Cecil D. Andrus-Cloud Wilderness

Quiet Lake in Idaho's White Cloud Mountains.

Photo Gallery: A Father-Son Backpacking Trip in Idaho’s White Cloud Mountains

By Michael Lanza

As we approached the rocky, 10,877-foot summit of Patterson Peak, we saw them from a distance, a couple of white specks moving slowly, but standing out against the gray rock and cliffs on that overcast day in early October. It was a pair of mountain goats, scrabbling over the loose, shifting talus. We tried to get a closer look, but even as they appeared to move effortlessly, they quickly expanded the gulf between us. Within minutes, they had disappeared into the cliffs and swirling clouds. But we had gotten another taste of the wild nature of Idaho’s White Cloud Mountains.

Read onPhoto Gallery: A Father-Son Backpacking Trip in Idaho’s White Cloud Mountains

Quiet Lake, White Cloud Mountains, Idaho.

Photo Gallery: Idaho’s White Cloud Mountains

By Michael Lanza

Picture a chain of peaks rising to over 11,000 feet, some composed of chalk-like rock that looks like snow from a distance. Scores of crystal-clear lakes above 9,000 feet, and creeks running with trout and salmon. Mountain goats, elk, bighorn sheep, black bears, even gray wolves. And the kind of solitude you can’t find in most wild lands. That’s the White Cloud Mountains of central Idaho. Put this brand-new American wilderness on your radar—and get there before every other backpacker discovers how gorgeous and quiet it still is, as you’ll see in this photo gallery.

Read onPhoto Gallery: Idaho’s White Cloud Mountains