The Boulder Mountains, one of Idaho's highest and wildest ranges, are rich with human history and home to an abundance of wildlife. Amidst the towering multi-hued peaks you can listen for the howl of wolves echoing off canyon walls, sense the presence of early Native Americans, find relics of Idaho's mining boom, discover true adventure and challenge yourself. The dramatic 4000' rise of the Boulder Front, as seen from Highway 75 just north of Ketchum and Sun Valley, defines this area for many. However, with 12 summits topping 11,000 feet and only 29 miles of trails, the rich reward for the adventurous lies breathtaking views and solitude found by off-trail exploring and peak climbing. A popular destination for hikers, the majority of use is confined to maintained trails, including a short accessible trail. Dramatic canyons give way to snow filled cirques, offering many recreational opportunities, but more uniquely providing for solitude, and primitive recreation, such as off-trail route finding and exploration. Geologically the range is quite complex and contains everything from granite to Challis Volcanics. The rock is notoriously loose and rotten, providing little in the way of technical climbing. Scramble high (or stop at the goat viewing site along Highway 75) and you may observe part of the large population of mountain goats that take refuge in this craggy habitat. Rare and sensitive predators such as the wolverine, gray wolf and mountain lion also roam these mountains. The pristine headwaters of the East Fork of the Salmon River and key tributaries of the headwaters of the Big Wood River originate here, providing cold, clear waters for important spawning and rearing areas for Chinook salmon, steelhead, Wood River sculpin, native west-slope cutthroat trout and bull trout. The wild and lightly used Hemingway-Boulders Wilderness is most often associated with the spectacular peaks that define the White Cloud Wilderness and high tundra slopes of the Jim McClure-Jerry Peak Wilderness. Together they were part of a long, and often contentious, battle for protection that concluded on August 7, 2015 when Congress designated them as three separate wildernesses. This landscape however, defies boundaries, providing huge expanses of world-class fish and wildlife habitat and recreation opportunities.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Hemingway-Boulders Wilderness.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.
Sawtooth National Recreation Area and Jerry Peak Wilderness Additions Act - Public law 114-46 (8/7/2015) To establish certain wilderness areas in central Idaho and to authorize various land conveyances involving National Forest System land and Bureau of Land Management land in central Idaho, and for other purposes.