Outdoors Blog

Cervidae hike offers steep climb, water views close to Boise

The Cervidae trail climbs quickly and steeply above Lucky Peak Lake. The primary route covers 1,854 vertical feet in just 2.25 miles.
The Cervidae trail climbs quickly and steeply above Lucky Peak Lake. The primary route covers 1,854 vertical feet in just 2.25 miles. ccripe@idahostatesman.com

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Wendy Christopher considers Cervidae the baby of Boise’s Grand Slam peaks — and if so, it’s the baby that stays up all night.

It is the shortest of the four hikes. It features the lowest summit (4,987 feet). But it’s not easy.

I participated in an Idaho Hiking Club trip Christopher led last week and we took a route that covers 843 vertical feet per mile. By contrast, the Lucky Peak hike — another Grand Slam hike I wrote about in early April — climbs 601 feet per mile.

Christopher, of Boise, uses and recommends trekking poles for the slippery descent.

The Cervidae hike is a series of steep ascents separated by some brief, flatter sections. It redeems itself with spectacular views throughout the walk of Lucky Peak Lake, Arrowrock Reservoir and Mores Creek far below.

“I like that combination of good cardio close to town that’s doable in a couple hours,” Christopher said.

She has hiked Cervidae as late as the day after Thanksgiving. The low summit makes it accessible when others peaks aren’t. “That was beautiful,” she said. “The colors were just gorgeous.”

Stats: We covered 1,854 feet of vertical climbing in 2.25 miles to reach the summit. The second mile was the steepest with 968 vertical feet. Most of the group reached the top in about 75 minutes. The descent varied from about 60 to 70 minutes.

Getting there: Summitpost.org lists four routes to the Cervidae summit. We took the east route. Take Idaho 21 north from Boise. Turn right at Spring Shores Road (just after the Mores Creek bridge), pass Spring Shores Marina and park at the large pullout on the right (2.2 miles from Idaho 21). The trail begins on the gated road across the street.

Chadd Cripe

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