Hiking & Trails

A swirl of summit and stone: Watch as Mother Nature plays hide and seek on Stack Rock

A view from the top — the very, very top — of Stack Rock

Stack Rock's peak is just under 5,900 feet, and the out and back hike is a little more than 8 miles. Going higher is not for the inexperienced. Getting to the top takes moderate climbing skills, a good head for heights and a good partner.
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Stack Rock's peak is just under 5,900 feet, and the out and back hike is a little more than 8 miles. Going higher is not for the inexperienced. Getting to the top takes moderate climbing skills, a good head for heights and a good partner.

One of the best things about climbing Stack Rock is the view. When it's socked in, you have to appreciate some of the other joys that come with the effort.

The clouds that kept our hike cool May 26 obscured most of the view from Stack Rock when we arrived at the landmark southwest of the Bogus Basin ski area. We'd left Boise early and still found the parking area along Bogus Basin Road full when we arrived at 8 a.m.

While clouds blocked the views, they didn't look menacing as we left the base to climb the stacked rocks themselves. I'd been to the ledge beneath the peak before, but there's an 8-foot-tall wall near the summit that I hadn't wanted to tackle on my own. This time, however, with my friend Wyatt Schroeder and Danny Degraff, who was climbing at the same time, we could boost and spot each other up that last tough pitch.


At the top, we were enjoying the feeling of accomplishment, if not the view, and contemplating our descent when Danny suggested we wait. His friend Sean Collins was powering up the drone he'd brought to record their friends' mountain bike ride at Bogus Basin later that morning.



As we waited and watched, the mists rolled in from the west over Avimor and engulfed us. When Sean sent the buzzing drone up, it captured that play of swirl, summit and stone. His video offers a raptor's-eye view of Stack Rock, our human forms glimpsed, then swallowed by the murk, then emerging again — a nice sense of what it's like to stand on top and watch Mother Nature play her game of hide and seek.


Stack Rock's peak is just under 5,900 feet, and the out-and-back hike is a little more than 8 miles; the trail starts near Milepost 13 on Bogus Basin Road. Most visitors hang out at the base of Stack Rock, to rest and eat lunch. Going higher is not for the inexperienced or faint of heart. Getting to the top takes moderately good climbing skills, a good head for heights and, most importantly, a good climbing partner or two.


Bill Manny: bmanny@idahostatesman.com; 208-377-6406; Twitter/Instagram whmanny.
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