Hiking & Trails

Thorn Creek Road (Tough, moderately difficult)

I thought "extreme" snowshoeing was an oxymoron, but this trail almost proved me wrong. The road washed out years ago, so you have to cross the creek a couple times, sidehill on an icy, narrow path, and wade through willows.

After about a half mile, one dog was bleeding (a minor flesh wound) and another was whining because he's too old for slick ice and deep snow, so we turned around. Too bad, because I am pretty sure the worst was behind us. Thorn Creek Road follows the North Fork of Thorn Creek into an old burned area. It's a cool place for a little winter adventure on snowshoes. Some people ski back there, but unless you're really good on them, avoid it. It's pretty tough terrain for skis.

HOW TO GET THERE: From the the corner of Idaho 21 and Warm Spring Road, go 23 miles to Thorn Creek Road just past Milepost 31 on Idaho 21. Turn right and go 4.1 miles and park.

Open to: Everyone because it's an old road, but only hikers can get past the washouts.

Ideal for: Adventurous snowshoers.

Trailhead elevation: 4,074 feet.

Destination elevation: It varies because there really is no destination.

Length: Varies. Go as afar as you like, and then turn around.

Difficulty: First part: Tough. Afterward, moderately difficult.

Out and back or loop: Out and back.

Wildlife you might see: Not much in winter, but deer and elk at other times of year.

Notes: GPS coordinates for the parking area: 43 ¡, 44 ", 11.8'N. 115¡ , 50", 59.5'W.

Information: Use a Boise National Forest map.

If you've hiked or biked a trail you'd like to see featured, call Niki Forbing-Orr at (208) 377-6446, or e-mail outdoors@ idahostatesman.com. Articles and photos submitted to The Idaho Statesman may be published or distributed in print, electronic or other forms.