Boise’s hiking Grand Slam

Tom Lopez created the Grand Slam peaks of the Boise, Idaho, area as a four-step training regimen for his summer climbs. Others have latched onto the concept as a goal unto itself, or a circuit worth completing against the clock.

“When I redid the website a couple of years ago, the Grand Slam peaks page disappeared,” said Lopez, a retired attorney, mountain climber and guidebook author (“Idaho: A Climbing Guide”) who lives in Boise. “I immediately got an email from someone going, ‘Where’s that page?’”

The trailheads for the four peaks are less than an hour from town, with one actually starting within the city limits. Their summits range from 4,987 feet to 6,336 feet, which makes them accessible earlier in spring than the more daunting mountains that climbers like Lopez attack in the summer.

Cervidae Peak — just north of Lucky Peak Lake — is short but relentlessly steep. Kepros Mountain, in the Danskin Mountains east of town, is a long walk on mostly rolling terrain. Lucky Peak is a challenging hike, right out of a residential neighborhood, with the most-established trail. And Mt. Heinen is the hike that will test your resolve with its terrain and sometimes-fuzzy trail.

“It’s good, varied terrain,” Lopez said. “You can start with Cervidae in February. The best way to get in shape is to hike … I always felt like once I did Heinen, I was ready for doing the big peaks.”

Lopez has hiked to each of the peaks at least a dozen times since he began tracking his ascents in 1990. Heinen is his favorite, but he’s climbed Cervidae — by far the quickest climb on the list — the most.

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