Idaho has some of the best riding areas in the country. One of ATVA member Danny Low's favorites is not too far from Boise in the southwest portion of the state.
Called the Hemmingway Butte OHV Trailhead, this federal Bureau of Land Management area offers many miles of roads, trails, sand washes, and rocky terrain.
Located between the Melba junction and Oreana on state Highway 78, 45 miles southwest of Boise, Hemmingway Butte features more than 100 miles of trail. The Bureau of Land Management says all types of surfaces will be encountered on a ride, from sand washes to rocky terrain.
In fact, Low says: "Trails can vary from rocky, rough and steep to dried up creek beds—sand washes—that are sandy, flat and curvy."
Also, elevations vary greatly, so expect to be doing some uphill riding as well as playing in the flat stuff.
The difficulty of the trail ranges from moderate to difficult.
Low says that from the Hemmingway Butte OHV Trailhead parking areas you can see the Owyhee Mountains off in the distance. Facilities are scarce, he warns, and there is no water so you better bring a lot of it.
Low also says that cell phone signals in the area range from fair to poor, depending on your elevation and position. So don't be dependent on your cell phone if you get in trouble and need help.
Trails go for miles and miles in all directions, he says, and the mountains are dry and remote.
Some of the trails follow old fence lines on Bureau of Land Management land.
While riding in the area, keep an eye out for hikers, campers and others sharing the trails. There is primitive camping there.
There is no fee to enjoy the area, which is part of the Bureau of Land Management's Owyhee Recreation Management Area.
To get to the Hemmingway Butte OHV Trailhead, take U.S. 84 to Nampa, then take the exit to state Highway 55. Turn onto state Highway 78 in Marsing and look for signs that will direct you to the trailhead.
Hotels and RV parks can be found in the nearby towns of Nampa and Caldwell.
For more information on the Hemmingway Butte OHV Trailhead, contact the Bureau of Land Management, Owyhee Field Office, 3948 Development Ave., Boise, ID 83705; telephone: (208) 384-3300. Or check the website: http://www.blm.gov/id/st/en/visit_and_play/places_to_see/owyhee_field_office/ohv_riding.html.