Of the hikes I’ve done in Idaho this week, Adelmann Mine might be my favorite thus far. I debated about driving half-way back to Boise from Idaho City to hike this trail located right off Highway 21.
I wasn’t sure I wanted another desert hike, nor did I want to go closer to Boise where there would likely be more hikers. But, a mine hike would be a change of pace from the others I’ve done, so I settled on the short 30 minute drive to the trailhead.
Parking at Adelmann Mine
The Adelmann Mine Trailhead is located at a Forest Service office for the Boise River Wildlife Management Area. When I arrived just before 8am, the gate was closed, so I had to park outside it. There was enough room for about four to six cars off the side of the highway. Hikers may pass through a pedestrian entrance to the left of the gate.
I parked VANgo to ensure I wouldn’t get trapped, leashed Annie, strapped on my pack and headed out. At first, I wasn’t thrilled about this 4.7 mile hike, because it was on a dirt road, and being in a Wilderness Area, I couldn’t let Annie off the leash.
The Hike to Adelmann Mine
- Distance: 4.7 miles
- Type: Moderate, out-and-back
- Elevation Gain: 1,322 ft
- Other: Dogs Allowed
- All Trails Link
Soon, however, my opinion dramatically changed. The first mile gradually climbs through rolling green hills. At times, it reminded me just slightly of the Mongolian Steppe.
Then the trail steepens substantially. I was surprised at how winded I was, but happy to have an excuse to stop and snap multiple wildflower photos with magnificent views of the emerald hills and distant snow-capped mountains.
Actually, I had to make myself keep going. The views were remarkable! The only downside is that I was shooting into the sun.
I continued and took the path to the right which leads to Adelmann Mine. I had briefly contemplated hiking 8.8 miles roundtrip to Lucky Peak above the mine, but after slogging up 1,300 feet in hardly over 2 miles, Adelmann Mine became my final destination.
The marmots have also made the mine their final destination. Additionally, a raven took shelter on a giant nest inside the mine. It looked more like an eagle’s nest than a raven’s nest, but I’m not much of a birder.
I didn’t have the mine to myself very long. Another gentleman and a couple joined me. I was kind of hoping to have it to myself to explore. It’s funny how ultimately, the only four people on the trail ended up at the mine within five minutes of one another. At least I got a picture of me and Annie out of it!
After admiring Adelmann Mine from the top, I took a path down to the bottom. I was excited to look inside until I saw all the graffiti, some including filthy words. It’s so sad that people are so disrespectful of historic buildings.
Anyway, I really liked the Adelmann Mine Trail. It offered views, wildflowers, and a cool, mining structure. The only tedious part was the last mile on the return. I was really glad I didn’t do Lucky Peak at that point. I highly recommend this one! ETB