THE SAWTOOTH ISSUE
BOULDER CLIMB TRAIN AERIAL YOGA PARTIES BAR SAUNA & MORE! 2
ASANA CLIMBING GYM 4977 N GLENWOOD ST GARDEN CITY, ID 83714 208-345-7625 WWW.ASANACLIMBINGGYM.COM
ODE TO THE SAWTOOTHS EDITOR: RACHAEL MILLER
Tall granite mountains loom above lush, green meadows freckled with color from wild, mountain flowers. Crystal, alpine lakes beckon a weary hiker and it’s silent. Hot summer air drops to cool altitude nights and the Milky Way dances above heads on pillows and bodies in sleeping bags. The Sawtooths are calling. The Sawtooths draw venturers from Idaho and beyond once the snow melts. With world-class climbing, hundreds of miles of trails for hiking and riding, pristine lakes and abundant wildlife, the Sawtooths are home to Idaho’s unrivaled recreation. Outdoor Idaho Magazine is proud to feature our home-grown mountain range in the second issue of OIM. When the sun dries up the valley and the desert, embark upon the mountains. You’ll find escape and solitude in the hidden locations dotted throughout Volume Two of Outdoor Idaho Magazine — in the Sawtooths and beyond. Thank you to our readers, contributors and advertisers for your support in making Volume Two of Outdoor Idaho Magazine possible. I hope that it takes you to new and familiar places and helps in the pursuit of your corporeal and ethereal passions.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE NORTH FORK CHAMPIONSHIPS
GUIDE TO SOAKING
RIDGE TO RIVERS
SPONSORED STORY BY:
PAYETTE BREWING PRESENTS: A GUIDE TO
THE NORTH FORK CHAMPIONSHIPS Photography by:
Idaho boasts some of the wildest whitewater in the world, bringing world-renowned athletes to the banks of Highway 55 on the North Fork of the Payette River. On June 13th, 2019 head down to Banks, Idaho because you wonâ€™t want to miss the greatest show on whitewater. This year the North Fork Championship will be the Extreme Kayak World Championship, hosting the best kayakers from all over the world to fight for the title of World Champion and King and Queen of the North Fork World Championship. Get ready for the rowdiest whitewater weekend of your life.
TIPS & TRICKS Come Early and Carpool: Located conveniently close to the
MOVING BEYOND THE TOKEN FEMALE
Idaho’s capital, less than an hour away from Boise, drawing athletes from around the world and right off the side of Highway 55, the North Fork Championship is accessible and busy. Parking is limited so save gas, the environment, and traffic congestion by carpooling. You’ll thank us later when you don’t have to walk miles to the main event. Come Prepared: Although easily accessible, the NFC is remote. This means you’ll need to come prepared with protection from the heat, fuel for your body and beer for your party. Even though it’s only June, the sun is hot on the river (Bring sunscreen and water!). When watching the main event, you can grab a front row seat on the rocks on the banks of the river. Bring a lawn chair or blanket! Athletes will rush down the river just feet in front of you. Although there are vendors for tasty treats and trendy gear (Bring cash!), beer cannot be sold alongside the river. Bring Your Own Beer: Payette Brewing is the “official beer of the North Fork Championship”. We recommend that you pick up a weekend’s worth of their flagship beer, the North Fork Lager and a few of their limited edition North Fork World Championship beer, Jacob’s Ladder Lager.
GUIDE TO THE NORTH FORK CHAMPIONSHIPS
Payette Brewing Co. will release Jacob’s Ladder Lager at
the brewery during the River Symposium on June 11th, so pick it up then! It will be available in 16 oz. cans and sold throughout the weekend while supplies last. But if you forget to buy beer in town, don’t worry because Jacob’s Ladder Lager will be available all weekend long at the whitewater festival in Crouch. Payette Brewing crafted Jacob’s Ladder Lager to celebrate the North Fork Championship being the World Championship this year.
For the first time ever a Queen will join the King on the iron throne of the North Fork World Championship. Along with twenty male paddlers, five females will be selected to compete in the Finals on Saturday, June 15th at 1 PM after placing in the Kokatat Qualifier and The North Face Semi Finals. This is significant because it reflects a growing number of competent females ready to charge the ramp into the challenging Class V+ slalom course through Jacob’s Ladder and Golf Course rapids on the North Fork of the Payette River. But more importantly it moves the event, and hopefully in turn the sport, beyond the token female. “Before it was sort of like yeah, they are going to have a token female every year and realistically I’m not going to train up for that, that slot’s taken,” pro kayaker and NFC racer Natalie Kramer Andersen said. “Without some kind of high profile event for women, there isn’t a lot of motivation for women to train and get good enough to be able to do the event. I think it will grow the women pushing further in the sport because all the sudden there is a goal and an achievement to be reached.” Adding a female bracket to the North Fork World Championship provides more incentive and visibility to women paddlers, highlighting a diverse group of female role models for upcoming kayakers. It is time to move beyond the token female and see how these fantastic femmes move the sport forward.
PAYETTE BREWING CO. AND THE NFC Payette Brewing has been heavily involved with the North
The culture around the brew crew at Payette Brewing is
Fork Championship since its start, not only because of how
centered around an adventurous spirit, seeking outdoor
amazing the whitewater event is, but because it speaks
activities and thrill. “It’s the exact reason we decided to put
straight to who Payette Brewing is as a company. Founded
our beer in cans right off the bat - so we could bring it
the same year, Payette Brewing Co. and the NFC have had
along on our adventures,” says marketing director Paige
a special relationship as they both grow, sticking together.
Francis. She says the crew lives and works by the motto of adventure. “Making beer is a labor of true love and
Mike Francis, Payette Brewing Co. founder and owner,
we work hard at it. But it’s the after hours skiing, hiking,
named his brewery based on his love for kayaking on the
camping and kayaking that recharge and inspire us.”
Payette River - right where the rowdy whitewater festival takes place. When he opened the brewery, the North Fork
Check out Payette Brewing Co. at their kick-off event to
Lager quickly became one of their flagship brands, and still
the NFC on June 12th at 6:00 PM located at 733 S. Pioneer
St., right off of River St. They’ll also have a booth along Highway 55, where they’ll be giving out free hot dogs.
JUNE 11T H -
6:00 PM - River Symposium - Payette Brewing
June 13th - 10:30 AM
Payette Brewing is the official beer of North Fork Championship
A downriver sprint on S Turn Rapid. It is available to the
and to kick off this year’s event, we bring you our second Wild
best kayakers in the world competing in the NFC World
River’s Symposium! Together, we will talk about the issues that
Championship. Racers will begin at the top of S Turn and
impact the future of our special rivers, engage participants in
finish under the Kokatat banner at the bottom. The top 40
current events and research from a large array of river companies,
males and top 10 females will live to race again on Friday
influencers and philanthropists. This will also be the release of the
in The North Face Semi Finals. These top 50 racers will be
2019 North Fork World Championship beer by Payette Brewing
announced at the LIVE Whitewater Awards event in Boise
sold in 16 oz. cans!
later this evening 6 PM at Egyptian Theatre.
JUNE 13T H10:30 AM - Kokatat Qualifier - North Fork Payette
T H E NO R T H F O R K S E M I S
6:30 PM - Whitewater Award Show - The Egyptian Theatre
June 14th - 3:00 PM
8:00 PM - Semi-Finalist Announcements @ Whitewater Awards
The North Face Semi Finals is down S – Turn rapid. The Top 40 males and Top 10 females from the Kokatat Qualifier
JUNE 14T H-
will compete in a head to head (where the fastest will
3:00 PM - The North Face Semi Finals - North Fork Payette
face off with the slowest from the qualifier – one boat on
6:00 PM - NFC Whitewater Festival - Weilmunster Park - Crouch
course at a time) and the winner will live to compete in the
6:30 PM - Live Music @ NFC Whitewater Festival - Weilmunster
Finals in the Main Event on Jacob’s Ladder!
GUIDE TO THE NORTH FORK CHAMPIONSHIPS
Park - Crouch
JUNE 15T H-
W O R L D C H A M P I O NS H I P F I NA L S
1:00 PM - NFC World Championship Finals - North Fork Payette
June 15th - 1:00 PM
3:00 PM - Stoke Float - North Fork Payette
A Giant Slalom race comprised of gates through Jacob’s
6:00 PM - NFC Whitewater Festival - Weilmunster Park - Crouch
Ladder and Golf Course’s Class V+ whitewater. It is a timed
Come enjoy the evening at Weilmunster Park filled with yard
race. If a racer hits a gate they will face a five second
games, slow bike races, and general ruckus! Food provided by
penalty, and missed gates will add fifty seconds to their
Idaho Rivers United and beer courtesy of Payette Brewing.
final time. Athletes will get two runs, and the better time
7:00 PM - The North Face Semi Final Awards - Weilmunster Park
will be kept for their score. Paddlers charge off the Red
8:00 PM - Awards Ceremony - Weilmunster Park - Crouch
Bull ramp above Jake’s to initiate the start of their run, and continue through the end of Golf Course and the last
JUNE 16T H -
Toyota gate where their time will end. The racers who
9:00 AM - Family Day - Weilmunster Park - Crouch
turn in the fastest time will be crowned King and Queen of the North Fork Championship and will be the NEW World Champion. Twenty male paddlers and 5 females will be selected to compete in this division after placing in the Kokatat Qualifier and The North Face Semi Finals.
ATHLETES TO WATCH FOR A N I OL S E R R A S O L S E S - S O R T , C A T A L U NY A One of the best paddlers in the world, Serrasolses took first place in the World Championship Finals at last year’s NFC. Serrasolses’s achievements include running the first descent of Keyhole Falls, Canada in 2014, winning Sickline Austria in 2016 and winning the 2017 Rider of the Year at the Whitewater Awards. Aniol and his brother Gerd started Serrasolses Brothers Productions, which brings kayaking training to those who can’t afford it.
G E R D S E R R A S O L S E S - S O R T , C A T A L U NY A Brother to Aniol Serrasolses and introduced Aniol to the world of kayaking. Gerd is also a reigning champion of the North Fork Championship and is an accomplished paddler completing the first descent of the Scimitar Canyon in Canada, the Saryjaz in Kyrgyzstan and the Altai in Russia. Undefeated kayak race season in 2015!
DA N E JA CKSON - W A L L I NG , T E NNE S S E E Only athlete to ever win the North Fork Championship twice. Jackson has racked up over 80 first-place titles in freestyle kayaking competitions. He holds first descents of waterfalls in Mexico and beyond.
M I KE DA WS ON - T A U R A NG A , NE W Z E A L A ND New Zealand Olympian who took the bronze in the inaugural Extreme K1 at the 2017 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships and competed in the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics.
N OUR I A N E WMA N - L A P L A G NE , F R A NC E Competitive athlete in canoe, freestyle and extreme kayaking. Newman has been crowned 2014 Extreme Kayaking World Champion, 2017 and 2018 Female Rider of the Year at the Whitewater Awards, took Bronze at 2016 Sickline Austria, and was the first female to join the Trick Force, placing 8th among all men at NFC VI.
M O U N TAI N
Words // Photography by:
Idaho is more than its potatoes. A cursory glance of the state might not induce enough excitement to entice first-time travelers to visit, but take a closer look and you’ll quickly find that Idaho is one of America’s best kept secrets. Home to the ethereal beauty that is the Sawtooth Mountain Range, Idaho’s rugged Sawtooths measure up to the beauty of the Canadian Rockies or Glacier National Park, but are nestled in quiet, unassuming Idaho. Spanning 678 square miles in central Idaho, this range is comprised of unrivaled vistas, meadows, lakes and more. The Sawtooth Mountains make up just a small portion of the imposing Rocky Mountain Range — which stretches an astounding 3,000 plus miles — and is home to over 300 alpine lakes and more than 700 miles of terrain. Put simply, this rugged, high-elevation playground is unparalleled and provides ample space for activities such as hiking, biking, backpacking, fishing, and more. If I don’t have you convinced to make a visit to the real gems of this boot-shaped beauty of a state yet, perhaps a glimpse of these five alpine lakes will seal the deal. The high alpine lakes of the Sawtooth Mountain Range are some of the long-revered and much adored gems in this part of the state.
GOAT LAKE Trickling streams, flower-spotted mountain-sides, and a stunning glacial haven make this lake an all-time favorite for locals and visitors alike. It is less crowded than many of the other alpine lake destinations in the Sawtooths, making it an even more attractive locale. The last mile of this 6.8 mile out-and-back hike is strenuous, but as you pop up above the last of the granite boulders and get your first glimpse of Goat Lake, you’ll find the exertion was well worth it. And, if you’re brave, you can cool down with a dip in the frigid, yet refreshing, water.
TOX A WA Y LOO P L A K E S The Toxaway Loop Lakes hiking and backpacking trail is best known for Alice Lake, but all five of the lakes (Alice, Twin Lakes, Toxaway, and Farley) are worth a visit. To see them all, you will traverse 19.1 miles of pristine wilderness. Here you can expect to find lodgepole pine and fir forests, picturesque lakes, wildlife, and plenty of creek crossings. It’s the perfect two or three day trek, and one that won’t disappoint. But, if you only have a day, you’ll be able to shorten your trip and
ALPINE LAKES: GEMS OF THE SAWTOOTHS
still see some spectacular scenery and alpine lakes.
SAWTOOTH LAKE How can you visit the Sawtooths and not check out its namesake lake? The short answer? You can’t. The Sawtooth Lake hike is a moderate ten mile out and back trail that ascends nearly 1,800 feet in elevation. Not unlike any other trail in the Sawtooths, you are guaranteed views that take your breath away. Visit in late spring or early summer to see the wildflowers at their finest. Pops of purple, blue, red, and yellow sprinkle the landscape, while healthy creeks rage downward toward the Salmon River. If you’d like to swim or fish, however, make sure to stop by the ranger station before hiking this trail to check on the conditions. With the surface of the lake situated at an elevation of approximately 8,435 feet above sea level, it often remains completely or partially frozen well into summer. Make a trip here in mid-July or August for ideal lake conditions.
R E DFI S H LAK E I couldn’t, in good conscious, make a list of Sawtooth lake gems without the addition of Redfish Lake. Located a short distance from Stanley, this Custer County beauty sees a high number of tourists and locals annually for a reason: it is easy to access, the activities are many, and it is jaw-droppingly beautiful. You’ll find camping along the shore (though you’ll need to reserve in advance), boat access, hiking trails, excellent fishing, live music, and more. Frankly, you’d be hard pressed to find something you couldn’t do here. It is the quintessential summertime destination, and an amazing place to spend time with family and friends. If you’re looking for remoteness, however, this hotspot isn’t for you. But while Redfish Lake is buzzing all summer long, don’t let it deter you from a visit. There may be a lot of people, but even they can’t detract from the landscape.
SADDLEBACK LAKES On the southern end of Redfish Lake you will find the Redfish Lake Canyon Trail. It will lead you approximately three and a half miles to Saddleback Lakes, bringing the total round-trip distance to seven. The relatively short hike is a perfect day-trip for those short on time. Note: While you can access this trailhead via the Bench Lakes Trail, most opt to pay for the shuttle. It will ferry you to and from the access point. If you prefer to go this route, simply inquire about the shuttle service at the Redfish Lake boat docks on the lake’s northern shore. Saddleback Lakes are a cluster of five small alpine lakes and are a popular destination for day-hikers and backpackers alike. Many make the trip for the view of Elephant’s Perch — a massive granite tower that dips directly into the waters of the lake. It’s a dramatic backdrop
Because Saddleback Lakes aren’t located along an official Forest Service trail, specific route descriptions and maps aren’t easy to find. To get to the lakes, you will need to follow a trail that, while shorter than many in the Sawtooths, is steep and relatively indistinct. This can make it especially challenging. First-time visitors should be confident in their route-finding abilities and ask about conditions at the local ranger station before making the hike. There is no denying that the Sawtooth Mountain Range is a kind of paradise. But what you may not know is that the lakes scattered among its peaks and valleys are just a small part of it. Regardless of where your outdoor interests lie, there will always be something for you to do in this lesser known region of the Rocky Mountain Range.
ALPINE LAKES: GEMS OF THE SAWTOOTHS
Idaho’s alpine gems are at your fingertips.
FIRST ASCENT M Y
F I R S T
CL I MB
S AW TO OTHS
Words // Photography by:
It started slow and hot, like any good adventure does. It was late summer and after a long days work packing is always a slew of madness. We made piles of gear here and there, decorating the floor with the loot â€” I love a good gear mess. Nothing says fun like all your favorite things sprawled out on the ground just waiting to be used and loved. We pulled out of Boise and pointed our car towards Stanley early in the afternoon, its midday rays baking the hood of my car and blasting our faces with summer heat. Driving to the mountains is always rejuvenating â€” the road cooling as we dip into the shaded canyon. The closer we get to the Sawtooth mountains the more the temperature begins to drop, always just enough to feel refreshed.
"OUR OBJECTIVE WAS SIMPLE. I HAD NEVER CLIMBED IN THE SAWTOOTHS, AND WITH A COUPLE ROUTES PICKED OUT WE KNEW WE WERE IN FOR AN ADVENTUROUS WEEKEND OUTSIDE. "
Our objective was simple. I had never climbed in the
Waking early the next morning, the Mountaineers Route is
Sawtooths, and with a couple routes picked out we knew
a classic seven pitches of alpine trad climbing that we were
we were in for an adventurous weekend outside. Early
stoked to send. The exposure is fantastic, protection good,
September is a beautiful time of year in Idaho, on the
and rock solid. Topping out on any alpine climb is always a
cusp of autumn as summer holds on for its final leg, we
special experience and especially enhanced when shared
debate whether we wear the layers or shed them. Colors
with good company. After a successful day, we walked
are beginning to turn from vibrant green to bold reds and
out of the mountains dirty, sweaty, happy and ready for a
oranges in lower elevations, and as you progressively
climb higher in elevation you can see the line where the foliage begins to transition. It’s a beautiful sight to see.
Cascade was next on the radar, as it holds a special place
in my heart as a home I return to often to feel the solitude
Part of the fun in climbing at Elephant’s Perch in the
and magic Idaho’s mountains have to offer. I spent many
Sawtooth Wilderness is the boat shuttle across Redfish
days of my youth and into adulthood wandering its trails,
Lake. The Redfish Lake Marina offers this service to
exploring the lake, and floating the river that runs through
climbers to cut back the approach time by about six miles
it. We found the perfect Airbnb, Sunrise Retreat Yurt, to
to just seven minutes of wind in your hair for a small fee.
call home for one night before we worked our way back
Elephant’s Perch is a popular peak for climbers, its dramatic
to Boise. Together we cooked our meals by candlelight,
granite faces reaching up to 1,200 feet high. Unlike much
drank morning tea on the deck overlooking the lake in the
of the notable jagged ridge lines and protruding spires in
distance, and shared meaningful conversation late into the
the Sawtooths, Elephant’s Perch is more dome-like with
night. We earn our rewards in the mountains and Idaho is
over 25 routes to scratch your way up. The boat drop
a special place to experience their wonder.
leaves climbers with about three hours of hiking until the lakes where you can set up camp for the night.
STAFF'S FAVORITE CLIMB E L E P H A NT ’ S P E R C H - D I R E C T B E C K E Y The first pitch, deemed an 11a but extremely technical, balancy and strenuous, is the crux of the climb. The remaining pitches straight up are sustained by various fun movement — finger cracks, chimney moves and off-width climbing.
G R A N D J E A N,
I D AHO
BACKD O O R
THE SAWTOOTH LODGE
20 FOREVER WILD MEDIA
Words // Photography by:
ELI & EMILY CONLEE AND LANCE HANCOCK
If you find yourself on Highway 21, a sign for Grandjean and the Sawtooth Lodge will beckon you. Tucked six miles up the South Fork of the Payette from that sign, in a quieter corner of the majestic Sawtooth Range, the Lodge has been a haven for wilderness travelers since 1927. Prior to the establishment of the Lodge, Emile Grandjean — a hunter, trapper, and eventual Forest Service supervisor - built a cabin in the area that now bears his name. The cabin was turned over to the Forest Service where it was used as a ranger station for a handful of years before the legendary Harriet ‘Babe’ Hanson purchased the property and established the Sawtooth Lodge.
If you decide to take the gravel road to Grandjean,
Sawtooth Lodge in 2007 to the Garden Valley Group, who
sweeping views of the western Sawtooths are framed by
kept the Lodge up and running through some tough times
pine forests, sage meadows, and aspen groves taking you
in Idaho’s small town economy.
back to a calmer, quieter time. In 2017, a group of Idaho-based visionaries formed Just before you reach the Lodge, Sacajawea Hot Springs
Headwater Holdings, LLC with the dream to revive and
feeds right into the pristine waters of the South Fork, where
restore the Sawtooth Lodge.
a hot soak offers relief from long days in the backcountry. Just beyond the Lodge, you’ll find Grandjean Trailhead
THE SAWTOOTH LODGE TODAY
and campground, the sole wilderness access point on the
While Headwater Holdings is the new owner of the Lodge,
Northwest side of the Sawtooths and a beautiful escape
the team strives for something more. The Sawtooth Lodge
from summer crowds.
has long been known as a “place like nowhere else” and as the Lodge and cabins approach their 100th birthdays,
Over the years, the Lodge has offered mountain travelers
efforts to steward this one-of-a-kind location have been
a rustic Idaho getaway. In 1954, the Lockett family
renewed in force. This stewardship includes honoring the
purchased the Lodge from Hanson, adding more cabins, a
legacy of Grandjean & Hanson - each pioneers in their
small hydro-electric power supply, and arguably the most
own right - continuing the pursuit of sustainable energy,
popular feature: the geothermal pool, which pumps water
offering outdoor education programs in partnership
from nearby Sacajawea Hot Springs.
with Sawtooth Wilderness Outfitters, and providing a welcoming access point for those eager to experience the
In the 1980s, the Locketts sold the outfitting portion of the business, which became known as Sawtooth Wilderness Outfitters. Run for nearly 30 years by Darl Allred and his family, Sawtooth Wilderness Outfitters continues to honor the legacy of Emile Grandjean and Babe Hanson, offering hunting expeditions that help state and federal agencies sustain and manage local wildlife populations. If hunting isn’t your cup of coffee, the Outfitter also offers trail rides and backcountry excursions - and while it might THE SAWTOOTH LODGE
cost you more than $1.00 per horse, like it did in Babe
Hanson’s day, the unmatched trail views of the Sawtooths are likely to encourage you to return year after year. After 60 years of rustic hospitality, the Locketts sold the
Sawtooth Wilderness. S U S T A I NA B I L I T Y It was the Locketts who noticed the potential for hydroelectric power in Grandjean. Running through the middle of the property is Grandjean Creek, a favorite attraction for children. A short hike up the ridge brings visitors to the cascading waterfall that feeds the creek. One mile farther lies the beginning of the hydro-line that a helicopter pilot hired by Mel Lockett placed along the mountainside. While the hydro-line was well-intentioned, it was ultimately not well-executed. Comprised mostly of old parts and installed on a whim (the helicopter pilot only happened to
be in the area because he was held up on another job), the energy production topped out around 3 kilowatts — enough to power some dimly lit lights and a small appliance or two. Eventually the hydro-line went into disuse. The Headwater team plans to renew the dream of hydro-electric power in Grandjean, and will hopefully one day achieve one hundred percent sustainable energy. EDUC A T ING FOR CON SE R V A TI ON Visit the famous Sawtooth Valley and you’ll find a luxurious, highly developed tourist economy. Hike across the mountains on Trail 101, following Baron Creek until you merge onto the Idaho Centennial Trail, and you’ll discover something quite different in Grandjean Valley. Nothing is luxurious; everything is rustic. In many ways, little has changed since Emile Grandjean built his home in the valley some call the “backdoor to the Sawtooths.” Grandjean’s decades of service—in which he leveraged his knowledge of the outdoors for the benefit of future generations—has contributed to a thriving wilderness area today. Sawtooth Lodge aims to continue this legacy of conservation and education. People will only conserve what they are passionate about, and they can only be passionate about what they are informed about. This is
why the Lodge now hosts outdoor education programs provided by Sawtooth Wilderness Outfitters. Through courses on wilderness survival, land navigation and
As a rustic mountain resort, Sawtooth Lodge can’t fulfill
backcountry defense, our dream is for Grandjean to
every need and want of those visiting Grandjean, but as
become a center for experiencing and learning about the
stewards of a very special slice of the Sawtooths we strive
wonderful outdoors. Emile Grandjean laid the foundation
to make a place for everyone. Tent campers, cyclists,
for over one hundred years of conservation. We hope
and pop-up trailers enjoy well-groomed meadows, while
Sawtooth Lodge will do the same for the next hundred
guests with RVs have prime sunrise views of the northwest
years and beyond.
ridge. Dry cabins built in the 20’s and 30’s by Babe Hanson
HO SPIT A LIT Y A T TH E E DG E OF WI LD E R N E SS Travelers around the world have encountered the beauty of the Sawtooths (last year alone we welcomed Swiss hikers, Czech hot-springers, German wedding guests, and folks from all around the U.S.). To facilitate this experience long into the future, Sawtooth Lodge has embraced its mission of bringing hospitality to the edge of the wilderness. Standing on the same ground it was built upon over one hundred years ago, the Lodge is a welcome sight to weary backpackers who can drop their packs, eat a gourmet burger, down a huckleberry milkshake, and relax in the geothermal pool.
offer basic shelter, while large cabins with full baths make for a memorable family getaway. Stop by the full service lodge for a chef-creation and micro-brew, grill up your own dinner, or cook a dutch oven dinner in one of our many outdoor fire pits. Whoever ventures through Grandjean will inevitably be taken in by the sheer beauty of the triple peaks, the imposing wonder of the granite ridge, and the brilliant clear waters of the South Fork. Sawtooth Lodge exists to complement this experience through extraordinary hospitality consistent with this extraordinary place.
FOREVER WILD MEDIA
GRANDFATH E R
T H E
S AWT O O T H S
EMILE GRANDJEAN Words by:
Before Idaho was admitted to the Union, a Danish explorer
he served. In 1909, concerned that over-hunting could
and conservationist named Emile Grandjean arrived in the
destroy native species like elk, deer and bears, Grandjean
Wood River Valley, ambitious to find riches and romance
authored legislation to create a game preserve on the
on the Western frontier. The year was 1885, and Grandjean
south fork of the Payette River. His labors resulted in The
harnessed his forestry training and hunting experience to
Payette River Game Preserve.
sell meat to local miners and railroad workers. Emigrating from Denmark, Grandjean possessed a wealth of
Idaho’s Danish legend is revered not only for his forestry
knowledge in forestry and game preservation, which he
and conservation efforts, but also for the establishment
received through formal education in botany, ornithology,
of what is today known as Sawtooth Lodge, located in
zoology and forest management. Although he could have
the valley named after him: Grandjean, Idaho. In the late
enjoyed a long career in the service of the Danish monarch,
1880’s, Grandjean built a small log cabin near what is now
the allure of the American West prevailed upon him, and
Grandjean Creek. In 1909, he returned to the area, built a
after crossing the Atlantic he never returned.
larger cabin, and tore down the original. This new cabin was converted to a Forest Service guard station, operating
In 1895, Grandjean built a cabin on Valley Creek, five
for a number of years until the lively Harriet “Babe” Hansen
miles North of what is now Stanley, affording him the
purchased it in 1927. From this cabin she ran her outfitting
opportunity to explore, hunt, trap, and fish the Sawtooths.
business, adding a handful of log cabins and dubbing it the
After an adventuresome decade, Grandjean took a job with
THE SAWTOOTH LODGE
the Forest Service as a ranger, and after two short years
supervised an area that would later be subdivided into
Grandjean was not only one of Idaho’s first forest rangers
the Challis, Sawtooth, Salmon and Boise National Forests.
but a conservationist ahead of his time. He established
During Teddy Roosevelt’s presidency, Grandjean convinced
nurseries to study transplanting and seeding for native
the Forest Service to require operation permits from the
tree species (which also helped lead to the establishment
grazing and mining industries, which were accustomed
of the Forest Services fire patrol system). Over a century
to using the land without restriction. Moreover, he
ago, the famous mountaineer and naturalist John Muir
implemented regulations on mining companies to protect
sent four giant sequoia seedlings to Emile at his home
watersheds and required reimbursement to the federal
in the Treasure Valley. Of the four sequoias from Muir’s
government for lumber removal. Unsurprisingly, the
seedlings, only one is known to have survived and now
Danish forest ranger encountered bitter resistance from
resides in Boise. Grandjean’s legacy of conservation lives
industrial and agricultural parties, but he persevered in
on at the Sawtooth Lodge, where we strive to offer a taste
his duty, not only to the Forest Service but to the forest
of the life Grandjean lived at the edge of the wilderness.
FOREVER WILD MEDIA
VIS IO N
HARRIET "BABE" HANSON Words by:
ELI & EMILY CONLEE
In 1927, the Forest Service sold the cabins at Grandjean to 28-year-old Harriet “Babe” Hanson. A woman ahead of her time, she started the outfitting business, built additional log
were so many deer and elk and bears and things – well,
cabins (four of which stand to this day) and called it “The
you’re liable to run into anything!” And run into them
she did: when the local mountain lion population grew unmanageably large, Babe Hanson was there to bring it
Bucking social norms of the time, Hanson ran the Lodge for
back into balance, earning the nickname “Cougar Babe.”
over 25 years - often hiring other women to work alongside
When a record-setting mule deer happened across the trail,
her as outfitters and guides. Outfitting work is no picnic,
she thought “Boy, that’s a head of horns!” So she shot the
and Hanson worked hard to scrape a living from the Idaho
animal herself and had it mounted in the Lodge where it
wilderness, charging $1.00 to $1.50 per horse, depending on
greets visitors to this day.
how far into the mountains visitors wanted to go. A pittance today, but she was a sharp businesswoman and once said:
The Sawtooth Lodge owes a great deal to Babe Hanson, who
“The more horses you had, the more money you made!”
at 93-years-old remarked that life at the Lodge was “a lot of work, but a lot of fun.” Things might be a little easier these
She became a local legend over the years and was known
days, but the Sawtooth Lodge honors her memory with a lot
as a skilled hunter, trapper and guide. As she tells it, “There
of work, and a lot of fun.
GUIDE TO SOAKING IN THE SAWTOOTHS
Words // Photography by:
As a freelance travel photographer, I’ve had the fortune to share imagery from my life with people from all different places and backgrounds, but almost every question I get regarding my traveling or photography revolves around hot springs. It makes sense. Since residing in Idaho — with the most public “soakable” pools of geothermally heated water — hot springs have become a regular feature across my social media accounts. While the grandeur of the Sawtooth Mountain Range shook me to the core upon arriving to Idaho in 2015, the abundance and variety of perfect hot pools in the Sawtooths separated it from any place that I had ever been. I immediately became infatuated with the breathtaking mountain views, quiet forest scenes, and towering river canyons set the stage for hot springs throughout Sawtooth National Forest.
The idea that anyone could just waltz up to a pristine hot spring tucked into a mountainous forest and have a moment of solitude in nature is foreign to people from most other states, while that same idea is considered more of a right or badge of honor amongst most native Idahoans. In an effort to serve both audiences, this “Guide to Sawtooth Mountain Hot Springs” is less of a guide, and more of a love letter on how to experience these precious pools responsibly. You will not find hot spring names to google, or directions to the pools here, but I do hope that first-time soakers and seasoned veterans alike find themselves hopping in their rig and heading to the mountains to relax in one of nature’s hot tubs. Before you head out for your first soak, it is important to be familiar with hot spring etiquette. While the basics of hot spring behavior are fairly intuitive, the ramifications of not following the etiquette are severe (e.g. the removal of Skinny Dipper Hot Springs by the Bureau of Land Management). Many public hot springs were installed by private citizens on public land, and very few are actively managed by a governing agency. For this reason, most public hot springs are effectively managed as “wilderness areas,” only with much higher concentrations of people than other wilderness areas. It is imperative to apply Leave No Trace (LNT) wilderness principals when visiting hot springs. These rules include: pack it in, pack it out; do not relieve yourself or camp within 200 feet of a water
source; and, be respectful of other people. Additionally, you should refrain from bringing glass bottles, bathing, and dunking your head - eliminating any risk of Naegleria fowleri (a brain-eating amoeba). Be very careful with dogs (who are susceptible to hot water burns). A good rule of thumb is to leash your dog and check the temperatures of the water before allowing your dog to free range. Finally, never, under any circumstance, geotag your hot spring photos (unless it is a private pool)! Despite these generally agreed upon “rules” to visiting a hot spring, there is certainly no one way to soak. The hot spring experience is a remarkably simple one — Step One: immerse yourself in hot water; there is no step two. However, each soak changes drastically with the company and setting. I’ve experienced solo soaks, social soaks, scalding soaks, tepid soaks, snowing-in-the-mountains soaks, hot afternoon soaks, and long conversation with naked strangers soaks, all in the Sawtooths. P U B L I C VS . P R I VA T E
GUIDE TO SOAKING IN THE SAWTOOTHS
The greatest deciding factor in your experience will likely
be whether you go to a public or a private hot spring. Public hot springs tend to be pools formed by mortar on public land, and managed by good samaritans. They are often more closely integrated into the natural setting, and more rustic, with limited or no facilities on site. Using a public hot springs is free, though there can be a small parking fee at the campground or parking lot. Private
hot springs require a fee for use, and can be anything to
THE GROUP SOAK
large and busy swimming pools to small intimate tubs
Though the group soak tends to eliminate the intimate
with a beautiful view. Though private hot springs are
connection with nature, it can certainly be a desirable
unequivocally the less adventurous option, they shouldn’t
setting for a natural hot tub party. The best way to pull
be written off. Private hot springs are typically cleaned
off this soak is to find a remote hot spring where camping
regularly, have facilities, sometimes offer lodging, and are
is legal, bring a few coolers of adult beverages and a
often more family friendly. They are also much easier to
Bluetooth speaker to fill the moment with your favorite
access and navigate to. For a one-of-a-kind private hot
adventure tunes. This is the most important soak to be
spring experience, visit the pool at the Mountain Village
exceedingly mindful of LNT principles for, not just with
Resort in the winter (usage free with room rental).
regards to forgoing glass and packing everything out,
A SOA K FOR EA CH S E A S ON
but also to ensure that any other soakers’ experiences are respected. Do not play loud music or crowd the hot
Make sure to plan for the season when visiting hot springs
spring if there are other visitors. Try to keep your group
in the Sawtooth Mountains. My favorite season for hot
limited to eight people or less. Private hot springs can be
springing is autumn, as the temperature is cool enough to
an outstanding way to plan a group outing.
make the warm pools enticing, and the pools are generally all accessible. Visiting hot springs in the winter requires
THE COUPLE SOAK
careful planning, as many roads close down for the season,
This is my most common soak. It is the easiest to plan, as
and it is easy to get stuck on the wrong side of a pass if
there are only two of you, and it is easy to be malleable to
you get caught in a serious storm. However, nothing beats
any situation. The best way to pull off this soak is to take a
sitting in a hot spring and listening to the sound of snow
day off work and head out on a weekday. You can almost
softly landing around you. I’ll let you decide if it’s worth
guarantee solitude if you go to a spring that requires
putting your frozen pants back on after your soak. Spring
hiking in from the highway, though even the roadside hot
soaking can be lovely, but be extremely careful to check
springs are often completely unattended. Bring a thermos
river levels as many pools are seasonally inaccessible
full of coffee for a morning soak, or a water bottle full of
during high spring flows. Going to hot springs in the
wine for the evening. My recommendation is to keep the
Sawtooth mountains during summer can be challenging as
music off, listen to the sounds of nature and watch for
it’s busy and hot. That said, there is no better way to finish
the abundant wildlife in the Sawtooth range. Follow these
a Sawtooth backpacking trip than relaxing in a natural hot
same instructions for a solo soak to personally connect
with the unrivaled beauty of the Sawtooth mountains from the comfort of geothermally heated water.
ATHLETE OF THE SEASON BRAYDON BRINGHURST
PROFESSION: Videographer, MBA Student at Boise State University,
features technical climbing, reaching the summit, holding my bike over my
Owner of Burst Media
head with a drone shot over a beautiful Moab slick-rock and then a shot of
FAVORITE IDAHO TRAIL TO BIKE: Stack Rock Trail
me ripping and roaring down the descent.”
BIGGEST PERSONAL BIKING ACCOMPLISHMENT: Creating the “Transcend” video with Canyon, a video about elevating yourself beyond the usual and
Although Bringhurst is a professional rider with his companies, he continues
developing a new perspective for the trails you ride and reinventing what’s
to exemplify his core beliefs, giving back and bringing people together
for common good. “I get the best of both worlds. I get to experience the
ULTIMATE GOAL: Bringing different forms of bike riding together by
excitement and support from these big professional companies, but I get
planning an event that breaks down walls and enables people to appreciate
to serve and help bring the community together.” Bringhurst and friends
all aspects of riding — Boise Mountain Bike Festival 2019.
that he’s met through Instagram have put on tons of free clinics for many riders in the community to teach them tips and tricks and unite the biking
Braydon Bringhurst has a lot of passion— for biking, serving and filming.
community. It’s Bringhurst’s hope to help people make lasting friendships
Coincidentally, he also has a lot of talent.
and connect over riding, the same way he has. “Obviously I love the riding, but the connections I make, the friendships in town, are what I love most.
Boise native, Bringhurst, left his high school career of BMX racing and
You grow close to the people you’re riding with.”
traveling the country as a national champion to serve on a religious mission. He says that growing up, biking was something his parents supported him
Bringhurst’s next big project also aims at uniting the community. Bringhurst
in and his experience BMX racing taught him a lot. “It developed me into
and Kirk Cheney, co founder of Boisetrails.com, planned the Boise Mountain
the person I am today. It gave me self-belief and it helped me to set and
Bike Festival, to take place at Bogus Basin on August 24th, 2019. It’ll be a
reach goals.” Bringhurst says that deciding not to go pro, but serving on
one-day event for all different style of riders ranging from cross-country
a mission instead was an easy decision. After two years of serving, he
riders, enduro riders, downhill riders and more. The event will feature
attended college with a track and field scholarship. After college, he and
bike shops, demos, some of the raddest riders in town, good food and,
his wife moved back to Boise where he picked up his old passion of biking,
hopefully, great music.
creating an Instagram page (@bikerbrayd) to build a network of bikers and ultimately combine his passion for biking, serving and people.
Bringhurst is incredibly excited about the future of biking in his life, including putting on the Boise Mountain Bike Festival. He says that he is fortunate to
Aside from riding, Bringhurst is a talented videographer and has had the
be able to pursue his passion and career in biking due to support from his
opportunity to work with his sponsors on creating films centered around
wife and two children.
mountain biking. Bringhurst says his biggest accomplishment as a filmmaker and biker is his most recent video produced for Canyon because of
Look for Braydon on the trails, attend one of his clinics or catch him at the
its message and success. “I’ve gotten a lot of feedback that it inspires people
Boise Mountain Bike Festival 2019.
to go out and ride. The video exemplifies the meaning of mountain biking. It
RIDGE TO RIVERS A DREAM REALIZED IN BOISEâ€™S BACKYARD
32 MARK SOLON
The Ridge to Rivers Trail System boasts more than 190 miles of trails throughout the Boise Foothills. The vision of preserving the foothills for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians dates back to the 1940s when community leaders were discussing the future of the hills that had been a part of the Fort Boise Army Barracks military training area. A number of committees over the years echoed this desire for preservation, and in 1992 a variety of local, state and federal agencies combined their efforts to turn this dream into reality. The Ridge to Rivers partnership consists of the City of Boise, Ada County, the Bureau of Land Management Four Rivers Field Office, the Boise National Forest and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. David Gordon is the program manager for the City of Boise, the lead agency of the trail system partnership. He’s worked to improve Boise’s trails for 14 years and gives us some insight into what it’s like being the steward of an ever-growing system.
Bonnie: How did you get involved with Ridge to Rivers?
Bonnie: You’re a mountain biker and hiker – what do you love most about Boise’s trails?
David: I saw the job opening and applied! I liked the idea of being able to provide a singular focus on trail system
David: Definitely the accessibility. I can jump on the trails
management. I had a lot of experience managing trails for
within a 5-minute ride from my home. I love having the
the U.S. Forest Service and felt like this was a good fit.
multitude of trail opportunities and the ability to lose myself in the foothills so quickly.
Bonnie: How big is the crew that does all the trail maintenance?
Bonnie: What’s the biggest challenge you and your crew face?
David: We have seven full-time trail staff from April through November, and four during winter months. Our
Use on our trails is growing at a phenomenal rate and that
season ramps up hard by mid to late March and really
can lead to increased conflict. The idea for a Happy Trails
doesn’t slow down until mid to late November. We focus
campaign came to me last year after a few particularly poor
on maintenance of trails during the spring and fall months
encounters that I heard about involving rude trail users.
when there is moisture in the ground, then concentrate
We have a shared use trail system, so it is imperative that
on site-specific trail projects during the warmer and drier
everyone get along and treat each other with respect and
months. There’s a lot of ground to cover each year and we
kindness. That means slowing down, smiling, and saying
try to prioritize as best we can to meet different trail users’
hello to one another. My goal is to make Boise a model
for shared use trail systems. We face the same challenges that all other busy trail systems face across the nation. I
Bonnie: How has the trail system changed over the
want people from other places to think of Boise and say
years you’ve been managing it?
“look at them – they get along with each other and are friendly – let’s do the same thing.”
David: It has changed a lot. After working so many years managing large and complex trail systems for the U.S. Forest Service, I joked that they hired a ranch foreman to
Bonnie: What excites you about the future for Boise’s
manage a hobby farm when I first got here. That may have
RIDGE TO RIVERS
been a bit of an overstatement, but it is nowhere close to
the truth now. With an additional 70 miles of trail and an
David: I’m excited about sharing the Happy Trails pledge
estimated 50% increase in use over the last decade, this
and promoting positivity – seeing that change in people’s
is a very challenging system to manage – especially with
behavior toward one another on the trails. We really are
all of the private landowners, different land management
very lucky to have this free amenity in our backyard. I’m
agencies, increased user expectations and extremely
also excited about the potential for new trail opportunities
erosive trails that comprise the foothills.
that we hope to provide in the next few years. Stay tuned! For more information about the Ridge to Rivers partnership and daily trail conditions, visit RidgetoRivers.org
"I'M EXCITED ABOUT SHARING THE HAPPY TRAILS PLEDGE AND PROMOTING POSITIVITY - SEEING THAT CHANGE IN PEOPLE'S BEHAVIOR TOWARD ONE ANOTHER ON THE TRAILS. "
HIDDEN GEMS SOUTHERN IDAHO DESERT SIGHTS TO SEE
SPONSORED STORY BY:
Words // Photography Courtesy Of:
VISIT SOUTH IDAHO
Scorched and scarred by lava, Southern Idaho’s desert landscapes can seem unforgiving — a sea of sagebrush and lava rock that stretches beyond the horizon. For the unknowing traveler, she may seem dull or dry, but Southern Idaho’s true treasures lie beyond the surface. Adventurers that wander longer and look deeper are likely to discover her secrets — caves and coves of shimmering blue waters and delicate ferns. Fiercely bright wildflowers bloom against the black basalt, covering the earth in a painted tapestry. The foothills and valleys harbor hot springs and crystal clear lakes. Canyon walls showcase thousands of waterfalls and vivacious wildlife. Some of Idaho’s greatest gems are hidden in the desert landscape. Mysterious and beautiful, the desert isn’t always what it seems and these are just a few of the hidden wonders that await your visit.
B O X C A NY O N W E ND E L L , I D A quick scan of the unadulterated desert plain outside of Wendell leads the unknowing mind to believe this area is a dry field. However, a little ways down the trail, the Earl M. Hardy Box Canyon Springs Nature Preserve hides a turquoise oasis. Box Canyon is home to America’s 11th largest spring, with 118,000 gallons of water flowing per minute into a pristine blue pool and down a cascading fall into two more pools below. Adventurers can take a dip to cool off from the hot desert sun, hike the six-mile loop around the spring, or admire the sound of water crashing over the falls.
T EA KETTLE CAVE G OO DI N G , ID Tucked back on BLM land hides another treasure known as Tea Kettle Cave. Surrounded by sagebrush and lava rock, low-clearance vehicles are not advised, but curious adventurers can just as well enjoy a mile-long hike to the entrance of the “spout”. The roof of the cave, resembling a tea kettle with an open lid, lets light into the base of the cave. Soft ferns bathed in sunlight grow at the base and stay green almost year round,
contrasting the desert-scape beautifully.
S C O T T ’ S P O ND ACCES S JEROME, ID Lost down a few country roads, Scott’s Pond’s entrance hovers on the edge of the Snake River Canyon. A short canyon trail (a little under a mile), featuring several springfed cascades and waterfalls leads adventurers to Scott’s Pond Access. Relatively unknown, the small pond and canyon acreage is reminiscent of native canyon habitat. Deer, waterfowl, fish and other wildlife call the 200 acre area home. Locals enjoy
and kayaking access to 12 miles of relatively unused Snake River Canyon. It is also a great place to put in for accessing one of the best sturgeon fishing spots in Southern Idaho.
MAM M OT H C A VE S HO SHONE, ID Stone faces and peacocks greet travelers at this quirky cave and Bird Museum. Hand held propane lanterns light your way through a self-guided tour of the world’s largest volcanic cave open to the public. Mammoth Cave stays a cool 41 degrees year round, housing a silvercolored microorganism on the walls. Adjacent to the cave is a museum more curious than any in Idaho. The owners of the Shoshone Bird Museum have collected natural oddities from around the world including thousands of stuffed birds and other fossilized creatures. It’s a little like something out of the twilight zone.
S K I L L E R N H O T S P RING S FAIRFIELD, ID Nestled in the Sawtooth Mountains by Fairfield, the showering waters of Skillern Hot Springs flow from the hillside at 140 degrees F. Located about three miles from the trail head, the mineral waters are healing and provide a secluded haven for relaxation. Spend the night under the stars at one of many primitive campsites up or downstream of the springs. Nothing beats a soak at dawn, backcountry coffee in hand.
S HO SHO NE FA LLS T WI N F ALLS, ID The thundering power of Shoshone Falls makes it one of the most iconic attractions in Idaho. Thousands of visitors see the falls each year, but a daring few experience its full majesty. Paddlers willing to make the four hour tip and portage over Pillar Falls can stand, humbled, at the base of the 212’ waterfall. The trip takes you by waterfalls and wildlife, under BASE Jumpers and into the throne room of the ‘Niagara of the West’. The journey is nothing short of epic, but the destination is truly
I ND E P E ND E NC E L AK ES HIK E – A L B I O N, I D There are a number of rare and stunning sites in the Albion Mountain Range, but the Independence Lakes are some of the most enchanting. The three jeweled lakes are situated along a moderate 7.7 mile out and back trail. Each lake gains in elevation and difficulty for a total climb of 1,700’. Experienced hikers/ scramblers can attempt to summit Cache
highest peak) to catch a bird’s eye view of all three lakes. For a shorter expedition and less climbing, visitors can opt to stop at the first or second alpine lake to bask in the sun and take a plunge.
B L U E H E A RT SPRINGS H AGERMAN, ID Flying over Hagerman some might notice a shimmering blue sapphire dangling from the proud waters of the Snake River. Blue Heart Springs is a hidden cove filled with bubbling Caribbean
clear water is starkly contrasted by black basalt canyon walls and desert surroundings. Kayakers lucky enough to discover the heart shaped oasis are met with a gem thousands of years in the making. Crafted by time, fire and water, Southern Idaho’s landscapes are truly spectacular. There are canyons to climb, valleys to cross and secrets to be discovered. It’s time to uncover your wonder.
(2 0 8) 315-4082 id aho.revolusun.com
C H A N G I N G L I V E S . . . O N E B I K E AT A T I M E .
2 4 2 2 W M A I N S T , B O I S E , I D 8 3 7 0 243
HYDRATION ELEVATION, WATER & YOUR BODY.
Nine. The number of peaks in Idaho that sit above 12,000 feet.
The aptly named Gem State also
boasts a handful of others that fall between the 10-11,000 foot mark and a plethora that boast an impressive prominence of 300-feet or more. Pick one of them.
It doesnâ€™t matter which one; just
pick one and a quick real-time glance will tell you summer is rapidly approaching as the snow levels decrease and the CFS of our rivers increase (rafters, rejoice!). Hydration can seem like an incredibly predictable topic from a dietitian as we watch the temperatures rapidly rise and the plans weâ€™ve been making all winter begin to come to fruition, but hear me out.
WHY DRINK I N G E N OUG H M A TTE R S Drinking enough is about far more than just making sure your pee comes out clear- it’s about actually helping you perform better in your pursuits of all that Idaho has to offer. Dehydration can drastically increase the physiologic strain on the body. That’s simply saying that it makes it very
2) HEAT: There’s no shocker here. It’s not earth-shattering
difficult for the body to function normally when you’re
news to see where you lose a significant amount of fluid as
not taking in enough fluid. Inadequate replacement of
the mercury begins flittering with the triple digits. We’ve
water losses can affect mental clarity and aerobic capacity
found some folks can lose (via sweat, urine, breathing,
performance during exercise- nerd speak for saying you
etc.) as much as two percent of their body weight in
won’t be able to huff and puff well enough to reach that
certain conditions. Ironically enough, we’ve also identified
peak in the distance. If left ignored, it could eventually lead
a loss of two or more percent of person’s body weight as
to even riskier issues like heat illnesses (think dehydration,
the point when things really start to go south in terms
heat stroke, etc.).
of performance and being able to continue on.
objective marker of two percent doesn’t allow a heck of Let’s take a closer look at some of the factors that can
a lot of wiggle room to play with; only about 3.5lbs for a
necessitate the need for making sure that extra H2O-filled
Nalgene bottle makes the cut in your gear packing list. FAC T ORS T HA T CA N A FFE CT H YD R A TI ON
3) EXERCISE: The contraction of a muscle produces a tremendous amount of heat; a temperature increase that
1) ALTITUDE: There’s plenty of goods to be had in Idaho
eventually makes its way to your body’s core. Couple this
for high-altitude junkies.
Mount Borah sits at 12,667
with the environmental factors that come with summer
feet, which means you’re more than a third of the way
and you can quickly see how exercise can lead to increased
up the tallest peak in the world and well on your way to
sweat rates, overall fluid losses, and a trend towards a
spending time at the cruising altitude of a large jetliner.
desperate need for replacing all the goods you lose in
Unfortunately, this also means your need to hydrate
sweat. Even those who are acclimated to heat and well-
properly becomes even more important. As you increase
trained in exercise (two factors that have been shown to
in vertical feet, your breathing picks up immensely. This, in
reduce the risk of high fluid losses) can be at risk.
turn, causes a higher loss of water through an increased
respiratory rate. Couple this with changing blood volumes
Are there others? Sure, but these are the major factors and
and urinary losses and you can quickly see why hydrating
factors that need to be on your checklist when planning for
adequately in the mountains becomes paramount.
HOW CAN YOU TE LL I F YOU’ R E PR OPE R L Y HYDRA T ED?
realize are going on. They affect everything from nerve
There are algorithms galore in the medical field and the
the contraction of every muscle ranging from those in the
science of nutrition is no different.
legs to the ticker in your chest.
impulses, to enzymes that keep metabolism running, to
would tell you toting a scale with you everywhere you go to measure how much fluid you actually lose in sweat is
Sodium: The Chief Electrolyte in Outdoor Activity.
the best way to tell if you’re sipping enough for the day, but
There are a whole host of substances that fall under
ain’t nobody got time, space, or the desire for ‘dat!
the heading of electrolytes in human nutrition.
include sodium, potassium, chloride, bicarbonate, sulfate, Instead, I point you to two very basic tests I call the “P and
magnesium, and calcium.
T”. The “P” stands for pee, which can simply be done by
work together, there’s one we’re going to pay the most
analyzing the color of your urine. You don’t need to make
attention to: sodium.
While all are important and
this scientific by brining small cups for deep analysis. Just check the color and know you’re aiming for a hue of yellow
Why focus on sodium? Why give one electrolyte so much
that is of the “light straw” variety. Clear could potentially be
attention? Sodium is the chief electrolyte in the fluid that
too hydrated, but it’s the dark yellow stuff we really want to
sits outside of our body’s cells and serves to help maintain
avoid. If you’re at that point, it’s time to start drinkin’, son!
our fluid balance.
It’s also the main electrolyte found
in sweat and one of the main reasons people start to The “T” on the other hand is for “tenting”. It’s a simple test
experience cramping during exercise.
that is done by pinching the skin on your arm, legs, etc. If the skin remains raised after you’ve let go, it’s likely that
As a matter of fact, it’s been estimated that there can be
you’re in need of some more fluid. If it falls to normal, you
an entire day’s worth of salt resting in a liter of sweat. This
should be set to go.
fact alone helps us see why replacement is so vital. The
ELECT ROLYT E S AN D H YD R A TI ON - TWO PE A S I N A POD. Hydration is only one piece of the equation when it comes
importance of the nutrient is emphasized even more when we take into account the aforementioned environmental factors.
to the rising temperatures summer brings. The other equally important piece is electrolytes. What are they all and why are they important? I’d argue fluids and electrolytes are two of the most overlooked aspects of performance nutrition. Electrolytes are vital for a number of different bodily functions happening on a day-in, day-out basis that we don’t even
to the wise if you opt for this route: salt as purchased in a
Excess loss of sodium from too much hydration or excess
grocery is only 40% sodium by weight. This means that for
losses from sweat can be utterly detrimental; however, fear
every 100 grams of table salt measured, you’re only getting
not! You’re not destitute to reaching these low levels if you
about 40 grams of true sodium. This isn’t a deal breaker
plan adequate replacement.
by any means, but something to pay attention to in the development of your own drinks.
A person has several options when thinking about how to integrate sodium in the pursuits of all the Idaho outdoors
P U T T I NG I T A L L T O G E T H E R
have to offer:
Will we be spending time above altitude?
temperature going to be? Am I planning a big push or 1) EAT IT: That’s right, just eat the stuff. Plan to bring
summit bid? Are we headed to a place where there’s an
high salt foods like pretzels, goldfish crackers, and those
adequate water supply; even if we have to filter? These
arguably delicious freeze-dried meals that require a bath
are questions that need to be floating around in your brain
in the steaming hot water only a backcountry stove could
as you plan for your next big outdoor adventure. There’s
We often pay close attention to the sodium
very little that can quickly ruin a trip like the effects that
content of food while at home and tremble. While some
precipitate out of not having enough fluid and electrolytes
of this is warranted, we’re talking about entirely different
in the type of climate an Idaho summer can bring.
conditions in our aspirations to discover the far reaches of the Idaho wilderness; conditions that necessitate this
Planning is important, but I also don’t want you to
higher sodium intake. There are obvious caveats here for
overthink this. Sure, sure, we could nickel and dime this,
folks with heart and kidney issues, but the nutrient is fine
give you precise recommendations, so on and so forth;
in higher quantities for the rest of us.
but the reality is you’d lose interest and “just wing it, bro”, at the mention of the word “calculator”. Instead I leave
2) DRINK IT: There are number of electrolyte drinks that
you with two planning basics: plan to bring more water
dissolve in water and many contain sodium in addition to
than you think you’ll need. And plan to bring some sort
needed carbohydrates. While those will work, there are
of electrolyte replacement if you’ll be sweating in the
others specially formulated to carry a higher salt content
backcountry for more than an hour.
for these specific reasons.
The reality is that hydration and electrolyte needs can be
2) MAKE YOUR OWN: Conjure up your inner chemist and
a very individualized thing based on multiple different
create your own supplement drink. There are a number
of recipes that can be found with a quick Google search.
implementing some very basic planning can reduce the
You’ll quickly find they’re easy to put together, requiring
risk of heat illness substantially and help you have a happy,
only ingredients available at your local grocery. A word
safe, and fun summer exploring outdoor Idaho.
Heeding a few of these cautionary tips and
HAPPY TRAILS PLEDGE AT RIDGETORIVERS.ORG It's up to all of us to preserve the Boise Foothills trails we know and love.
LIGHTER, FARTHER, FASTER. Words by:
We are incredibly privileged to live in Idaho where we have access to seemingly endless amounts of spectacular wilderness to explore. If you are anything like me and work 9-5 throughout the week, you will be cramming a lot of your explorations into weekends and extended holidays. I have found that carrying less allows me to adventure farther and faster so I can take in everything our great state has to offer. There are some ultralight Instagram influencers who would have you believe that you can only achieve ultralight status by dropping hundreds of dollars on specialized gear. Donâ€™t believe everything you read on the internet. It can be super easy to shed pounds from your pack without breaking the bank. Below are five pieces of inexpensive ultralight gear to get you started on a new lighter lifestyle.
C NO C VE C T O The Sawyer Squeeze comes with its own water collection bag, but I much prefer using the Cnoc Vecto. The Cnoc Vecto is a two-sided water carrying bag, one side has a wide open mouth perfect for scooping water from a lake or stream, and the other side is threaded to connect with a filter like the Sawyer Squeeze. Made out of a super durable stretchy material, you can drive your truck over a full Vecto without losing a drop of water. Even better, the Vecto weighs just 2.6 oz., and is available at www. cnocoutdoors.com for just $18. For just $3 more you can get a coupling piece from Amazon to turn the Vecto and Sawyer Squeeze into an Ultralight gravity system. The fullsize Sawyer Squeeze plus the Cnoc Vecto and coupling system cost just $61 and weighs in at only 6 oz. The popular Platypus GravityWorks system will set you back $120 and weighs 11.5 oz.
SAWYER SQUE E ZE
T O A K S T I T A NI U M C O O K I NG P O T
Might just be me, but water on the trail has never tasted
The 550 ml version of the Toaks Titanium Cooking pot
more delicious than when it has been filtered with the
weighs just 3.4 oz. with the lid, or 2.8 oz. without the lid
Sawyer Squeeze. The full-size squeeze is just 3 oz and will
and can be purchased from Amazon.com for just $25. This
cost about $40 at REI. It filters to .1 micron and is good for
pot holds two cups of water which is plenty for morning
100,000 gallons worth of water. To compare, the Katadyn
coffee or to cook a meal for two. If you would like a slightly
Hiker Microfilter pump (my former water filtration system)
larger pot, Toaks also makes this in a 750 ml flavor for just
is priced at $70 at REI, filters to .2 microns, weighs 11 oz.,
$10 more. Combined with the BRS stove, you will have an
and is only good for 200 gallons of water. Sawyer has also
entire cook system that weighs just 4.35 oz. and costs less
recently released the Micro Squeeze, which has all the
than $40. For comparison sake, the Jetboil your best friend
benefits of the full-size squeeze but weighs just 2 oz. and
has been bragging about, can cost upwards of $100 and
is available on Amazon.com for only $28.99. To shed even
weighs in at a relatively hefty 13 oz. Sure the Jetboil can
more weight and cost, you can buy the Sawyer Mini for just
boil two cups of water in 3:30, but for the weight and cost
$20, but expect a reduced flow rate.
savings I’m willing to wait an extra 30 seconds for my meal.
T HE RM-A-RE S T Z-SE A T
B R S S T O VE
Most ultralight backpackers will happily sit on the cold
Weighing in at just under an ounce (.95 oz. with its
hard dirt and save the weight of carrying a backpacking
included stuff sack), the BRS is easily the lightest stove on
chair, however, the Therm-a-Rest Z-Seat offers a happy
the market. Made out of titanium and brass this tiny stove
compromise. While it doesn’t have the back support of a
packs a wallop. In most conditions, you can bring two cups
chair, it will keep your derriere warm on cold ground or
of water to a boil in just around four minutes. The best
snow. It also offers some cushion if you are perched on a
part about this stove is the price, you can purchase the
rock or a log for your lunch. Best part about the Z-Seat is
BRS from Amazon.com for less than $20. As of the writing
it’s weight at just 2 oz. and costs $14.95 at REI. To compare,
of this article, the current price is just $14.90.
the best-selling REI Flexlite chair weighs in at 1lb 10 oz. and will set you back about $80. The Z-Seat is a simple luxury
I hope all of you happy backpackers are able to save
that makes a huge difference whether you are backpacking
yourself a few pounds and a lot of dollar bills for your next
or just going for a day hike, I never leave home without it.
adventure. I will see you out on the trail.
BLACK SLABBATH - SWAN FALLS, IDAHO BY: EMALEE MARIE PHOTO Coach Kiley for the Boise Climb Team working a problem near Black Slabbath at Swan Falls. Near the Swan Falls Dam you’ll find fields of basalt rock for bouldering — A big beautiful playground for climbers within the Snake River.
FERN & SHADOW FALLS - COEUR D'ALENE, IDAHO BY: GEORGE BERNARD This gem of a waterfall is located in the deep woods of the Coeur d’Alene National Forest. The dirt road cut off can be very snowy or muddy depending on the time of year. Once the trailhead is reached, it is a short hike in and hosts an upper and lower fall. The trail winds through a valley with a large creek, man-made bridges, rest benches and railings, as well as many large cedar trees. The canopy provides shade throughout the hike. The falls are almost always flowing heavily year-round, however spring offers the best full experience. The upper fall is larger than the lower and contains some amazing mossy rock shelves carved away by water over time. This gives the falls a dramatic look and makes them great for photography. This is one of the most easily accessible, beautiful waterfalls in North Idaho, which makes it one of my favorites to visit.
SCOTCHMAN PEAK - SANDPOINT, IDAHO BY: DON OTIS The Idaho Panhandle is split between the Cabinet Mountains in the East and the Selkirk Range to the West. Though the peaks are not particularly high, the views rival anything Idaho has to offer. The monarch of Idahoâ€™s Cabinet Range is 7009 foot Scotchman Peak, famously known for the mountain goats that grace the high ridgeline in the summer. It is rated the hardest class 1 peak in the state with 3,700 feet of vertical over eight miles of round trip hiking. The trail spills out of the forest to a rocky open ridge that takes you the last 600 feet to the summit. The sweeping views of Lake Pend Orielle, the Clark Fork Delta, Schweitzer Mountain, and higher summits of Montana are unmatched. In the summer the trail is lined with huckleberries, bear grass and wildflowers.
CASINO LOOP - STANLEY, IDAHO BY: MAX BENZ Ketchum locals Sarah Arthur (right) and Bridget Noonan (left) waste no time after the snow melts in the Sawtooth Mountains to tackle the Casino Loop near Stanley, Idaho. This 20-mile ride consists of a grueling climb, with the technical downhill allowing for no respite. A sweeping view of the Sawtooth Mountains and Redfish Lake provides a great distraction on this challenging ride.
SNAKE RIVER CANYON - TWIN FALLS, IDAHO BY: MONICA MCCUE, IDAHO BUCKET LIST The Snake River Canyon in Twin Falls offers endless entertainment all summer long for adventure seekers. Kayaking, SUP, BASE jumping, hiking, boating, climbing, skiing, golfing and more all right here in our backyard.
The Sawtooths Issue