Sunday, July 24, 2016

Ant Basin, Idaho

The Bear Lake Valley is bordered by National Forests on two sides.  Recently my friend, Jim Parker showed me some high country on the west side of the valley that was new to me.  Since then, I drove back to the same area with my wife, Linda, and again with another friend, Bruce Grayum.

My favorite location on this drive is a ridge in the Ant Basin area (Caribou County).  It is an open T shaped rocky knob with an amazing view toward the next valley to the west.  There were thousands of Indian paintbrush in bloom; hundreds of times more than I have seen anywhere else.  I believe that the eroding rock of the mountaintop created soil that must be ideal for paintbrush.

There were plenty of other wildflowers too, like this lupine.  All of these photos were taken in a small area at the top of the T.  On the third visit I intended to shoot more on a flower covered hillside at one end of the T, but the paintbrush were fading and a thunderstorm chased us away.

Most of the paintbrush were orange or red, but I did find one sulphur paintbrush.

This shows how the flowers were growing in pockets of soil between the rocks.

The roads to Ant Basin are dirt and rock, with some mud after rainstorms.  They are narrow and steep in places, and the climb is about 2300 feet above the Bear Lake Valley.  The rocky knob is not a good place to be in a thunderstorm.

The Indian paintbrush were a wonderful backdrop for other flowers like these lupine.

We saw a variety of wildflowers along the roads as well, and they changed with the elevation.  There was also wildlife including deer, hawks, and one uncooperative weasel.

I haven’t explored anywhere near all the roads in our nearby National Forests.  I need to get out more.

Please note that my photos are copyrighted and should not be used without permission.


  1. Thanks! Love the photo's and commentary.

    1. Thank you. I appreciate the chance to explore our beautiful back country.