Lava Mountain Trail


Mountain Home - Lava Mountain Trail 125

Lava Mountain Trail - From the eastern trailhead, two lakes are within easy reach by day hikes.

Smith Creek lake has the potential for good fishing, whereas North Star Lake does not, due to a muddy bottom.

There are campsites at both lakes.  This trail is suitable for all uses. There are no sources of water west of North Star Lake.

From the eastern trailhead, the trail contours an open hillside, crosses a stream, and then drops down to a saddle at 0.4 miles.

There is a rock cairn on the saddle where the trail splits.  At 1.3 miles, a trail goes off to the right (north) and within 0.1 miles is a large camp to the left.

Just past this camp there is a tree to the right of the trail that says ""Smith Creek Trail, Prairie 15 miles.  At 2.1 miles, the trail comes to a steep short cut.

The main trail continues northwest and arrives at Smith Creek Lake at 2.3 miles. The trail then contours and meets the top of the short cut at 2.5 miles. The topo map show this steep short cut as the trail. There is no trail on the topo map to the lake.

The trail gently climbs to the stream flowing out of Potter Lake at 2.8 miles.

The trail then climbs steeply for 0.4 miles through an open forest, and then climbs gently to a ridge spur at 3.5 miles.

The trail then drops down to a stream at 3.8 miles. From this stream, a side trail of about 0.1 miles climbs the hill to North Star Lake.

The main trail drops slightly and arrives at the ridgetop and a trail at 5.7 miles. The trail follows the ridgetop, gently rising and falling, for 2.4 miles. At this point (8.1 miles), an unmarked trail drops off to the right.

Continue another 0.4 miles to another unmarked trail junction.

Turn right and drop steeply down a tree covered ridgetop for approximately 1 mile. Drop off the ridge to a saddle at 9.7 miles.

The trail then swings into a small drainage and reaches the western trailhead at 10.5 miles.

At a Glance

Usage: Light
Closest Towns: Mountain Home, Idaho

General Information

General Notes:

The Lower Lava Mountain Trailhead includes visitor information and registration box. It serves Lava Mountain (#125) and Bear Gulch (#126) trails.

The Upper Lava Mountain Trailhead is a signed site with visitor information, loading/unloading ramp for ATVs and registration box. It serves Lava Mountain (#125) and Upper Sheep Creek (#123) trails.

The William H. Pogue National Recreation Trail and Lava Mountain Trail are for off-road vehicle enthusiasts, mountain bikers, hikers and horseback riders and can be accessed from the Trinity Recreation Area.  Both of these trails can be accessed near Big Roaring River Lake.


LOCATION- This trail has two access points. 

From Boise, Idaho, travel south on Interstate 84 (I-84) approximately 40 miles to Mountain Home, Idaho.

ACCESS #1- From Mountain Home, take State Highway 20 east, past Little Camas Reservoir about 9 miles, to Forest Highway 61.  Turn left onto Forest Highway 61 and travel north about 19 miles to Pine and Forest Service (FS) road 128.  Turn left onto FS road 128 and travel about 13 miles to FS road 129.  Turn right onto FS road 129 and drive about 9 miles to a switchback below Trinity Lookout.  The signed trailhead is on the north side of this switchback.


From Boise, Idaho, travel south on Interstate 84 (I-84) approximately 40 miles to Mountain Home, Idaho.

ACCESS #2- From Mountain Home, take State Highway 20 east about 19 miles to Forest Service (FS) road 134.  Turn left onto FS road 134 and drive 5 miles to Anderson Ranch Dam and FS road 113.  Turn left onto FS road 113 and follow the South Fork Boise River for about 11 miles before climbing out of the canyon and arriving at the Prairie Store in 21 miles.  Turn left, staying on FS road 113, and drive 2.5 miles to its junction with FS road 189.  Turn right to stay in FS road 113, and drive 3.9 miles to FS road 222.  Turn right onto FS road 222, drive 1.1 miles and go right onto FS road 222B.  Drive 2.5 miles on FS road 222B to the unmarked trailhead.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



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Horse Riding & Camping

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OHV Riding & Camping

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OHV Trail Riding

Take along your Mountain Home Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) for areas open to OHV trail riding.

Difficulty Level: Difficult
Areas & Activities


  Area/Length : 
10.5 Miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
5880 - 8000