Backcountry Off Trail Hike Idaho White Clouds Wilderness

Surgical Strike into the White Clouds

Fall-time is magnificent in the White Clouds of Idaho.  The period of time to travel in them unencumbered by inclement weather is short.  Too short in my book.

So I seized a break in the afternoon and headed into the White Clouds Wilderness at Big Boulder Creek.

White Clouds.
Big Boulder Creek with Cardiac Peak (11,202) in the background.

The trail starts near the junction of Big Boulder Creek and Jim Creek.  It is at relatively flat spot in the middle of steep canyons – located above, below and at either side.  It is also located at the remnants of the lower portion of the Livingston Mill.  The Trail is named the Livingston Mill Castle Divide Trail.

Big Boulder Canyon is 1,400 feet deep (7,600 feet to 9,000 feet) one mile into the hike. 

The trail has some elevation gain after the first 1/2 mile, but it is tree-covered and the trail-bed is very good.

Big Boulder Creek has many spots were it is gentle and meandering.
At the Wilderness Border.
Into the Cecil D. Andrus White Clouds Wilderness.

At 2.25 miles there is a junction in the trail. At the junction, the Big Boulder Creek Trail officially starts and heads west towards Walker Lake and D.O. Lee Peak. The Livingston Mill Castle Divide Trail continues south.

I have travelled both trails to their end spots.  On this day I will hike a bit farther on the Big Boulder, such that I will get in a five-mile out and back with the Border Collies (Sage and Willow) and return home by dark.

*** Jeff’s Thoughts and Other Worthless Trivia ***

This region keeps calling me back.  For more about the region a link is located [here] and [here].

U.S. Congressman Mike Simpson (2nd District Idaho) deserves a great deal of credit for making this Wilderness Region (as well as Boulders and Jerry Peak) happen.  After multiple years of effort, his bill for Wilderness designation was approved in 2015.  This region was renamed for Andrus in 2018.

Now, the guy I am about to name, will probably get mad at me, but here I go… The three Wilderness regions do not exist in their current form without Ed Cannady.  no way, no how!  Ed was the Recreation Ranger for the Sawtooth National Recreation Area (SNRA) for decades.  Ed hates (I know this is a strong word, but I think it applies here) getting credit or recognition for most any thing – especially these magnificent places. However, Ed was the author of the plans and worked out all their smallest operational details so that we have exists today.

Ed Cannady is also a terrific landscape photographer.

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