Gear up, Trekkers! We’re headed to Crystal Lake in the Gospel-Hump Wilderness area for the weekend of July 20th-21st!
The Crystal Lake #299 Trailhead is on the west side of the Wildhorse Campground. There are six first-come-first-serve campsites there, and an outhouse, so grab a spot if you can make it out Friday night.
For those of us driving in in the morning, we’ll meet up at 7:00 AM in Grangeville on the backside, or east side, of Lyons Club Park, across the street from Mountain Smoothie. There’s a large dirt parking lot for the park. Let’s park there so we’re not leaving vehicles in The Gym parking lot over the weekend if we decide to carpool.
From the Lyons Club Park, we’ll take Mt. Idaho Grade Rd down to Highway 14 out towards Elk City, Idaho. Before we reach Elk City, we’ll take a right, heading south on Crooked River Rd towards Orogrande, Idaho. (Zoom in on the Google Maps and you’ll get a good view of why they call it Crooked River Rd!)
Just past Orogrande we’ll take a right on Gospel Hump Rd, AKA NF-233. This will take us to the Orogrande Summit Campground, where we will veer right onto NF-233I (also NF-205). Wildhorse Campground is at the end of NF-233I. Altogether, Wildhorse Campground is about 9 miles out from Orogrande, and the roads get REALLY rough. We suggest you come ina 4-wheel-drive are all-wheel-drive vehicle. Carpooling may be a good option.
It’s gonna be an early morning for anyone driving in. Let’s meet up at the Lyons Club Park at 7:00 AM, with a goal of making it to the trailhead between 9:00 and 9:30 AM. Those of you camping out Friday night can sleep in!
Our trail will start on the west side of Wildhorse Campground, climb up on the ridge, pass the North Pole peak, and take us down into Crystal Lake just below Gospel Hump. The trail is about 7 miles. We’ll spend the night at Crystal Lake and head back in the morning.
The middle of July should be decently warm, but Crystal Lake sits at 7,500 feet so you may want to bring a pair of wool socks for the night. Weather is always uncertain, so pack a rain layer and warm layer in case it gets cold and wet. And if you feel like it, pack a bathing suit for Crystal Lake, too!
Reach out if you have any questions or ideas. We look forward to seeing you on the trail!