Heceta Light House, Oregon 2018

Saturday, August 1, 2015

More to see in the Island Park Idaho Area

We had heard from locals that the Mesa Falls Recreation Area, just south of Island Park, was quite beautiful and a highly recommended day trip. On Thursday the weather had once again warmed up, so we decided to drive over to see it.

There was no entry fee for us because we have a senior NP pass that is also honored at National Forest Service facilities. 

The Upper Mesa Falls drops 114 feet. The observation platforms are easily accessible from the Visitors Center.

Of course there were stairs to climb up and down. 

After seeing the upper falls we took a two mile, round trip, walk thru the forest to a point where we could see the Lower Mesa Falls from above.

We had only taken a few steps onto this trail when we quickly turned back to coat ourselves in bug spray!

It is so unpredictable as to when we will need it, but after the wooded walk at Henry's Lake, we willingly put up with the yucky smell.

The trail took us to the place marked on this picture with the red arrow. We took this picture from an overlook of the Lower Falls that we drove to after we returned from the walk. 

The river is Henrys Fork. It is hard to believe it is the same as the gently flowing, fly fisherman's dream, that starts at Henry's Lake. Further downstream it flows into the Snake River.

I feel like all the stairs and hiking is doing me some good. I haven't weighed myself for a while, but I am feeling great and moving well. That's what counts. 

I don't think I want to go more than three or four  miles on level ground, but hey, who's counting?

In the picture above I am standing on an old lava flow. The cracks were made as it cooled. I told Craig I thought my shirt matched the lava. Good old Walmart fashion!

Also recommended by a local was Johnny Sack's Cabin at Big Springs. 

From the outside it looks like a quite well-kept but ordinary cabin. 

But the inside was a beautiful example of excellent craftsmanship and innovative use of rough materials.

Jonny Sacks stood only 4'11" but built the cabin and the wonderful furniture in it by himself. 

The volunteer docent had some good stories to tell about the history behind the place. 

We finished the day by seeing this female Pronghorn Antelope in a field in Island Park. She was a bit shaggy because she had not yet completely shed her winter coat.

I slowly walked toward her, taking pictures as I went, but she quickly decided it was time to move on.

They really do bounce when they run! 

She didn't go far, and as soon as I returned to the Jeep, she went back to grazing.

It is fun to see living wild creatures, and not as trophies hanging on the wall! 


  1. You are in such a beautiful area. We loved those day trips.

  2. You are looking fantastic! Yellowstone agrees with you :-)

  3. You look great! Hiking is good for the soul and the waistline. I love how your clothes match the landscapes; intentional or not. You are truly living the dream.


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