Boise National Forest

Lightning Ridge Trail (Emmett)

As the trail ascends Lightning Ridge, it provides views of Scott Mountain, Onion Valley, Garden Valley, Crouch, and the surrounding mountains and valleys. Short stretches of the trail are steep, rocky, and boggy. In August 1986, the Lightning Creek drainage and the last few miles of trail near the west trailhead were the northern edge of the 18,500-acre Anderson Creek Fire. This lightning-caused fire was the largest one in Idaho that summer and cost over $6 million to suppress. From the south end of Deadwood Reservoir, the first 5 miles of the trail are open only to non-motorized traffice from September 15 to June 15. Bordered by huckleberry bushes, the trail begins in a lodgepole pine and Douglas-fir forest. Within 1.5 miles, the trail crosses Daisy Creek. It parallels Trail Creek for about 3 miles, and then ascends sharply to Lightning Ridge. The ridge is topped with weathered granite outcrops and offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. The trail descends steeply to Onion Valley, crosses Onion Creek and soon afterward intersects with the Onion Valley Trail. The Lightning Ridge Trail ascends once again, offering views of Scott Mountain and its lookout, and passes through the area burned by the Anderson Creek Fire. After following the ridge for several miles it descends to National Forest Road 611 (NF-611), where it ends.

Mountain Biking
13.4 miles long; Bordered by huckleberry bushes, the trail begins in a lodgepole pine and Douglas-fir forest. Within 1.5 miles, the trail crosses Daisy Creek. It parallels Trail Creek for about 3 miles, and then ascends sharply to Lightning Ridge. The ridge is topped with weathered granite outcrops and offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.
Difficulty Level: Most Difficult