Sunday, March 29, 2015

Day trip to the Trinity Lakes

In August we took a day trip up to the Trinity Mountains. We had started out that way at the end of June, but got stopped by snow three miles shy of the summit, but this time the road was snow free. We still had not yet discovered that the road in from Pine/Featherville is much more drivable than the road in from Prairie, so we enjoyed quite the bumpy ride up over the summit.

IMG_4716

Last stretch of the road south of the summit on Trinity Mountain Road, Elmore County. August 9, 2014.

I love getting up into the thin air at these elevations, there’s just an entirely different feeling when you get so far away from and up above everything else.

IMG_4730

View of Big Roaring River Lake from the summit of Trinity Mountain Road, Elmore County. August 9, 2014.

Trinity Lookout is the highest drivable point in Idaho at 9700 feet, and is located nearby in the range. We hope to get back and hike up to it another time, but didn’t have enough time on this trip. The area also has several drive-in and backcountry campgrounds, about 15 or so lakes, mostly scattered across the north and east facing slopes.

IMG_5023

Trinity Mountains (the lookout is on top of the left peak), Elmore County. August 9, 2014.

After coming over the summit into the lakes, we pulled in at one of the first campgrounds to get our bearings, stretch our legs, and look for a few birds. Besides a handful of birds, there were loads of wildflowers, the diversity and number of wildflowers was really impressive.

20140809_143325

Meadow near the Big Roaring River Lake Campground, Elmore County. August 9, 2014.

20140809_145314

Wildflowers near the Trinity Lakes, Elmore County. August 9, 2014.

The birds we saw were fairly typical for these high altitude mountains. We had Cassin’s Finches (young and old), Olive-sided Flycatchers, White-breasted Nuthatches, and Clark’s Nutcrackers.

IMG_4749

Cassin’s Finch (juvenile) near the Trinity Lakes, Elmore County. August 9, 2014.

IMG_4754

Cassin’s Finch (juvenile begging from adult) near the Trinity Lakes, Elmore County. August 9, 2014.

IMG_4764

Olive-sided Flycatcher near the Trinity Lakes, Elmore County. August 9, 2014.

IMG_4783

White-breasted Nuthatch near the Trinity Lakes, Elmore County. August 9, 2014.

IMG_4963

Clark’s Nutcracker near the Trinity Lakes, Elmore County. August 9, 2014.

The pictures just don’t do justice to how beautiful the area was. We are really looking forward to our next chance to return and spend more time. We noticed a cabin while we were up there, and were actually able to get ourselves a reservation for August 2015. We’re going to spend two nights up here enjoying the solitude and quiet, and are really looking forward to a nice relaxing trip. Hopefully the extra time will help us track down a few more area specialties as well (top of the list being Boreal Owl, more on that later on when we start the hunt!).

20140809_150823 Stitch

Big Trinity Lake, Elmore County. August 9, 2014.

In total we had 23 species in 3 hours, and were sad we had to leave so soon. Click here to check out our full checklist in eBird.

No comments:

Post a Comment