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!

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.


Mores Creek Summit

Outside of Idaho City

Mores Creek Summit


Okay, so we didn’t make it to the summit. We made it maybe half-way today. I figure it means we have a goal for next summer to make it to the summit.

We did a convoy thing with my mom and her husband to a trail that they randomly found a few years ago. It is about an hour or so away from home, so not bad. The drive is gorgeous. Windows down, Tom Petty on.


I put Lady H on my back and we started on our way. It is actually just a dirt road, not a single track, but we only saw two pick-up trucks while hiking. The day got hot quickly, we were all thirsty after about 5 minutes, and Lady H felt heavy going uphill. We were all in pretty good spirits though with no real need or desire to make it all 8 plus miles this time.


How lucky are we to have this wonderful woman hiking with us? My mom is pretty impressive–she still hikes up to 7 miles every day. She also is an amazing grandmother to her grandbabies.


Lady H figured out how to get herself into the pictures.

Grandpa Mike was throwing big rocks off the road onto the steep hillside. Lady H was wondering what was going on here.


Mr. G taking a break.


Father and daughter
Few shirts fit me better. Mountain Mama.
Top of the world, this girl.

Super proud of Lady H today. She hiked the whole way down and with much enthusiasm. Conquering one mountain at a time.

Fast feet



Idaho views

After the hike, we went to my all time favorite diner in all of the United States. That may sound like a mighty claim, but you if you have tried their patty melt and coconut cream pie, you would agree.

Post-hike and post-patty melt, I drove us home with the windows down, Fleetwood Mac on this time. Everyone passed out, while I had some pretty awesome quiet time to myself.

Happy hiking and stay rad, my friends.

Idaho: Alpine Lake Hike

There are many stories without narrative. This may be one as well.


After setting up our campsite, we pretty much read and laid around lazily while our children managed to cover themselves in dirt and marshmallows for the rest of the day. Then holed up in our tent and slept. It was the definition of vacation. The camping gods smiled upon us that day. 

The next morning, we woke up with no expectations and when we wanted, coffeed-upped, and went to the beach.

After having no real plan and after soaking up max amount of sun before moving on, we sort of just decided to go for a hike. That’s the way our family rolls. We get restless and want to keep moving. We went back to camp, got suited up for a hike, and went to the trailhead. I had already done some sussing out distances and whatnot on my run that morning, so knew we wanted to head toward Alpine Lake, an eight mile hike round trip.



This 6-year-old did an amazing job hiking. It started to get a little hard for him, so I busted out some bribery. I told him I would give him a dollar for every mile he hiked. He had stores of energy left after that little tidbit of information came out. It’s a trick I learned from my own father. Some parenting hacks are ageless. Don’t judge.


I packed Lady H in, uphill. She slept for a good hour or so. When we travel she will not nap in her bed, so packing her in this Manduca has proven to be infinitely worth the $15 I paid for it second-hand. I have hiked her in it across Thailand, Hong Kong, Borneo, Singapore, Malaysia, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, and Idaho–every time getting those naps that are worth more than my hiking shoes.


When she decided to peak out and get a good view of the mountains, she was pretty happy. I was happy to have a little buddy to chat with, too. I love how excited she is about all the things she can see. She did want to walk, but by the time she woke up we were in some gnarly terrain and I had to squelch that desire for a bit.

The final kick to the Alpine Lake was fairly steep, then a slight descent into the lake. We did start our hike in the afternoon, so we didn’t have loads of time once we arrived. I let Lady H out of the pack to run around and get her legs back. Then the horseflies made their appearance, loving our sweaty bodies. We didn’t last long there–took a few pictures, and headed back down.

Little G and I continued on the game that Mr. G taught him of ‘doubling back,’ an old cowboy trick when being pursued in the mountains. We ran ahead of Mr. G, hid in the mountains, and then let him go by. Of course then we sneak up on him and scare the bejeezers out of him. It’s an awesome trick to get your kid to trail run and enjoy the hike a bit more.It got him down the mountain with few complaints. We also brought snacks to ‘power up’ as my son refers to it. That also helps.

Lady H walked the last few kilometers before getting back to the car. She maneuvered the rocks and roots like a boss.

We did the 8 miles in 3 hours, 15 minutes.

A long, hot day in the mountains warranted some much-deserved s’mores for the kids and beers for the grown-ups.


In the morning, we packed up and headed to the Kirkham Hot Springs to soak the sore muscles. Heck, yes. Nothing like a good hotspring post-hike.

Bracing myself for the hella HOT hotsprings. 

Happy hiking and stay rad!

Bogus Basin Stack Rock Family Hike

Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience. -Ralph W. Emerson

Hiking is a great way to spend a day off from running. It is also really good for our kids to get outside and into nature. Both of them love it. Their imaginations run wild and they find endless entertainment in the rocks, sticks, dirt, butterflies, chipmunks, and whatever else they discover along the way. They learn to get back up when they fall and scrape their knees, both of which did this on our 13.7 kilometer (8.5 mile) hike through the trails of Bogus Basin.

This is another annual hike we do. It is about an hour drive from our house and is one of the greener places to be found in the desert city of Boise. Driving up Bogus Basin Road, you can see the terrain change from dry, dusty, brown to green, muddy, pine trees. It makes me reminiscent of the greener Northern Idaho, where I was born and bred.

The hike has a fair bit of elevation gain throughout, but the kids did great. Lady H was packed for most of it, but insisted on getting out and walking parts herself, which is wonderful to see her exerting her love of nature like the rest of us. B hiked nearly the whole thing, with an occasional piggy back ride from me. It took us a little under four hours, but very little complaining. The break at Stack Rock helped B regain his energy. As for Mr. G, he was pretty tired from doing most of the packing of Lady H.

There is no place in the world that brings the same feeling as the wilderness of Idaho. You can feel and see the patience of nature in every direction. Stress evaporates. There is something instinctual in being in the woods. It feels like it is a place we are supposed to be. I spend a lot of my life feeling foreign and stretching my learning, which is wonderful and I am grateful for all of the opportunities, but places like this are places where I can just be.


My 6-year-old is my photographer.

Dad strength

Foothills Family Hike

Top of the hill, shoes full of cheatgrass.

Every summer, we do a family hike into the Foothills behind our house. We have done this since we first built our house and it was vast open space. It was once on the edge of town, but now it has started to blend into the rest of Boise. We have watched houses be built in our neighborhood, then the next neighborhood over, and so on. We sit at the top of the hill and contemplate what it will look like in ten years time.

Our annual tradition involves cheatgrass and local beers. We always go in the afternoon, after naps and early dinner. The wind is always blowing and the hot sun beats down. As the years have gone by, B has gotten stronger and more capable of hiking longer portions on his own. It is now Lady H’s turn to go through the slow release of independence as she goes in and out of the pack, taking turns with running and running out of energy.

Ready to go!

Sunglasses and trucker hats.


My little trail runners. My mama heart is proud!

Chasing after her brother.
Caught him.
Keep it rad, all day.


My sweet Lady H.

Go outside and stay rad!


Sarajevo’s Abandoned Bobsled Track


Nestled on Trebević mountain, winds an abandoned bobsleigh track built for the 1984 Winter Olympics. It has since been left to let nature and war reclaim it. It now shows its age and disrepair through graffiti, moss growth on the siding, bullet holes, and the crumbling concrete.

Our hike down from the cable cars. They are happy campers when they get to run free.



It is not far from the city center of Sarajevo and to get to it you can either hike up the steep hills that surround the city, take a taxi, or enjoy going up the newly rebuilt cable cars and hiking back down. People often stop to check out the track when they are out exploring the paved paths through the mountain.


It was cool to walk the track. This is B’s version of kick the can–kick the pine cone.


Uh, wrong way Lady H.


Back on track.


After the Olympics, they continued to use the track during World Cup competitions. Unfortunately, its use came to an end during the Siege of Sarajevo. It is hard to imagine that during the 90’s the curving lanes were used for strategic artillery positions by Serb forces.

IMG_3983 (1)
View from the cable cars.


The loneliness of an abandoned bobsled track that has seen its glory days and has seen the ugly days of war, is a strange juxtaposition. The dark days that it has seen may be lifting. I have heard tales of reconstruction, but I did not see any evidence of that today. Time will tell.