Cervidae Peak

By Audrey Andrews | May 26th, 2020

Boise County, Idaho

Out & Back from Arrow Rock Road:
4.6 miles
1,929 feet elevation gain

Fifteen minutes off Interstate 84 in Boise County, Idaho, Highway 21 crosses a small bridge. Arrow Rock Road lays to the right immediately past the bridge. The serpentine street hugs the mountainside. It approaches Arrow Rock Dam and continues. 

About two miles down the road, cars pile the roadside when work is out (and/ or quarantine is in effect!). Across the road, the most popular route to Cervidae Peak begins. The trail is straightforward: it climbs for essentially its entirety and, except for an initial jaunt to the right, follows the ridgeline.

Please know the trail is steep. I’d avoid wearing road running shoes for this trail and stick to something with more grip, like trail running running shoes or hiking books. Without some under-foot stick, you may slip a bit on the way down. 

The elevation gain is more than 800 feet per mile for a grand total of nearly 2,000. But, the mileage is relatively short, with just over two miles to the top. The peak sits 4,987 feet above sea level, and those who make it may record their feat in a notebook which lives atop. 

There are also routes available directly off of Highway 21, but these are even steeper. Of course, I hope to tackle them all! 

Along the way, wildflowers canvass the landscape. Yellow and purple are the dominant colors, splashing the brown and green mountains with splendid sights and smells. Beyond the mountainside, Lucky Peak Reservoir shines. 

Near the peak, Boise Basin spills beneath the surrounding mountains. The Robie Creek community is visible across Highway 21.  

As mentioned, the way down is the most precarious part of the journey. Both my sister and I slipped a few times, with one fall. I tried to pick up speed a few times, but quickly got out of control. 

Cervidae Peak is a perfect afternoon hike close to Boise. It is an example of why people flock to the basin. For those hitting this route, please stick to the trail. By the looks of the path, many hikers go rogue on their way up the peak, causing trail erosion and etching beauty out of the landscape. Stick to the trail. The elevation gain from trailhead to peak is the same; there is no need to trample the flowers.

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