Tag Archives: Big Boulder Lakes

December 10, 2015 Hell Roaring Lake, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho.

Ask Me: Dayhikes and Backpacking Trips in Idaho’s Sawtooth and White Cloud Mountains

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Hi Michael,

I appreciate your generosity in offering to help with planning for our upcoming Idaho trip. We’re looking to do a few things. Primarily, we’ll be dayhiking, but we’re also planning on at least one overnight backpacking trip. If there’s a three-day, two-night trip we shouldn’t miss, we’d be open to that, too. Our six-year-old son is traveling with us and he’s an experienced hiker and backpacker. He can do 8 to 9 miles/day with around 2,000 feet of elevation gain. We usually build in a rest day in between the hard days to let him recover. We’re bringing our ducky so we can paddle a lake or two and we might bring our mountain bikes. Continue reading →

July 1, 2015 Below David O. Lee Peak, Big Boulder Lakes, White Cloud Mountains, Idaho.

Great Trip: Backpacking to the Big Boulder Lakes in Idaho’s White Cloud Mountains

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By Michael Lanza

Tucked away deep in the White Cloud Mountains of central Idaho, the Big Boulder Lakes, a cluster of more than a dozen larger lakes and myriad tiny tarns, lie scattered like a handful of seeds cast to the ground in a basin above 9,000 feet, where copses of spruce and fir trees speckle an otherwise barren landscape of rock and dirt. The backdrop to the lakes, the White Cloud Peaks form a long ridge of chalk-like rock rising to well over 11,000 feet, scraping jagged edges against a brilliantly blue sky. I had heard other avid backpackers rave about this area, but when I finally backpacked in there with my son, the place far exceeded any description of it. Continue reading →

June 14, 2015 Below the Big Boulder Lakes, White Cloud Mountains, Idaho.

Ask Me: What Backpacking Trip Do You Recommend in Idaho’s White Cloud Mountains?

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[Note: This is a combined response to two similar questions from readers.]


Your spectacular photos of Castle Peak and the White Cloud Mountains have inspired us to take a backpacking trip there this August or September. Do you have any suggestions for a loop hike? We have backpacked out West—Maroon Bells, Teton Crest Trail, all over the canyons of Utah. We can easily do 8 to 10 miles a day, as we like to go slow and admire the beautiful Western scenery, and probably 5 to 6 days on trail. Thank you for any advice, I love looking at your pictures. Your Mount St. Helens pictures brought back many wonderful memories of our Pacific Northwest trip.

West Chester, PA Continue reading →

June 20, 2014 Below the Big Boulder Lakes, White Cloud Mountains, Idaho.

Exploring a Wilderness Hopeful: Idaho’s White Cloud Mountains

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By Michael Lanza

In the long dusk that prevails in the shadow of tall mountains, we hike steadily uphill through pine forest broken by an occasional meadow with views of distant, rocky peaks. When dark falls, we don headlamps and continue hiking into the night.

My backpacking partner, my 12-year-old son, Nate, has never hiked late at night. For him, this is a new and mildly thrilling experience—it feels a little like breaking a rule without consequences. After all, there are wild animals out here, including bears and mountain lions that wander nocturnally in search of something to eat—such as a large, slow, two-legged creature with poor night vision and a useless sense of smell. Continue reading →