Saturday, April 9, 2016
Lucky Peak Adelmann Mine Lollipop Hiking Loop From Highway 21
Today Anthony, Jay and I hiked the Lucky Peak abandoned Adelmann Mine lollipop loop starting from Highway 21. This hike provides a wide jeep trail, some game trail hiking, scenic views, no crowds, and it's located just 10 minutes from Boise. The only time we encountered other hikers was at the summit of Lucky Peak who had hiked to the peak via Lucky 13. Otherwise we had the trail and abandoned Adelmann Mine all to ourselves. The loop we selected starts at the Fish & Game Trailhead just past the Highland Valley Road gate on ID-21, just south of Highland Valley Summit. The Hilltop Station Restaurant and small store are at the Highland Valley Summit. The Hilltop Station Restaurant is a great place to stop for drinks and pizza after your hike. When you are dead dog tired you just can't beat great service, cold drinks and good food! According to Anthony's GPS we hiked just over 10 miles with an elevation gain of 2,350. This distance includes our detour to check out the mine.
The first stop on our hiking loop was Lucky Peak Summit. Lucky Peak, also called Shaw Mountain, is located very close to Boise and is a popular destination for hikers, runners, and mountain bikers. On our way up the mountain we were treated to an abundance of wildflowers as you can see in the pictures above. We also noted that the hills have eyes and very large ears too. We were under constant surveillance from the local deer population. When we started our hike at 7:40 a.m. it was approximately 43 degrees. When we ended it this afternoon is was 78 degrees. During our hike the temperatures rose a whopping 30 degrees. A great reason to hit the trail as early as possible. Fortunately for Jay we also discovered small mounds of snow in the shade at the top and runoff water draining down the mountain in several places that he could lay in to cool off. Although we did have his water dish and plenty of water handy too. However, to cool down Jay's core temperatures quickly nothing beats cooling off by sitting or laying down on the snow or in the cold mountain water. And Jay is no fool when it comes to cooling down as you can see from above. The peak offers you amazing views of Boise and of Bogus Basin both from the top. Although the sky was a little hazy I still think my panoramic pictures turned out pretty good.
After visiting the summit and having our peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches, while sitting in the shade, we headed down the trail in another direction which actually took us through a forested section of the loop. This was not a long portion of the trial but the shade was heavenly as most of the hike is hot and dry without any shade. We were amazed at the number of broken branches, limbs and very large fallen trees in this section of the trail as you could see that they had all freshly fallen during this past winters weight.
Our final stop on the loop was visiting the abandoned Adelmann Mine. The abandoned mine is a hidden historic Idaho gem that you cannot see from the road but you can easily find from the trail on the backside of Lucky Peak. An old bunk house and the main mining building are still standing and there is still some very old and rusty heavy machinery and tools inside. The actual mines have been sealed with explosives but you can see evidence of the tracks in one section. I am not sure of the history of this mine as Idaho has a long history of mining claims and abandoned mining sites but by the look of the buildings I would say these mines have not been active since the early 1900's. This is just an estimation of the actual mines and not the more modernized plumbing that was evident in the abandoned bunk house.