Trinity Ridge Fire — one year later

The park-like setting of Big Trinity Lake contrasts with fire-scarred pines.

The park-like setting of Big Trinity Lake contrasts with fire-scarred pines, Photo: Matt Standal

I recently had the opportunity to mountain bike into the popular Trinity Lakes area in the Boise National Forest before peak season.

My objective was to survey and photograph the damage left by the 140,000-acre Trinity Ridge Fire in 2012.

I knew the jeep road to the peaks would be closed, so I loaded up my mountain bike and hit the road at about 2:30 p.m. on Friday, June 21.

The trip from Boise took about 3.5 hours (including a couple gas station stops), and brought me along the Sun Valley Highway to the towns of Pine and Featherville.

I eventually made camp on a 7,200′ ridge with incredible views of the 9,000′ Trinity Peaks, the distant Soldier Mountains, 9,700′ Steel Mountain, and even the seldom-seen western edge of Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains.

After scouting the road on Friday night, I woke up on Saturday and biked about 4 miles into Little and Big Trinity lakes.

The views here were stunning, and the weather was a cool 60 degrees. However, it was obvious that thousands of acres of healthy forest had been lost to the wildfire.

Interestingly, crews with the Boise National Forest had previously spread thousands of pounds of straw throughout damaged areas of the forest.

You can read about their reforestation efforts in this article I wrote for KTVB upon conclusion of my trip.

Check out my FLICKR photo gallery for the rest of the images.

Idaho's Soldier Mountains as seen from Trinity Ridge

Idaho’s Soldier Mountains as seen from Trinity Ridge, Photo: Matt Standal