. Might be a bad fire year????

Map of the Hike

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Blue line is my hike taken off a GPS unit.

More Information About the Hike
- Mileage: 5.10 miles
- Average Slope: ~8.7%
- Average Slope of Steep Section Up to the Flats: 19.1%
- Elevation Gain/Loss: 1,264 feet
- Topo Map: The 1:24,000 House Mountain, Idaho quad
- Trailhead Coordinates: 43.380955, -115.436874
- End of Hike Coordinates: 43.389898, -115.462460 but you can turn this into a long distance loop.
- Link to more photos of this hike:

Comments Come and Go
Yours might be the one that people will say “now that's cool”. Leave a comment about this article and you might be the winner of a brand new 2012 Ford F250. Not really but we'd love to hear from you.



Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 May 2012 07:54

The 4 Springs of the Long Tom Creek Area

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The 4 Springs of Long Tom Creek Hike endpoint
End of this hike!

(May 1st, 2012) Taking a scenic walk along Long Tom Creek seemed like a good idea. What I didn't expect was to find was a number of natural springs feeding this creek. I took some pictures and video as well as geomarking the location of these springs. Why not come along on a review of the journey to the “4 Springs of the Long Tom Creek Area”.

NOTE: The video I took of these springs on May 1st were inadvertently deleted from my video camera. All videos in this article are from May 11th, 2012.

The Walk Along Prairie Cut-Off Road
This walk can be as short or long as you wish as it follows a relatively flat and well maintained gravel road. For our portion of the hike it also followed Long Tom Creek for all but ¼ of a mile. And the course is rather scenic as it flows through a relatively rugged canyon.

West Fork of Long Tom Creek

The course of this hike was on the “Prairie Cut-off Road” or National Forest Service Road 131 that connects Highway 20 to the South Fork of the Boise River at the Cow Creek Bridge. We also checked out the “2 Forks of Long Tom Creek during this hike. Obviously Long Tom Creek drains a pretty nice sized area of the Danskin Mountains.

The Springs
From 4 Springs of the Long Tom Creek Area

Spring #1: Source of spring is located close to NFS 131 at 43.300955, -115.558080. The marshy growth close to the road is a dead giveaway of a spring close to this location. During this early May 2012 day, water was flowing down the hillside in no particular streambed. There is no indication on the USGS (old maps) Topo Maps of a spring at this location.

See a Video of Springs 1 and 2

Spring #2: Located about 375 yards north of Spring 1, this spring intersect the Prairie Cut-Off Road at
43.303937, -115.557467. But the spring source is likely located about 330 yards up the hillside to the east. The 1990 version of the Long Tom Reservoir USGS Topo Map indicates there is a spring at the location on the hillside.

Spring 2 is flowing strongly near Mountain Home, Idaho

Spring #3: This spring may or may not be a true spring. Water certainly flows down a streambed but its origins appear to be in the hillside at 43.308374, -115.562327. I would have missed this skinny watercourse, but my dog splashed through it and I decided to check it out.

There are trout in this Idaho Spring

I found it incredible that I saw what I thought was a fish in this small spring fed creek. After a few days of thought, I talked myself out of the “fish in the creek” idea. But when I went back 10 days later, I actually saw two fish in the 18 inch wide creekbed and caught them on video if you car to watch.

See a Video of Springs 3 and 4

NOTE:  Google decided to take the "shakes" out of the video and now the video does the hula dance. Laughing

Spring #4: Located at 43.307334, -115.557481 and just off NFS Road 131, this spring is shown on the 1990 version of the Long Tom Reservoir USGS Topo Map. It is my guess this spring consists of 2 or more parts as the soggy wet area is about 150 feet across.

Spring 4 of the Long Tom Creek area

Map of Long Tom Creek Springs

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See more photos from this hike:

Comments Create Good Old Fashion Knowledge
Did you know about the springs along the Prairie Cut-off Road? Know of any other springs close to Mountain Home. Why not leave a comment or suggestion about this outdoor article. You never know what you and others may learn about Idaho, the Long Tom Reservoir area or NFS Road 131.



Last Updated on Sunday, 13 May 2012 09:08

Cactus Growing Wild in Idaho? What Kind is This?

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(May 6th, 2012) What kind of cactus / succulent plant is this? Found the plant during a cross country, off-trail hike near the Prairie Cut-off Road. If you have an idea, it would be cool if you could comment or e-mail me what you think the plant is called.

I'm no stranger to discovering cactus type plants during my exploration throughout southern Idaho. I've found areas of wild prickly pear cactus, a plant I've been told doesn't exist in Idaho, just 45 miles to the south of my home. But this succulent type cactus is a new one to me.

  • I found the plant at or near coordinates 43.275942, -115.513685, well off the beaten path.
  • Plant has light green succulent type leaves and red flowers.
  • Overall size of the plant was about 1 square foot in area.

See All 3 Photos I Took

What are these plants called? And are they common in this area if Idaho? Leave a comment or use my “Contact Us” form.



Last Updated on Thursday, 10 May 2012 06:40

Early Season Fishing at Long Tom Reservoir

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Fishing Long Tom Reservoir Lead Photo by Bondy

(April 17th, 2012) An April 2012 fishing trip to Long Tom Reservoir started out with a short but semi-torturous hike in, loud neighbors but some great views. Unfortunately, this “close to Mountain Home, Idaho” fishing trip wasn't exactly stellar.

The Prep Work was Done
I was looking for an early season fishing trip and Long Tom Reservoir seemed like an easy and quick place to explore. With Google Earth and some USGS topo maps, I set my off-trail hike into the north side of this little written about body of water. With a few “way points” uploaded into my GPS unit, I was ready to go.

The Hike
As usual, my ever-present Plott Hound dog, Addie was with me and we headed straight west into the sagebrush steepe. As anyone who has hiked in southern Idaho knows, there isn't any straight paths through the sage brush. And there are very few straight paths up, over and through this landscape of rocks, small cliffs and canyons that seemed deeper than what I saw on the maps.

Overall, the hike in was a lot tougher than I thought it would be. The shallow canyons seemed more like full-fledged canyons at least far as my lungs and legs were concerned. But the steeper than expected terrain also made for better scenery. I was glad to find a game/cattle trail down in the canyon that would take me to Long Tom and some fishing.

Standing on canyon rim above Long Tom Reservoir

The Fishing
Obviously, without any roads into this area I was pretty darn sure I wouldn't see anyone else and I was right. Being the high water season, the banks were pretty steep but there were plenty of places to fish in both directions.

From Fishing Long Tom Reservoir

Being the first fishing trip in about 18 months, I still had some old fishing line on my reel and this caused some tangling problems. And the lack of recent casting experience might have resulted in a few errant lure throws also. But I got to go fishing.

Did I catch any fish? Nope! I did get a few bona-fide hits on my lure. And I saw a few glimpses of fish following my lure in towards shore, so I know there are fish in Long Tom Reservoir. So, if you have some time, head out there for some fishing.


Other Information
  • There is road access to the southern end of Long Tom. I hiked that road last year and figured this year the chances of getting stuck axle deep in mud was pretty high this time of year. I was also looking for some good exercise that I wouldn't get by driving in.
  • The water in Long Tom Reservoir is awful “white” and reminds me of glacial flour. Of course it's not.
  • The place I fished wasn't exactly a peaceful place. There were a couple pairs of Canadian Geese making this section of the lake their home and were quite (and continuously) vocal about our presence in the neighborhood. Addie didn't enjoy racket anymore than I did.

View Larger Map

The Stats
- Road miles from Mountain Home: About 21 miles
- Hiking mileage: 1.97 miles
- Total Elevation Gain/Loss on hike: 575 feet
- Fish caught: None
- Enjoyment Factor: High
- Link to more pictures of this local fishing trip:

Hike up and unnamed canyon near Long Tom Reservoir

The Local Environment
As far as I could determine, most of the land I hiked on was BLM lands. Apparently the lakeshore around most of Long Tom Reservoir is privately owned, but I saw no signs or fences during this hike.

I didn't see any trash/garbage along my route or even around the lake itself which is sort of surprising. Being BLM lands, cattle grazing is allowed in this area so there were plenty of cow patties to detour around.

I surprised 3 mule deer during this hike. And my dog got into the action chasing them for about 5 minutes before figuring it was useless trying to catch up to these swift animals.

Hope you enjoyed my first story in well over 1 month. Hopefully I can get motivated to start posting more articles in the near future,  Comment away if you wish.


Last Updated on Saturday, 21 April 2012 14:35

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