“This perfect extension to the Boulder Lake Trail #105 runs past Summit Lake.”
— Keith Lannom
Fall Colors · Lake · Views · Wildflowers
The Buckhorn Trail gives you a backcountry feel without having to drive or run too far from McCall. Once you get past the crowds hanging around the Boulder Lake dam, you'll pretty much have the trail to yourself. The climbs are fairly mellow, except for one short, rocky section. Runners will be rewarded with great views into the South Fork of the Salmon River watershed from Buckhorn Summit.
The west end of the Buckhorn Trail (#96) starts just past Boulder Lake (Boulder Lake Trail #105
). The Buckhorn Trail climbs slowly across a huge meadow and Buckhorn Mountain (8,457') is in the distance. After 0.4 miles, there is trail junction. Go left for the Buckhorn Trail; go right for Kennally Creek Trail (#102). The Buckhorn Trail continues to climb slightly, then there is a short, rocky section up to a ridge line. Then the trail drops a bit down to Summit Lake. Once you are past the lake, it is about 0.35 miles of uphill to Buckhorn Summit.
Once at the summit, you can scramble off trail to the top of Buckhorn Mountain or continue on the Buckhorn Trail (#96) towards the South Fork of the Salmon River. But much of the area east of the Buckhorn Summit was impacted by the 2015 Rapid Fire, and supposedly the trail tread is gone.