Sunday, January 18, 2015

Hwy 20 – Willow Creek C.G.

On 8-1-2014 my 10 year old son, my father in law, and I started my next portion of ICT.  Because of my previous bad luck on this trail, and bringing my young son this time, you can bet that I had my stuff together on this trip.  We rode the 19 miles to Hunter Transfer Camp on mountain bikes, with no setbacks.  The Castle Rocks were pretty cool, but we really didn’t stop to admire their awkwardness.  The first two miles were downhill and the last two miles were downhill, but everything in between was a gradual uphill climb on gravel or paved roads.  We took a long good break at H.T.C. then threw our packs on and began the walking express.  We only hiked approximately 4 miles, and camped near Ellis Gulch.  Saw a few deer on the way there, but that was it for the rest of the trip.  As soon as we went to sleep that night, it started raining, and didn’t stop until right before we woke up.  Today’s hike would be approximately 9 miles, and a 2100’ climb.  I don’t know if was from all the rain, but we had to cross the creek approximately 12 times, and about 5 of those crossings were walking through the water.  Have your water shoes and towel handy!  Two miles from the top, there is a sign indicating 2-miles until Grouse Butte, make sure you get water here!!!  This is the last water until you hit the South Fork Boise River.  These last two miles were a little tough, but worth the view on the top.  The next day we walked down five miles to Willow Creek C.G.  This is a 2400’ drop, and got pretty steep in some points.  When we got close to the South Fork Boise River, I’m pretty sure I heard a rattlesnake in the bush, and then saw a dead one on the road along the river.  Keep your head up in this area!  I was pretty disappointed that we didn’t see much wildlife, especially after my wife bought me bear spray, because she wouldn’t let our son come without it.  Well, it now time to get some of this winter sludge off, and get ready for this summer, as I want to get to Dagger Falls before the end of hiking season.  Until next time, be safe out there!


Ron said...

thanks for the trail reports Jerry. You are right that it wouldn't be the ICT without wrong turns, vehicle breakdowns, water issues, foot issues, etc. that's part of the adventure. Keep plugging along and keep sharing the stories with us.

Jim Pierce said...

Hi Jerry. Thank you for these great updates. I am planning on biking from the southern terminus to Hunter transfer camp over Memorial day. But let me ask you this: is the section from HTC to Willow Creek bike-able? It looks like the pitch isn't too overwhelming but I can't tell if the trail is amenable to a mt bike. I would love your advice. Thanks!
Jim Pierce

Jerry E. said...

Sorry for the late response, as I'm just now reading this. A rider in good shape with a good bike could definitely ride this section. You will have to hike a bike on a few creek crossings, and get a good workout the last two miles, but it's doable. I recommend going to mtnbike and navigating the map. Here is some links to this trail. Good luck, and let me know how it goes!

Jerry E. said...
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