Sunday, April 24, 2016

Wilson Creek Hike to Soldier Cap Peak

 Look carefully Anthony is waving from the peak at Soldier Cap!

An overcast and cool day in Boise made it the perfect day to return to Wilson Creek (outside of Melba) for another hiking adventure.  Just like last month we had the entire trail to ourselves.  We started our hike early around 9:00 a.m. when it was in the low 50 degree range.  Originally we had hoped to hike to both Soldier Cap and Wilson Peak but Mother Nature had different plans for our day.

Our first destination was Soldier Cap which we made it to without any issues.  As Anthony had never hiked to this peak before and it looked extremely rocky I let him scale the last 200 feet up while Jay and I enjoyed lunch below.  Upon his return from the summit he did say that I probably could have made it to the top although it was a bit rocky and steep (two of my least favorite things when combined).  I decided to save the summit for another day as the wind was really picking up and storm clouds were rolling in on top of us.  Sure enough as soon as we started to make our way towards Wilson Peak the rain drops began falling.  We decided to ditch our plans of hitting to both peaks as we were uncomfortable with the muddy condition of the road we had driven up due to the rain from Saturday.  Although the truck has 4 wheel drive we have heard stories of trucks and cars really getting stuck on dirt roads (int he middle of nowhere) and did not want to end up being the latest causality of overconfident driving conditions.

We hit it in overdrive to try to out hike the rain but it caught up with us quickly on our way back to the truck.  We ended up pretty muddy and soggy by the time we were back at the truck removing our hiking boots but as luck would have it the roads were not an issue driving back to civilization and we still managed to hike 7.3 miles with over 2,000 feet of elevation gain.  Although we did not see any snakes on this hike I did see some freshly shed snake skin so I know they are on the move this spring.

If you are not familiar with the two peaks Wilson Peak has a rounded summit with several communication towers standing tall.  Soldier Cap is more rugged with a pointy summit that makes it distinctive when viewed from a distance.  Both peaks can easily be seen from the Snake River Valley from below.  This area is classic desert hiking which takes you across canyons and plateaus. 

Wilson Creek Trails and Information

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