Bally Mountain

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Playing hooky on a Friday, we explore Bally Mountain.

Note: click images to see a larger version in a new window

Several years back, Julie and I had unsuccessfully approached Bally Mountain from the west. That access winds through a ton of private property, essentially a subdivision. Then the road went to crap.

So when I saw on the Payette NF web site that Trail #166 had straightforward access, it was time to skip out on work early and investigate. Sure enough, there is a trail sign on that tree, right next to what appears to be a pretty nice trail

Approach

So about that trail....

Of course, it hasn't been maintained. but it also doesn't follow the trail shown on the GPS. Instead, a new version of it goes up to point 5770 and sort of ends. From there, we did some light bushwacking and chasing of game trails, each trying to convince us it was the real trail. On the way down, we tried variations on that theme without real improvement. But we saw more of the mountain....

So no, I didn't take pictures of woods and game trails.

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Eventually we hit the summit meadows. Camera comes back out.

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Old farts on the summit.

Slightly smoke. Pretty warm. But a great day with wonderful views.

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Ruby was having a blast.

The flattish ridge on the smoky horizon is Pollock Mountain. A little more obscured by smoke, the Seven Devils are right behind it.

Approach

The GPS shows the trail coming up onto the south end of the summit ridge. Suspecting a lookout, we headed over there. On inspection, it appeared that the big tree here once held a crow's nest lookout. Art wanted to take a nap.

On return home, our interpretation of this lookout was confirmed in the book Points of Prominence. This was a crow's nest used in the '30s.

But my favorite part of the day was the massive views looking east (see the panorama shot below, and click for a bigger view). Granite Mountain on the right. The Grassy Twin ridge. Hard Butte. And all the way up to Patrick Butte.

Approach
Approach

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