Loon Creek

The weekend of August 20, 2010, Tracy and I headed up to Idaho to do some more hiking in the Sawtooths. We had been there once before and I wasn’t overly impressed, but Tracy liked it, so we decided to try another trail. We spent Friday night in Idaho Falls, and then we drove up through Ketchum on Saturday. Since our last trip up here, I had learned that Ketchum was where Ernest Hemingway had killed himself and where he was buried. Well, since we had seen his apartment in Paris last year, I figured we needed to see his grave this year. Coincidentally, I happened to be reading For Whom the Bell Tolls on that weekend, so that also made it seem fitting. We found his grave at the city cemetery, and that was interesting. When we went to Faulkner’s grave, it had pencils stuck in the ground around it; Hemingway’s grave had pennies scattered on the marker.

After walking around Ketchum for a few minutes and buying a couple of trail maps, we headed up into the mountains. We checked out a few trails in the Sawtooths, but most of the trailheads were terribly crowded. Actually, the first trail we stopped at was Alpine Lakes, and it wasn’t very crowded. However, it was still early and the trail looked pretty short, so we decided to check out some more trails. Well, the rest of the trails were really crowded…so we kept driving. Before it was all over, we ended up at Loon Creek in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness. Well, this was a long, long drive, but it was on my list of places to go, so I was happy to be here! It was late in the evening before we got to the trailhead, so we just hiked a mile or so up the trail, then came back and camped at the truck. The next morning we got up and hiked a few miles down the trail and then came back and made the long drive back home. The trail was really pretty and relaxing. It ran along the creek and was flat, so that was pleasant. We also pretty much had the trail to ourselves. There were a few people around the trailhead…more than we expected considering the drive we took to get there…but they were all fishing, so they didn’t go far in. We saw salmon in the creek, so that was really cool.  All in all, the Frank Church seemed pretty nice. It was secluded and remote, so that’s good.

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