If your interested in a nice ride up West mountain with interesting trails and nice views I can recommend that you make a loop ride out of the Wilson Corral trail [TR135] and the Gabes Peak trail [TR136]. Truck / Trailer parking can be either at the Wilson Corral trail head or Rammage Meadows camp ground where the Gabes Peak trail head is located. I recommend you ride up [TR135] and down [TR136] but either way works nicely.   The Gabes Peak trail has some climbs that make it slow going up.

Wilson Corral trail follows a creek in tall timber for the first couple of miles and then crosses a string of meadows ending up north west of the Radar Dome on Snow Bank mountain. In the meadows the trail gets quite indistinct, as cattle summers graze this area. You will see trees marked, and rock carrions. Continue up the meadows until you can not go any higher without dropping down into a small valley, around 7400 feet.

Look to your right and you will see a small meadow down through the trees and a rocky hillside between you and the radar dome. The trail heads down the hill through the trees into the north end of this meadow. You really don’t want to cross the rocky slope as the going is dangerous on very loose rocks. A nice place to give your horses a drink is located in this meadow.

From here the trail heads south and is easy to follow. You continue south along this grassy valley until you come to a line shack. At this shack, the Gabe’s Peak trail branches off to the right. The trail go left of some large rocks and works it’s way along a south facing slope into a series of meadows along a ridge. Stay in these meadows and on the crest of the ridge and you will have little trouble following the trail. The trail leaves this ridge on the north side and works its way through some large timber coming out on an old logging road. Follow this road to Rammage Meadows. Robbin, his grandson Al, and I rode this loop trail easily on a Saturday leaving the trail head around 10:00 and being back at camp in time for cocktails. This assumes that trail maintenance has been performed prior to making this ride, else it will take a bit longer.

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  1. On September 13, 4 Squaw Butte member and 4 future members rode the Wilson Corral / Gabe’s Peak trails loop. A month earlier members had cleared the lower half of Wilson Corral trail, but wind had taken down a number of large trees, so we had more work that expected to clear the trail and make the lunch spot on the top of Wilson Peak. I was the only rider who had been on these trails, so it was a thrill to show off this magnificent country. After lunch, the group worked their way down into Wilson meadows, seeing some nice deer. We rode through the cattle that were bedded down in the meadow and then rode and cleared the Gabe’s Peak trail. Everyone agree the top mile of this trail with its view will be remembered for a long time. Tired and dirty, we were back in camp by 17:30 and were eating a great dinner by 18:30. A camp fire kept the chill off while we solved the problems of the world and everyone was ready for their sleeping bags by 21:00. Great trip, with fun people and awesome horses and mules, how can it get any better?

  2. Danger – Horse Eating Bog

    This summer we have had two wrecks on trail rides. Both happened in the same area. The group was riding along a creek on a rocky, muddy trail. The creek was to our right with a green grassy area gently sloping up to our left. Riding along this trail, I am sure both horse and riders were thinking why I am riding on the crummy trail when I could be walking through that nice green grass.

    Both wrecks happened the same way. The horse choosing the grass over the rocky muddy trail, strides boldly into a very wet soft area “bog” and has its from feet sink into its knees. This pitches the rider forward. The horse then dropped his rump to try and pull his legs out, pitching the rider back. The horse then lunged forward pitching the rider over his head into the bog.

    The horses each struggled out to dryer ground and stopped to eat. The first rider was lucky only getting very wet and muddy. The second was not so, landing on her face in the mud, blooding her nose. Both could have been much worse with serious injury.

    Were there any warning sign that this was a horse eating bog? A posted sign, no. Maybe there should be at this location, but you can’t post a sign on a trail everywhere there might be a hazard. It is the rider’s responsibility to be watching the trail and to guide their mount to the safest path.

    Let’s look at this bog and see if there we clues that could have prevented the wrecks.

    Clue 1: The area above the trail on the left was green, with willow and other damp loving plants.

    Clue 2. Even though it hadn’t rained it quite a while this section of trail was wet and muddy. Where was that water coming from?

    Clue 3. The defined trail was through a rocky area of firm ground

    Bogs don’t have to look like the bottom of an almost dry lake; most mountain bogs are the best looking grass in the meadow. So while you’re out riding Idaho’s scenic mountain trails and meadows, watch out for those horse eating bogs, and if you need to cross one, be ready and not caught off guard.