Happy Hiking: Adelmann Mine

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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
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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.

rolling hills at Adelmann Mine

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.

May wildflowers at Adelmann Mine

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. 

Adelman Mine

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.

marmot at adelmann mine

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.

grafitti at adelmann mine

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

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Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned award winning travel blogger and photographer sharing the earth's beauty one word and image at a time.

9 thoughts on “Happy Hiking: Adelmann Mine

    1. Yes it is a very underrated state. People are just now figuring it out, but the crowds are far less than Colorado and such. At least right now anyway

  1. Similar structures in this area of Colorado have mostly collapsed over the years. Glad to see this one standing. There is one that has a group of stewards that visit often and arrange repairs.

  2. Looks like a really neat hike! I’m looking forward to hearing more about your Idaho adventures, I know there’s lots of hidden gems there.

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