Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Trip report: Nevada line to Snake River

Hello!  I wanted to post a report on my recent ICT hike from the Idaho/Nevada line to Highway 78 (a distance of 85 miles), 19-25 March 2016. 

On Saturday the 19th, my wife and I drove to the Murphy Hot Springs area where we hiked the two miles on the ICT from the road to the Nevada line and back.  We then spent the night at the nearby BLM campground where we had the place to ourselves.  The next morning I started hiking in earnest.

The trail is reasonably easy to follow using the maps from the Idaho Parks and Rec site, following (for the most part) 4-wheeler trails and marked by white Carsonite posts.   Unfortunately, about 80% of these posts no longer stand erect and are thus generally found on the ground near the trail, thus still serving their purpose, although not as originally intended.

There was a definite paucity of available water on the trail.  I found water a short distance off-trail at the head of the Poison Creek canyon.  The only other water I encountered was at the bridge over East Fork Bruneau River (EFBR).  I did anticipate the water shortage and thus carried 6 liters of water on each of the three stretches (Murphy Hot Springs to Poison Creek, Poison Creek to EFBR, and EFBR to Highway 78).  This was an adequate amount of water to carry in the cool weather of my hike; later in the season I could see this quantity as being insufficient.

Leaving EFBR I misplaced the ICT and thus ended up hiking on the good NW-trending road for quite a distance until the ICT intersected this road north of the side road to Bruneau Canyon Overlook.  There was very little traffic on the road, roughly 2-3 vehicles per hour.  Over half the vehicles stopped to inquire about my well-being.

Lastly, my hike was cold.  Anticipating this, I carried sufficient clothes to be comfortable and safe.  I am glad I carried extra clothes (the mittens were wonderful!), regardless of their extra weight.

The scenery was, to be frank, rather uninteresting, consisting almost entirely of flat sagebrush desert.  But the descent off the high plateau into the Snake River valley was very scenic indeed.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at stephenbrill@yahoo.com.  Thanks for reading!


Ron said...

Great report, Steve. I believe that colder weather is the time to take on the desert sections, as long as the trail is dry. We did it back in March of 2005. see YouTube video --- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y74ogSO6gvQ Keep us posted on your progress. I'm guessing you are going to take on the whole ICT?

Steve said...

Thanks, Ron. Yes, I hope to complete the entire ICT in sections.

Amber S. said...

Wonderful! Thanks for sharing. So glad to have stumbled upon this site! Happy hiking!