Hiking & Trails

Blue Jay Trail (Steep and strenuous)

If you' ve gone from Lowman to Stanley on Idaho 21, chances are you've missed the turnoff for the Blue Jay Trail. It's not very prominent.

After passing the trailhead sign about 10 times in the last year, I decided to look for the trail and see what it's all about.

The trail doesn't have the same kind of prominence as the trails in the Stanley or Ketchum areas, but it's just a good old woodsy day-hike with some mountain views.

I didn't get far up the trail but will definitely head back for a good fall hike, especially when the aspens are turning gold.

Be warned: It's a strenuous climb for hikers and an advanced ride for motorcyclists.

HOW TO GET THERE: Take Idaho 55 north from Boise to Banks; the Banks -Lowman Road east to Lowman; and Idaho 21 about15 miles east to the trailhead on the right. GPS: 44 degrees, 07.385N, 115 degrees 20.757W

Open to: Trail motorcyclists , mountain bikers, hikers and horses.

Ideal for:Experienced hikers and advanced motorcyclists.

Trailhead elevation: 4,530 feet

Destination elevation: 6,898 feet to 7,364 feet, depending on distance.

Length: 4.9 miles.

Difficulty: Steep and strenuous.

Out and back or loop: Out and back.

Wildlife you might see: Deer and elk. No blue jays. The trail was named after nearby Blue Jay Creek. Maybe the creek was named after the Steller's Jay, which is sort of blue.

Notes/bathrooms: No outhouse. If you are hiking, drive past the first trailhead sign to the next trailhead area.

Information: Lowman Ranger District, 259-3361.

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.

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