Wilderness Journeys

South Boone Creek is one of those must do rides. This ride is located just across the border for us in the fabulous state of  Wyoming. The South Boone Creek trail is a 15.5 mile loop. It is a very scenic trail that offers views of the Grand Tetons, pretty rocky cliff areas, and green grassy  meadows with wildflowers at the right time of the year. You will also spend a lot of time in the forest on this trail and since we visited this a little earlier in the year, not many people had been on the trail yet and there was quite a bit of downed timber. We were lucky and most of it was in spots that made it easy to find an alternate route. However, there were a few spots that we had to take out the saw and cut our way through it. We also saw a little bit of snow on the trail but it wasn’t bad at all.

This ride is a day ride for us and we are fortunate that it is only about an hour and a half from our home. However, if you are not that lucky there is camping available at the trailhead. The trailhead is located in Jackass Meadows and there is a big camping area available complete with bear box, fire pit, and a creek nearby for your horses.

Finding the South Boone Creek Trailhead

From Idaho Falls, ID: Head down HWY 20 towards Ashton, ID. Just before coming into Ashton you will see a blue sign for squirrel Creek. You will turn right onto 1200N. At about a mile you will come to a stop sign, continue straight through it. You will get a nice view of the Tetons on this road. At about 13 miles into this road, it turns to gravel. It is a pretty wide gravel road and in good shape with few potholes. At about 21 miles into this road there will be a little lookout point to the left. It looks out onto a pond with pretty lily pads and yellow flowers. We have stopped here before and taken some pictures. It’s particularly pretty at sunset. At 23.5 miles you will pass a bridge over South Boone Creek. Shortly after the bridge you will come to a sign that points to Jackass Meadows. Turn right here and follow the narrow dirt road. Follow this road for about 3 miles and you will come to the trailhead sign on the right. Pull into the road at your first left and you will park in a big camp spot.


South Boone Creek Trail Description

Once you are saddled and ready to go, head down the road that you drove in on for about 1.3 miles. We actually start the trail down the road and then come out at the trailhead sign that is across from where we parked. As you head down the road you will see a forest service road maker 264. The trail starts right at this sign. The trail takes you through the forest where you will steadily gain elevation. Like we mentioned above there is a lot of down timber at this point.


In 4 miles the view will open up and you will get a pretty overlook with snow-capped mountains. You will also notice the Grand Teton making its appearance. This is perfect spot to pull over and get some awesome shots. We took ours with the Olympus Tough Camera.

The trail will continue on this hillside for a bit with your views continuing. At about 5 miles that trail will go downhill for a bit before it climbs back up. The trail goes down through a little drainage where you will see a sign and we took the small trail to the left.


At 6.2 miles you will come to a sign, head left on the Teton Crest Trail 008. This trail takes you to South Boone Creek and Jackass Road. Jackass road is the road we drove in on. Shortly after turning onto this trail you will come to an amazing cliff view where you are riding on the edge. Yes sounds scary but it is actually a really wide path. This has an amazing over view of rolling mountains and is the perfect spot to stop for lunch. We tie our horses up to one of the many trees and grab a seat on the cliff edge to enjoy our lunch. Here you are about 8400 feet in elevation.

After lunch continue on down the trail. Shortly it will take you into a green grassy meadow where you will be for about 2 miles. At 8.3 miles you will come to a sign. We veered of trail at this point to the left. If you follow the rocky, boulders that line a creek bed you will come to another amazing overview. There was actually water in this creek bed which is a rarity. We usually do this trail much later in the season when the water is all dried up. Water in this area just added to the beauty and it looked like a totally different area this trip. We tied the horses up in some trees as we got off and explored the rocky cliff ban and off course got some of those cool shots.

Once you are ready and back on your horse follow the rock bed back to where you saw that trail sign and continue on towards Jackass Road. The trail will take you back into the forest and in about a mile you will come to a lake. The trail will then go up a short hill where you will get a nice overview of a second lake. At this point the trail kind of fades for a second but just head up to the left towards the lake. You will see a sign in a minute that will point you in the right direction.


At 10 miles into your journey, the trail will start to descend through some thick Aspen trees. This is where we pulled out the saw and cut our way through. The trail will also be taking you through a thick rooted forest area and you will be climbing over some big roots in the trail. This trail used to have a bit of a tough spot on it where there was a tree root and a big rock that was somewhat of a challenge to ride up or down. We have ridden this trail many times and have had to do this.  Well to our delight, someone fixed that spot!   Whomever this great group or person was, a big thank you to you!

At 11 miles you will come to a creek crossing. We stopped here to let the horses get a drink. You are going to follow down the creek to the right for a second before you see the trail reconnecting on the other side. The trail continues through the forest and South Boone Creek will be running on your left all the way through to the end of the trail. When you come out at the end of the trail cross the road and you will find your vehicle in the big camp spot.

Trail Map: (Made with the Suunto Ambit 2 Watch)

Wilderness Journeys


Hidden Lake is located within Coyote Meadows which is found between Ashton and Tetonia Idaho. There are several trails located within this trailhead and they all lead to some pretty amazing views. A person could spend weeks at Coyote Meadows and see a new view each time. We frequent this area quite often. We have camped at the trailhead before which is a big turnaround that has several camp spots with fire pits and tie racks. There is even a small corral located on site and there is also a bathroom. There is a limit to 3 day camping at the trailhead. We have also done some pack trips into this area. This ride that we did though was only a day ride for us. The Hidden Lake to Conant Basin trail is about a 15 mile loop that can be done in either direction. We prefer to go to the lake first to eat lunch. The lake can be a popular spot so you often end up sharing it with other folks. It is also a popular fishing spot, so if that is your thing bring your fishing pole. Besides seeing a beautiful lake on this view you also get the pleasure of getting up high and reaching an elevation of about 8,100 feet with some spectacular views.

Finding Coyote Meadows 

From Idaho Falls, ID:  Follow US 20 for about 30 miles to exit 339 toward ID-33 E/Driggs/Jackson. Continue on Idaho 33 towards Driggs for 31 miles. You will see a sign pointing to Idaho 32 that heads towards Ashton, turn left on this road. You will drive on this road for approximately 12 miles. Then turn right onto the road marked N 4700 E. Drive

for one mile on this road  with the Tetons in view and then turn right onto 700 North.



 700 N turns into a gravel road.  You will travel on 700 N for about three miles and  you will cross a cattle guard and come to a sign that says you are entering the Targhee National Forest. You will then turn right onto Forest Road 265 and follow this all the way to the end where you will see the big turn around called Coyote Meadows. You will be on 265 for about 8 miles. 


Hidden Lake to Conant Basin Trail Description

Once you are saddled and ready to go head towards the trailhead sign for Coyote Meadows.

Just in case you didn’t see it as you drove in it is to the right of the bathroom. The trail is mostly a hard dirt packed trail. With our horses being barefoot they are able to do this trail without putting boots on. The trail starts in the forest but brings you out into a meadow for a short bit and at .12 miles you will see a sign for Bitch Creek. Continue straight on the trail. There are plenty of opportunities for your horses to get drinks on this trip including the first one as you cross Bitch Creek. From here Hidden Lake is 4.1 miles. Some people just make a ride out of going to the lake and back which we have done before. However,  the loop around into Conant Basin is definitely worth it if you have the time. When you are about a third of the way into the trail you will come to an intersection. This is where we will be starting our loop. We headed to the left first so we can reach Hidden Lake and then we will be coming back on the trail to the right as we finish our loop. Hidden Lake is 4.1 miles from here.


The trail continues to meander through the forest all the way to the lake. At 2.4 miles you will come to a big mud hole that you have to cross. It seems like this mud hole is always here no matter how dry it gets. Gracie stops to get a drink here.

Shortly after this mud hole you will come to a sign that says you are in the Jedediah Smith Wilderness-Caribou/Targhee National Forest sign.

At 4 miles you are nearly to the lake and have gained some elevation. The view opens up a bit to your right and if you pull of the trail you can get a good lookout. We have also stopped here to get some shots with the Olympus Tough Camera.

Shortly after this you will begin to catch your first glimpse of Hidden Lake through the trees. It is a pretty blueish green color. Here is will begin your decent as the trail starts to switch back down into the lake. Hidden Lake is a good spot to stop for lunch. The calm and serenity of the lake is amazing. Like we mentioned at the beginning the lake is often a popular spot. We spent our lunch watching a couple of guys fish off the back of their horses and another couple having lunch with their dogs.

Hidden Lake can also be a fun spot to go for a swim on a nice warm day.

Make sure you bring lots of bug spray both for yourself and the horses, because the bugs can be quite grueling at all times of the year.

When you are finished with lunch head back up to the trail and continue to the right around the lake. The trail will continue through some thick forest. Make sure you have your bear spray, this is bear country and we have seen some black bears on this trail before. At 4.8 miles the trail will split and go through a camping spot. We stayed on the trail that goes to the left and goes around the camp. In about two miles from here the trail will open up to a grassy meadow with footbridges that will take you over some boggy areas.

At 6.4 miles you will come to another split in the trail. This time there is a sign on the trail that goes to the left, but we are going to head up the trail to the right to continue our loop. Shortly after getting on this trail you will come to a little pond on your left. We saw a few ducks swimming in it. There is also a camp spot by this pond with a bear box. Perfect place to camp with horses. After this camp spot the trail started to get a little muddy.


As you continue on you will be doing some switchbacks up the mountain and will gain a pretty view of some mountains to you right you will also be getting a pretty view behind you. There is still some climb after this as the trail continues to switch back up an open hillside. At 7.6 miles you will finish your climb up to the top where you get a pretty overlook. The higher elevation mountains are still filled with snow, which adds to the beauty of this scenic overlook. This is a perfect spot to stop, let your horses catch their breath while you get some of those pretty pictures.

The trail will continue on for a little while and at about 8 miles you will come to a junction in the trail. At this junction you will be just coming off the Conant Basin Trail and there will be a sign here telling you which direction to go. We are going to head to the right and the sign states that it is about 5.4 miles back to Coyote Meadows from this point. In about a mile you will be climbing through some Aspen trees with an amazing view to your left. Some time after this point the trail will start to descend through the forest. As you get down towards the end of your decent you will be coming off of a y-intersection. Continue straight the other trail will lead you back into Hidden Corral. Shortly after this point you will be completing your loop and coming to the sign you saw earlier in your trek that led you up to the lake. From here you have less than a mile back to the truck.

Trail Map: (Made with the Suunto Ambit 2 Watch)

Wilderness Journeys

Let the fun begin! This was our first ride of our 2016 summer! We started this ride with every intention of doing a loop. However, things didn’t go exactly according to plan and we ended up exploring the area instead. Sometimes it is just fun to roam around  and see what’s out there.

The Rainy Creek trail is located in Swan Valley, Idaho. For those of you who are out-of-town and interested in this ride, there are several camp spots available along the dirt road that leads to the trailhead. All of these sites are first come first serve. It can be a busy area, as the trail services horses and motorized vehicles. Camping is prohibited at the trailhead, however there is a porta potty available and a nice large parking area. There is also easy access to the creek, so there is plenty of water for your horses to drink.

Once you are saddled, head through the gate that leads to a two-track road. The track was a little rocky but not too bad. If you are riding barefoot as our horses are, you might want to bring along some boots.

In just under a mile you will come to your first creek crossing. There is a watch for bear sign at the start of the trail and just before this crossing Maggie heard something crashing through the trees, but nothing was seen.


In 1.25 miles you will come to a sign called Corral Canyon. We plan to go back and do this trail at some point. So we will be reporting back.


We decided to go straight through on the trail and bypassed Corral Canyon. Just past that we came to our second water crossing. At 1.5 miles into the trail we came to another sign called Spring Canyon. We also crossed our third creek at this point and continued on.


Spring Canyon was a neat little canyon with loose boulders lining the hillside to the right and several burnt trees lining the hillside to the left. Straight ahead we had a pretty view of a snow-capped mountain. We captured its beauty with our Olympus Tough camera.

At 2.4 miles we came to a trail marker sign, Tr. 92. We rode past that at this point and went on up Spring Canyon. We did encounter some 4 wheelers and motor cycles near the end of this trail and they could not continue because the trail wasn’t very well maintained and came to an end.  We rode up it a few miles until we could not go any further and ate lunch here before turning around.

As we back tracked our trail we decided to explore Tr. 92 that we passed before.


It brought us through a narrow canyon called Water Canyon, where we passed some very angry hummingbirds before switch backing up a hillside. We gained some elevation here and got a pretty view at the top. The trail did continue on from the top and we were pretty sure it would have looped back into one of the other trails we passed earlier. However, because we weren’t completely sure, we decided to turn around and head back out the same way we came in. Better to play it safe than to get lost.  We went back down Water Canyon and back across the creek.

As we continued back toward the trailhead, we decided to ride up the trail that we had actually planned to take before we got a bit distracted. We didn’t go very far on this trail because it was getting late. We will come back and make the original loop we had planned another time.  We came across some timber on this trail that we helped make horse safe with our little hand saw.   When we got back to the trailhead we looked at the map located on the sign and found that this trail did loop back into S. Fork Rainy Creek Trail.  So until next time!

Getting to the Trailhead

From Swan Valley, Idaho: Follow HWY 26 into Swan Valley Idaho. Once in Swan Valley, turn left onto Rainy Creek Road. Follow this road until you come to a T in the road. Turn left to continue onto Rainy Creek Road. Follow that dirt road all the way to the end, where you will come to a large turn around. The dirt road in was a good road, pretty wide and smooth so it is easy to get a bigger rig to the trailhead. There were some beautiful longhorn cattle in a pasture to the right as we headed up the road.

Trail Map: Created using the Suunto watch