The initial moderate uphill grade, and ensuing miles of gentle, graded trail make for a great long run.
Summit Flat Road is a winding, sloped trail with great views of the Boise forest. The views of the valley are spectacular, and the curves of highway 21 poking through the trees end a while after setting out, leaving you with a feeling of pleasant solitude. The trail is smooth and regular (especially when blanketed in snow in the winter) with the first four miles consisting of a moderate upward grade that is great for snowshoeing or skiing. Please be aware that this road is not closed to motor vehicles, and you may have to negotiate the trail with other users in both summer and winter, when the area is popular with snowmobilers.
About three miles in, you'll arrive at the crux of a few different paths where you can continue on to different ridges via access roads. If you follow the ridge to the east (on the Pilot Peak Summit Spur
), you'll find some places for backcountry camping with a beautiful view of the forest to the east. You won't want to miss the panoramic view at Pilot Peak at about 8,000 feet, which is incredible. There is a weather station that shares public information about conditions at the peak (MLLFI1).
If you make the turn-off to Pilot's Peak, make sure you have your bearings about you. It can get disorienting and if you start down the wrong way you could end up far from where you intend to be.
You'll be ascending about 2000' from the Moore's Creek Summit Trailhead, where the turnout from Highway 21 is. There is plenty of parking and pit toilets at the trailhead.
From here, the rest of the trail is a long, and mellow descent all the way to where the road ends near Grimes Creek and Pioneer
. With the exception of one other small rise between miles 9 and 11, you'll enjoy the gentle downhill. The trail meanders in and out of forested woods, and crossed meadows. Enjoy the lovely scenery along the way!