Box Lake Loop

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A long hike through the Lick Creek range near McCall.

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Art was the guide for this trip. He claimed it was going to be 15 miles.

But consider this: it's 3 miles from the road to the ridge crest above Crystal (in the picture), 4 miles from the road to Box, and 2 miles between the two trailheads. On the walk between Crystal and Box we passed 8 lakes, most which can't be seen from one to the other. Math was never Art's strong subject.

Once over the ridge top, we followed the Crestline trail, keeping pace with a group on ATVs. From this trail, excellent views of the Payette Lake area include McCall.

Although this area was scorched in the McCall fires of 1998, it's still very pretty. But pretty sunny, too.

Fire is part of a natural cycle, and the changes to the area are just that: changes. Instead of a shady tree cover with little undergrowth, there is now lots of brush and no canopy.

The Crestline trail traverses a ridge. As a consequence, it crosses drainages and their dividing sub-ridges. This results in a hilly walk.

After many ups and downs, we finally entered the valley which holds Box Lake. We knew we were wrapping up our hike, but still had lots more to get there.

It was an unusually warm day, and we relished the chance to swim in Box Lake. Afterward, we had a long lunch.

With full bellies, we could face our final climb of the day- the pass at the end of the lake.

When we finally reached the car, we had been out nine hours. Considering the fast pace of our group of strong hikers, this hike was probably over 20 miles.

Mr. Natural Home | 2002 | Back to top of page | Questions :: e-mail to splattski