Kelly Mountain

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Kelly Mountain is a beautiful spring hike on the Salmon River.

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

Art and I had spotted this trail on our way home from the Sheep Creek trail project that was hosted by Idaho Trails Association. It's on the north side of the Salmon River, starting at the abutment of the Manning Crevice bridge. It follows the river upstream, then climbs the hillside you see here upriver (on the left side).

If it looks a little dark and wet, it was.

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The trail along the river was very pleasant. Trailhead
Then it was time to go up. Up, up, up. Still fairly pleasant, but now on this steep hillside, a lot more work. Trailhead
Maybe half way, there is what we referred to as a "Salmon River flat" on which to take a break. A little blue sky... which sort of fit the NOAA prediction for decreasing chance of precip after noon. Trailhead

Then more up. Most of the time we could identify a trail of sorts, but other times it didn't matter much.

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Looking down on our progress so far. Trailhead

Sheep!

At this point, I put Ruby's training collar on just to make sure she didn't chase. She didn't, but it's important to not hassle the animals.

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Cool cliffs off to the west.

Note Ruby, having fun wandering and harassing the marmots (acceptable).

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Elk across the drainage, one of many groups we spotted. Trailhead
A little weather moving in. Dang! Trailhead
Keep on truckin'. Trailhead

We were so happy to be able to use all the gear we brought.

Here's Art standing on the footings of the Kelly Mountain lookout. What you don't see (looking the wrong direction) are the large ponderosas that have grown up around the area since it was abandoned in 1958.

Here's some info and a photo of the old lookout:
Rex's fire lookouts

But this isn't the summit.

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This is the summit marked by List of John.

Still not the summit.

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But we took a summit shot just in case.

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With GPS in hand, we determined this rock tower that we had passed on our way out the ridge was 3 feet taller.

We also determined that is had loose rock and was very slippery. No summit shot here.

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On the way back the rain had stopped, so we felt more like investigating. Sure enough, even though there is a road to this spot, the FS had left old junk lying around. Bedsprings, anyone? Trailhead
And then it was time to head down. About here, I burst into a rousing chorus of "The Hills Are Alive". And Art started walking faster. Trailhead
Ruby spotted the giant mud puddle again, and ran ahead to go for a quick swim. I was too busy laughing to get the camera out until it was too late. Trailhead
Down, down, down. Trailhead
Ruby waits for Dad. Trailhead
Flowies. Trailhead
Zoomed in flowie. Trailhead

More flowies.

It's spring!

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On the way up, Art had criticized my choice of one of the many braided trails; the map clearly showed the trail going up the drainage. So we tried that route on the way back and got to experience a wee bit of blackberry bramble.

Ha! I told you I got a photo of that mess.

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More to look at on the way back to the car. Trailhead

And nearing the end of our adventure, there's the new $10million Manning Crevice bridge again.

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Map Trailhead

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