Northwest

When you think of lava in Idaho you normally think of Craters of the Moon. Or you might think of the lava tubes and flows around Twin Falls and further east. You certainly do not think of the Payette National Forest north of McCall.

It’s August and time to be driving the 67-mile Grangeville-Salmon Road, a gateway to some of North-Central Idaho’s most remote backcountry, including hiking and ATV trails, trout-filled alpine lakes, mountain meadows and old fire lookouts, such as Square Mountain Lookout.

Magic Valley steelhead hatcheries rear over 5 million steelhead smolts each year to provide fishing opportunity to anglers.

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After two years of delay, the Rotary Park on the Greenbelt is finally under construction, according to an email communique from John D. Biggs, spokesperson for Boise Metro Rotary Club.

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As summer winds down, Craters of the Moon park will host ranger-guided walks and other events, said a press release, and the Visitor Center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Sept. 28 and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. there after.

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Who says you have to leave town to have a vacation? In June, before it got too hot, two of my friends and I did a two-day bike tour around the Sunnyslope Wine Trail in Caldwell. We hit up just a few of the more than dozen wineries that pepper the area.

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An end of summer celebration will go to the dogs between 3 and 8 p.m. today

 BOISE — Diseased and infested trees that are a hazard to those who ski and recreate at Bogus Basin will be removed beginning this month through a timber sale administered by the Idaho Department of Lands as part of the U.S. Forest Service Bogus Basin Forest Health Project, said a press release.

When you think of exciting, adrenaline-pumping sports, boomerang throwing is probably not the first thing that comes to mind.

Hiking to high mountain lakes is a great way to beat the heat. You must travel to high elevations to find these little hidden jewels, and the best reward is taking a refreshing swim immediately upon arrival.

I recently met with Jim and Annette Manroe, the owners of SneakyHunter Bootlamps and am excited about testing out their new “boot lamps.” They are a unique invention and believe it or not, they produce them right here in Nampa. So if you like supporting homegrown businesses, look no further.

Professional landscape photographer Linda Lantzy has released a comprehensive guide to some of Idaho’s most beautiful and iconic landscapes, according to a press release.

Canadian shore lunches are legendary, and for good reason. They’re awesome! I experienced my first Canadian shore lunch 34 years ago. My father-in-law took the family to Flin Flon, Manitoba, fishing forever. The first year that Katy and I got married he took six of us. What a great trip.

Wilderness advocates and fans are upset over an Idaho Fish and Game airstrip built in the middle of the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area but have little recourse to fight it.

Attempting the summit of the 18,500-foot volcano Citlaltépetl, in the off-season, without a guide, without crampons, ropes, carabiners, or even an ice axe, was just too far above my crazy threshold. Alone without gear was the only choice I faced, sadly, because I was unable to find anyone purporting to be a guide willing to lead me up, at any reasonable price. The two guide services in Tlachichula were boarded-up for the off-season, because summertime is warmer, thus, the glacier on Citlaltépetl is less stable. Add to that, solid afternoon thunderstorms were forecast for 10 straight days, and who wants to be clinging to a mountain with thunderbolts dancing around?

As the summer sun begins to increase the water temperatures in lakes and ponds around the state, trout tend to become lethargic and less likely to feed aggressively. This can be frustrating for anglers as they watch their line for any sign of action to indicate a fish is on the other end.

Personnel from Fish and Game’s Nampa Hatchery will be releasing more than 18,000 catchable-sized rainbow trout at the following locations during August.

BOISE — The Boise National Forest is experiencing another outbreak of Douglas-fir tussock moths/caterpillars in and around Sage Hen Reservoir, a popular recreation area located 5 miles west of Smiths Ferry and forest visitors are reminded not to touch or pick it up.

The Southwestern Idaho Birders Association will hold its next meeting at the Deer Flat Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 8. The speaker will be Juli McCoy and her presentation will be on: “What’s Going on Out There? An Overview of Cultural Resources in the Snake River Canyon.”

Sunflower at sunrise at Boise National Forest sign on Bogus Basin Friday, July 19.

Distant mountain peaks loom in the summer heat and stand like a cool oasis for anglers. Hidden in the bowls, basins and valleys are many lakes brimming with trout and waiting for intrepid anglers.

Many years ago Fish and Game took a survey. They asked: Would you rather catch one or two really large fish or a lot of small- to medium-sized fish? Most anglers said that they would rather catch a lot of small to medium fish rather than just one or two large fish.

MCCALL — The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation has expanded the overnight offerings available to guests within Ponderosa State Park in the form of multi-room cabins with lakefront access, according to a press release.

As the boat rounded a bend in Redfish Lake, an alpine paradise appeared before my eyes, and all the weariness of a 9-hour drive from Spokane evaporated in the excitement of discovery.

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A lot of our hunts can be pretty intense and exhausting. Some elk hunts, by the third day I’m so sore I can hardly crawl out of my sleeping bag. You’ll be up two hours before daylight, hiking hard all day scrambling up and down mountains and hit camp well after dark. I love elk hunting, but it’s tough.

BOISE — Fire managers want to urge forest visitors to completely extinguish campfires before they pack up and leave the woods. With higher temperatures, fuel conditions are expected to dry out, increasing the risk of wildfire ignitions. Over the 4th of July holiday, Boise National Forest employees discovered multiple abandoned campfires, according to a news release.

When approaching a big city, when the mass of humanity first appears on the horizon, I start looking for the next big tree. Once spotted, I pull off the road, and there in the shade I shed any additional clothing layers, “powder my nose” (as they say), drink a bunch of water, let the bike cool off, and find my inner peace. Navigating through a sprawling, unfamiliar city on often poorly-marked routes is guaranteed to be stress and chaos.

The Mores Mountain Nature Trail near Bogus Basin Recreation Area is aglow with the blues, reds and yellows of flowers and makes a really cool wildflower hike in July and August. The 1- to 2-mile trail winds through an alpine meadow, hallways of fir trees and around ancient granite boulders.

Normally I do good crappie fishing until the end of May, first week of June but the last few years I have been doing well on up until early September. This year though it may be slipping back into the old routine. Katy and I went the last week of June and only caught 45. Then the first week of July we only got 12-15 fish. But two were big blue gills and Katy got one nice bass.

A national celebration and dedication of four new Frog Forever Stamps is slated for Tuesday, July 9, according to a press release. Locally, that will take place at 11 a.m. at the Morrison Knudsen Nature Center.

The Southwestern Idaho Birders Association will hold its next monthly meeting at 7 p.m. on July 11 at the Deer Flat Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center.