A group of six formed a meeting of the Rupert Jeep Club Thursday morning, starting promptly at 10:00 a.m. at the Drift Inn in Rupert to head for Minidoka’s highpoint. We headed north toward Kimama under foggy skies, temperature hovering near zero. Upon crossing the railroad tracks we started down the Kimama-Carey road, headed north into a snow covered desert. We reached the Laidlaw International Airport after about 14 miles of good desert road, with little more than a few frozen mud puddles as obstacles. Conditions at the airport were calm, frosty, but surprisingly pleasant for a January day. From there we proceeded to the South Park Well crossing the first lava flow without incident. From South Park we headed northwest along the lava finger to the north and west of Bear Den Butte. At 12:08 p.m. our objective came into view across the lava flow as the fog lifted slightly. We soon came to the trail across the lava flow and stopped to take pictures. From there we headed south and circled to the east side of the butte. We ascended the east side arriving just before 1:00 p.m. and spent a pleasant half hour having lunch and adult beverages on the pinnacle of Minidoka County. Tempature was a balmy 10 degrees, light breeze, mostly cloudy with the sun occasionally trying to burn through.
We then descended and headed south west, getting stuck a few times in the packed and wind blown drifts. We soon began retracing our route toward South Park, and saw the same herd of mule deer that we had seen earlier. We headed back toward Kimama, without major incident and decided to go find the Jerome County highpoint.