Sawtooth Lake

On one beautifully mild day we hiked to Sawtooth Lake in the Sawtooth Mountains. Everything about it – the stunning cirque you cross while hiking in, the “small” alpine lake at the lower end of the hike (which wasn’t small at all), and the breathtaking Sawtooth Lake – it was all wonderful.

Note : all of these images are true color – no saturation processing was done.

City of Rocks, Part II (History)

I marked my first City of Rocks post “fun,” but I have to admit that history falls neatly into the “fun” category for me as well.

The City of Rocks was a huge landmark for those traveling on the California Trail.  They named it the “City of Rocks” because it truly looks like a rock city rising from the plains.  Remnants of the traveling emigrants can be seen all over the park, from campfire remains at Camp Rock to the names written on rock with axle grease (below).  Emigrants passed this way in the mid to late 1800′s.

After a period of dryland farming, the City of Rocks was designated as a national reserve in 1988.  Parts of the reserve are still actively ranched.

Apart from being scenically beautiful, the City of Rocks is one of the best rock climbing areas in the west.  The granite spires were created in two orogenies – the Almo pluton of 28 million years ago (that’s the young one!) and the Green River complex of 2.5 billion years ago.   The rock is known to climbers as “sticky rock.”  It is beautiful and varied climbing.

The City of Rocks is also home to my favorite tree, the curl-leaf mountain mahogany.

More photos after the jump!

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City of Rocks, Part I (Fun)

This weekend’s adventure was mountain biking in the City of Rocks.  Years ago I worked trail crew in the City of Rocks, but I haven’t been back to visit since we returned to Idaho.  The trails here in the Wood River Valley are still snow covered, but at the City they are clear and dry.  The weather on Saturday went from sunny and windy to rainy and windy pretty fast.  The evening cleared up for a beautiful dusk and perfect campfire night.  This morning we awoke to 30 mph winds and 30 degrees…so I only got one day of photographing in!

Stay tuned for Part II, coming up tomorrow.

More photos after the jump!

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Tumble, Targhee

I haven’t shared as much as I intended to from Targhee, but I’ve been, well, busy.  I have been told I’m attempting to do too many life-altering-and-stressful-things in the same year.  Which is most likely true.  And sometimes it makes me feel a bit like Greg did during this little incident.  He built this jump after a night of whiskey, so I like to call it the “Makers Mark Jump.”