Idaho Hiking: Deep Lake and Lake Rock Lake

McCall, Idaho

Moving Mountains

With our little tribe, we did our annual camping trip with my dad and his wife. It is a highlight of our summer each year. We loaded up our Trail Blazer with all the gear and made the three hour drive to the middle of Idaho. McCall, Idaho is a good meeting point for us because it is half way for both sides. My sister and her family also live there, so they usually join us for a little bit.

After unloading and setting up camp, we fatted out most of the day. In the morning, we were ready to find some places to hike. My dad knows Idaho like the back of his hand, spending every waking moment seemingly hiking all over the state. Side note–he has been to over 400 alpine lakes in Idaho…since he started counting 15 years ago. Along with all that knowledge of the land, comes maps for every area. He busted out his trusty dusty map and found around 10 options or so for our day hike. Looking at the map, it was a little unclear the distances to each lake, but we chose Deep Lake after some discussion about elevation gain vs. distance and availability of road and trail access. Keep in mind we have littles in tow—a 6-year-old and a 2-year-old.

Checking out the view–sadly, there was a fire here in the early 90s and it is still recovering.

Pumped and ready. He knows that Poppy hikes include better bribes than Mom and Dad offer.

We headed to the trail head of Deep Lake and were prepared for what we thought would be a 3 mile hike in.

Trail running.

It was a fairly steep ascent into Deep Lake, but ended up being much shorter than we anticipated. It was about 1.5 miles into the lake. I am fairly certain my husband just considered it good luck and that would be that.

My dad busted out his trusty dusty map again and we found some back up lakes. We looked a few to try and find, but had not settled on anything solid. After spending a little time running around the lake, we started our hike back to the trailhead.

The crew.

Getting some loving.

Leading the way.

Lady H hiked 1.5 miles back with a little help from her brother. Watch below.

Lady H is already a little trail runner. When she wasn’t climbing over logs and rocks, she was bombing those little legs down the dirt.

Don’t forget to hydrate, my friends.

After stopping and talking to some people we met on the trail and getting some sound advice, we decided to try to find Lake Rock Lake.

Yes, that is the name.

We drove down some more dirt roads and landed back on the main road. We pulled off the side where we thought the trail might start. We started hiking and realized it would be a solid amount of bushwhacking and crossing creeks, sans trail. We turned around and kept driving…about 50 feet down the road. Nailed it. We found the trailhead and started some serious elevation gain.

My little forest troll.

Natural born hiker.

It was this little lady’s nap time–she needs to be going at a certain pace to get into the groove of Manduca sleeping. This meant I had to head straight up hill and a fair pace, leaving behind the group.

She did get a solid nap in, even if it did fall a little short of her normal time frame.

I found huckleberries!

Improvise.

Once Lady H had fallen asleep, I picked some huckleberries and waited for the rest of the crew. Not being in constant motion did end up waking her up, but she was happy enough as long as I made goofy selfie faces.

Mr. G, Mountain Man

Forever wild, this one.

Covered in dirt and happy as can be.

After carrying 32 pounds of toddler up 1,600 feet of elevation gain in 2 miles, I was pretty stoked to see water.

Not a bad view, and as my son said, “This was totally worth it!”

And just like that, back out.

Going down was much easier. I also made my husband wear the 2-year-old.

We got some pretty nice tans.

After we got back to camp, we sat around and drank some cold much-earned beers. Few things taste as good as a cold beer after hiking all day.

The next day, we soaked in the hot springs at Burgdorf. So good.

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