Anderson Lake, Idaho – Backpacking

A friend had mentioned that he and another guy were planning a quick overnight backpack somewhere near McCall. I fired back with a, “hey, I don’t have a whole lot going on”. Before I knew it we were loaded up on and the road bound for McCall. Three hours later we were taking our first steps on the trail to Anderson Lake. The trail head is more commonly recognized for its preceding lake, Boulder Lake. It can be found a mere 8-10 miles northeast of McCall.

Our feverish feet had jetted us the two miles to Boulder Lake in a mere thirty five minutes. Up until that point, the hike had been a fairly typical trek. A different story was to be told when we rounded the back of the lake and began our ascend to Boulder Mountain saddle.

Boulder Lake - Ray J. Gadd Photography

Boulder Lake - Ray J. Gadd Photography

Another hour and another grueling pace left us with grand views down into Anderson Lake in addition to the intersecting valley vistas.

Wildflowers - Ray J. Gadd Photography

Wildflowers - Ray J. Gadd Photography

A friend who had hiked the region prior suggested that we check out an unnamed lake perched above Anderson Lake for better sight seeing and more untracked territory. With no objections we began the traverse across the steep back side of Boulder Mountain. It was a great hidden gem perched directly above Anderson. We eagerly pitched our tents and unloaded our gear in order to maximize the available sunlight.

Campsite - Ray J. Gadd Photography

Campsite - Ray J. Gadd Photography

My two buddies, whom had the good sense to pack fishing rods began to fit their lines and reals in the appropriate places. I opted for a different route and grabbed my swimsuit. Before you knew it we had made the journey down to Anderson, friends lines in the water and me exploring the various rock features leading into the water. Two seconds later and the fish were biting. Beautifully colored cutthroat trout emerged left and right. To be kind, I chose to sit out the fishing before spooking the potential appetizers. Forty five minutes later and there were two sufficiently sized fish ready to tend to our appetites. I found a fun little fifteen foot cliff to help me ease into the water. No turning back, the freezing snow melt only momentarily got to me as I was out of the water nearly as fast as I was in it. Refreshing none the less.

We made the hike back up to basecamp, changed, and started the next activity. You can imagine what was on the minds of three twenty three year olds around 6:30… FOOD! Pasta with pre-grilled chicken and home made pesto satisfied our ravenous hunger. The trout were originally set out to be our appetizer but due to some cooking flaws wound up being our dessert. That coupled with a few donut holes made for a fantastic all around meal.

Cutthroat Trout - Ray J. Gadd Photography

Cutthroat Trout - Ray J. Gadd Photography

Big boulders surrounded our campsite and with 400ft. steep descends surrounding us, we had to take the opportunity to make some noise. The sheer size and weight coupled with gravity made for some powerful tumbles. Don’t worry, we were sure to check for people below before letting hell break loose.

Boulders - Ray J. Gadd Photography

Boulders - Ray J. Gadd Photography

Boulders - Ray J. Gadd Photography

Boulders - Ray J. Gadd Photography

Boulders - Ray J. Gadd Photography

Boulders - Ray J. Gadd Photography

Boulders - Ray J. Gadd Photography

Boulders - Ray J. Gadd Photography

Our equally adventurous demeanors for boulders had us climbing to the ridge line above us for a birds eye view soon after. From the top we had a near 300* view of our surrounding. Payette Lake, Lake Creek, Anderson Lake and our unnamed lake/campsite were a few of the identifiable locations within site. We sat perched on the spine of the ridge until the sun dipped below what we’ve been told were part of the Seven Devil’s mountain range.

Sunset - Ray J. Gadd Photography

Sunset - Ray J. Gadd Photography

Sunset - Ray J. Gadd Photography

Sunset - Ray J. Gadd Photography

Back at camp we built our fire back up and exchanged stories about the trials and tribulations of life and women over a glass of Jack Daniels. Couldn’t have asked for a better way to take the night to an end.

Sunset - Ray J. Gadd Photography

Sunset - Ray J. Gadd Photography

Campfire - Ray J. Gadd Photography

Campfire - Ray J. Gadd Photography

Bright morning rays seemed to filter into our tents far to quickly. Sluggishly we crawled out of bed to greet the new day. I jetted back up to the ridgeline for a quick morning glimpse. When I made my way back down a breakfast feast was in the works. Egg McMuffins, oatmeal, donut holes and tea refueled us for the day ahead.

When breakfast had been all but slammed down we got to work packing and cleaning up our camp. All ready to rock and roll, we decided to have a little fun before we left. Just above the unnamed lake was a lengthy snow field that was just asking to be boot skied down. Crazy straight-lines and several near falls kept us rather entertained. After all was said and done our packs were on and the journey back down began.

Boot Skiing - Ray J. Gadd Photography

Boot Skiing - Ray J. Gadd Photography

It took us twenty five minutes to reach Boulder Lake. As we crossed the main stream that leads into the lake a shimmer caught our eyes. Further exploration was needed to determine if the site was worth pursuing. Sure enough, the entire stream was stocked full of 10-12in cutthroat trout. Some last minute fishing was in order. Within a matter of minutes there were two good sized fish ready to brought back home. After another twenty minutes, a handful of smaller fish and one more decent sized fish were caught. Three fish were gutted, cleaned and packed with snow for the remainder of the trek down.

Cutthroat - Ray J. Gadd Photography

Cutthroat - Ray J. Gadd Photography

Cutthroat - Ray J. Gadd Photography

Cutthroat - Ray J. Gadd Photography

Backpacking - Ray J. Gadd Photography

Backpacking - Ray J. Gadd Photography

Wildflowers - Ray J. Gadd Photography

Wildflowers - Ray J. Gadd Photography

The last two miles took even less time as our steady clip had been maintained. Although only a mere five miles out, an unloaded pack and flip flops were greatly welcomed. It was a great 24 hour trip and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a quick overnighter. Just try to leave some fish and untracked snow fields for everyone else.

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~ by skier2435 on July 10, 2008.

4 Responses to “Anderson Lake, Idaho – Backpacking”

  1. The mountains that were in the distant sunset were the seven devils.

  2. Thanks for the details. I’ll be sure to edit it.

  3. Your pictures are fantastic! You really capture how much fun a good backpacking trip can be.

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