Tour of Idaho
note - the 2016 11th edition of T1 is different from its
predecessors. There are no more challenge points or jersey numbers for
finishers - we decided to reserve these for those who completed the
route in the first decade when T1 was still largely unknown and
unexplored and open up Tour of Idaho experience for more riders as it
enters its second decade. You are still expected to finish the route in
days with the provision for a single off-day in Pocatello (for a total
of 10 days) but there will be no more beacon monitoring or submission
of tracks - just go ride. The longest gas-less
distance for 2016 will be a single 210 mile stretch and most of that is
on easy fire
roads. Aside from that the longest gas less stretches are
around 160 miles - very manageable on most large desert tanks.
The 2016 route maps are available at Butler Maps as part of a kit that
contains maps and a route book. Feel free to check out
Facebook group for up to date information. The group is open so
anyone may explore the content without being a member. You should
request to become a member only if you are serious about attempting T1
during 2016. You may also find our forum, FAQ and home page to
be useful resources.
How to use this page.
are three things that you'll need in order to maximize your experience
here. 1) The patience and ability to read for comprehension. 2) The
ability to discern what GPS tracks are about. 3) The ability to read
a map (really) and route book.
The tracks I've created here consists of a lot of points. This was done
because in many places you'd really like to have points close
together when you are creating your route(s) in your own mapping
software. You cannot just download these tracks today and go ride 1400+
miles across the wilds of Idaho tomorrow. Weeks of map
preparation are required. The best way to go about this is to reconcile
the maps and route book you should acquire from Butler
with our gpx files and notes. If you
the time to do
this I can almost guarantee that you will have little difficulty
navigating the actual route when you get there. Do not assume that you
can just download our tracks into your cellphone-based gps unit
and take off tomorrow. If that works it'll be a first.
For Trail Tech
Voyager users here is your entire
(directions for download and upload in the link).
else here are our
2016 gpx files: D1, D2, D3,
Please read this before
you email us about gps files. Yeah, we know, there are a lot of
points in the files. Right click and save, then open them in
Google Earth, RideLeader, GPSBabel or whatever else you use that can
import a .gpx
have an extensive
Idaho videos on our YouTube
page. The Idaho
SNOTEL page provides valuable
information about the nature of snow
levels on many passes along the Tour. The Idaho
website has an interactive map
with very high resolution views of
the trails for the entire Tour (this is an invaluable resource for
trail and road numbers). For fire information check out the Idaho Inciweb page. The Idaho
contains a wealth of useful information about the Tour route. We also
highly recommend the Roadside
Geology of Idaho, an
indispensable pre-ride winter read.
trail is much more than a
a map - it's the sum of of the efforts of all who worked to make it a
reality. We owe a great debt of gratitude to several individuals who
helped us wrestle this epic off of our laptops and into the great
J. Gravelle, the trails coordinator for the St. Joe Ranger
District of the Idaho Panhandle National Forest,
spent hours with us on
the phone and in exchanges of email planning the route through the St.
Joe. Stacy Baker and Dusty Baker of the Challis District provided much
The Challis district, btw, has the best trail crew in the state.
Members of the Elk City
Dust Devils ATV club are among
the most helpful and gracious
off-roaders it's been our pleasure to meet. They provided invaluable
assistance in helping us with the area from the Magruder Road to
thanks to Donn
Dennis who provided information on northern Idaho.
A huge thanks to Bill Dart,
whose excellent maps of the central part of the state make planning in
that area much easier.
to our friends at Pocatello
Sports for keeping us in bikes,
tires and accessories.
of the small towns along the Tour route have at least one establishment
with free WiFi. A WiFi enabled cell phone will generally be the only
way of checking in with family and friends at the end of each day.
The following description breaks the Tour into nine
on our experience, competent, well-equipped parties traveling at
reasonable speeds will have little trouble knocking off the entire Tour
in nine trail days. The
the suggested schedule are that accommodations are not generally a
and the riding difficulties
are distributed so that one day is not significantly more
than the next. The intervals are as follows:
D1 - Utah to Pocatello, D2 - Pocatello to Arco, D3 - Arco to Smiley
Smiley Creek to Challis, D5 - Challis to Shoup/Salmon, D6 - Salmon to
Lowell, D7 - Lowell to Powell Ranger Station, D8 - Powell Ranger
Wallace, D9 - Wallace to Sundance Mountain.
day in Pocatello (the biggest town along the route) right after the
first day on the trail is highly recommended. Pocatello is the
largest city along the route and the best place to sort out
or equipment issues that you may have discovered on D1. It also
it easy to get the pre-dawn start that's a really good idea for D2.
Please bear in mind that though we have covered every inch of the
recommended route and believe our descriptions to be accurate,
conditions can change, in some instances
very rapidly, due to weather, fire, human activities, road
closures, etc. Also understand that the route description and
files provided here are no substitute for the ability to pull out a map
and figure things out when you discover that you're not in Kansas any
more. Those attempting to substitute a GPS unit
for route finding and the ability to read a map will
spend a lot of time lost.
The Tour of Idaho is not a casual undertaking. Completing the
Tour requires reasonably high degrees of riding skill,
acumen, physical conditioning, route finding ability, mechanical skill,
knowledge of emergency first aid and a healthy dollop of good
luck. The information on this website is not meant as
for any of the above. A trail that
we describe as flat and fast, for instance, may change overnight as the
result of a
storm. You ride the Tour at your own risk. Any attempt to replace "eyes
on the spot" judgment with something you read here may well result
in calamity. You may want to check out the FAQ
for answers to specific
questions we've gotten (or wish we had).
Please note that all estimates for time on the trail do not factor in
the additional time required for extensive sawing or completing the
||Day one, though
the shortest in terms of miles, yields long
continuous technical riding. Roughly half of the
route consists of rugged single track or ATV trail. There are at least
three very impressive climbs. Most will find this
to be a full day, 10 hours or so being a good time.
are not a problem, with the longest distance between services being
about 50 miles.
The Tour begins in Jenkins Hollow just north of the Idaho-Utah border.
Take the Deep Creek Road exit (#17) off I-15 then travel east
south on ID 36 approximately 20 miles to Black Canyon road (70240) on
the south (right) side of the road. Black Canyon
road is a dirt
farm road that
winds through fields and around farm houses to Black Canyon in the
hills a few miles from the highway. Proceed 5 miles down
Black Canyon road to a
grassy parking area in the middle of a large U turn at the
a hill. Unload bikes here.
encounter a farm gate after about a mile just beyond
and around a few corners. Proceed through the gate and down
hill into Jenkins Hollow. Follow the road south (70238) to Steel Canyon
where the trail turns north at the Utah border
here and ride 50 feet to the actual Utah border, which is marked by a
miles along a series of roads and ATV trails (70055 and 7488)
Follow the dirt road east out of Dry Creek (71224 then 70053) to ID
36, some 5 miles from the campground. Cross the highway and follow the
road about 1/2 of a mile to an intersection. Turn north (left) and
proceed 2.75 miles along a series of roads (King Road, 70242)
trail 7452. This trail is marked as non-motorized on some maps, but is,
in fact, a dirt road. Follow 7452 uphill (video)
to 7451 (ATV) which leads to
single track trail 7437. Follow this steep and spectacular trail some 4
miles up and over Old Baldy (8356'), then Weston Peak (8165').
On the north side of Weston Peak, look for an intersection with 7443
and continue north (Note: if this trail is temporarily closed you
may take trail 7444 down to Clifton Basin and rejoin the route near
Buck Peak) another few miles to Ruben Hollow (video). Take
east (right) a few miles to Buck Peak.
Here the trail turns north descends about a mile into Davis
Basin. In the next few miles, the trail ascends the
spine of Oxford
Ridge, gaining about 2000'.
a couple of miles the ridge levels off and heads northwest toward
the summit of Oxford Peak. After about a mile along
the ridge crest the Tour route leaves the ridge east near
Spring (just before the next steep climb) and descends a
ATV trail (7419) steeply into Oxford Basin.
detour from the ridge is not obvious and a look at the GPS
prove extremely useful.
After a long
trail climbs out of Oxford basin. A series of short ascents leads
dirt road that goes east (right). Go left after 1/4
head steeply uphill to a series
of ATV trails (7419) leading some 4 miles to Aspen
Hollow. Descend to the northeast down Aspen Hollow (7416, 70050) to a
wide farm road
Road) that rolls straight down into Marsh Valley. Follow this road
about 4 miles to an
intersection with Back Downata Road and turn right. Follow
east a few miles past Downata
Hot Springs to US 91. Though it
shouldn't be an
issue at this point, gas is available a few miles north on Highway 91
in Downey or south at Swan Lake.
crossing US 91 the Tour jogs south about a mile to Calvin Road
(Red Rocks Back) on
the east (left), east along Pratt Road to Cottonwood
The route then follows a
series of logging roads and ATV trails (video)
that ascend to
Sedgwick Peak (9167').
A series of roads follows the crest of
Portneuf Range northwest from Sedgwick Peak, some 10 miles, eventually
descending to Lava Hot Springs - a
resort community that is an excellent place to stop for food and gas
before the afternoon trek to Pocatello. We recommend the Sunnyside
Store/Sinclair station, on the way out of town to the west, for lunch
About a mile west of Lava on
turn north (right) on Sunnyside Road (70030).
north 3 miles up Beach
Hollow (watch for a jog to the right near a house and a "dead end road"
sign) to an intersection with the Boundary Trail (7272). From here
one may head west or east.
The regular T1 route continues along
Boundary Trail west some 6
miles to Robbers Roost Trail (7253). Robbers Roost is equal parts
steep and spectacular (video).
This trail crosses the Portneuf Range crest just north of
Haystack Mountain (9033'), and leads the rider steeply downhill to Big
Springs Campground back on the eastern side of the range. From
here follow the Boundary trail north about 4 miles, again to the
Portneuf Range crest, this time at Inkom Pass (7232').
The optional D1 challenge section follows the Boundary Trail
several miles to Reed Canyon (7277), then up Reed to Girl Scout Camp
Trail (7274, road 70022), back to the Boundary Trail a few
miles south of Big Springs Campground. On then takes Robbers Roost
Trail (7253) from east to west (reverse of the regular route) to the
Boundary Trail and follows the Boundary trail north a few miles to
Inkom Pass and a reunion with the regular route. It's possible to
bail out at the top of Reed Canyon and reconnect, after just a few
miles, with the easier regular route via Bob Smith Canyon. Should you
decide to continue along the challenge section make sure that you know
||From Inkom Pass. Follow a
trail (7243) from the pass that descends
the north and east to the South Fork of Inman Creek (video).
Follow the South
Fork Inman Creek single track (7240) north several miles to
Canyon Road. Head west (left) and descend several miles to an
intersection with Rapid Creek Road.
From the intersection of
Inman Canyon and Rapid Creek, travel west into the small town of Inkom.
Head north out of town and look for the Sorelle Road sign at I-15
intersection. Inkom is a good place for gas and a cool drink before the
last sprint to Pocatello.
From Inkom head west about 5 miles along US 30 to Blackrock Canyon
Road. Once in Blackrock you have several options. The preferred option
is the second.
The quickest route into Pocatello is to
take the dirt road that veers left
just on the east side of the I-15 bridge. This road climbs steeply for a few miles
then follows a long ridgeline to Chinese Peak.
The more interesting option and main route heads up Blackrock for a
mile or so to a fork in the
road. Take the right fork across the creek and follow the road past the
Boy Scout Pavilion. Go another 1/2 mile and locate an ATV trail on
the right bank of a small creek that
evenutally climbs to a jeep trail on a ridge. Follow this trail
west for a few miles, eschewing all turns off the main road, to an ATV
trail that eventually crops up on the right near a dead end. Follow this enjoyable
ATV trail 3.75 miles west as it winds it's way to the summit
Chinese Peak (video). At
several points along this trail, you will be able to look back to the
south and enjoy an evening vista of your entire day's travels.
From the summit of Chinese
Peak, the town of
Pocatello lies in the
valley to the west before you. Any road off the top of Chinese Peak
that goes west or north leads to
town. The recommended path is the wide, well-traveled gravel
road that descends to the west. Following this route, you'll
encounter the TID flagpole on the left about 100 yards after reaching
pavement below the BLM parking area at the top of Barton Road.
|Pocatello is a full-service
50,000 with a great motorcycle shop: Pocatello
Power Sports (Honda/KTM/Suzuki),
along with numerous
and restaurants. It's also a great place to schedule a day lay over
(highly advised) to sort out bike, equipment or personal issues
that arise during the course of the first day on T1.
While in Pocatello, we recommend College
Market for coffee; The
Sand Trap, Mama Inez or
the Sandpiper for
lunch and dinner. Best bets for provisions and services are Pocatello
Sports, for motorcycle related needs, Barrie's Ski &
Sports, for general outdoor equipment, and Fred Meyer for food and
general supplies. Ethanol-free gas is
available at Oak
Street Sinclair. The local Red
Wing Shoe store offers a free,
while you wait, boot inspection and
cleaning for any Tour of Idaho rider who stops by. All of the
businesses listed below support the Tour of Idaho. Please patronize
in Pocatello, please be sure to patronize these supporters of the Tour
to Arco (260 miles)
sets out with the
world's mellowest motorcycle single track trail
just as your coffee is
kicking in and the sun is coming up. That last part is important,
because things get very interesting west of
Falls if you hit the desert sand much after noon on most summer days.
Twelve or so hours ought to suffice
at any reasonable
The longest stretch between fuel stops is 140 miles (between American
Falls and Arco).
Begin by heading west out of
Pocatello to Gibson Jack Road (70008). At the west end of the parking
lot find the ATV trail that crosses a creek and heads uphill
(7015) for less than
1/2 of a mile to an intersection. Go left (downhill) a short distance
(7018) which narrows to single track and heads southwest up Dry
Creek. Follow this trail some 6 miles as it contours the
eastern slopes of Gibson Mountain and Slate Mountain (video).
The trail eventually descends to Mink Creek Road. Turn left there, and
proceed northeast for about a mile to a
well-marked intersection with East Fork (Scout Mountain) road
on the right. Follow this east for about 1/2 of a mile to a parking
area on the left. This marks the beginning of the Lead Draw trail
(70331, 7109). Follow this east for for a little over a mile (video),
and look for an intersection with trail 7133 on the right. Follow this
trail south a little over 2 miles to a picnic area/campground.
Proceed south through the picnic area to the Crestline Cycle Trail
(7148). The Crestline Cycle Trail winds up wooded slopes to eventually
emerge beneath the rugged and spectacular east face of Scout Mountain (video).
After about 4 miles from it's start, the Crestline Cycle
Trail intersects road 70009. From here it is possible to turn
right (west) and follow the winding road 2 miles to the top of Scout
Just before the intersection of Crestline Cycle Trail and road 70009
one encounters trail 7178 (Bell Marsh) and the beginning of the
optional D2 challenge section. This 11-mile loop winds east
down Bell Marsh, south the west along 7152 eventually reconnecting with
road 70009 (you'll have to backtrack just a bit along 70009 to
reconnect with the T1 route). Though short, this loop
is time-consuming (therein lies the "challenge"). It is not
recommended unless you've
managed a very early start out of Pocatello.
From the intersection of Crestline Cycle Trail with the road, follow
70009 downhill less than a mile to an intersection with East Fork Trail
(7186). Turn right (west) and follow this ATV trail about a mile west
then north to Frog Pond. From there, proceed north another mile or so (video)
to Race Track Trail (7184), a single track trail that veers sharply to
the left (west). Follow this for about 3.5 miles west to South Fork
This initial 20 or so miles of trail on D2 is among the most enjoyable
of the entire Tour. But for a few miles of connecting roads
and ATV trail, it's almost entirely casual single track which allows
one to enjoy the scenery in a manner that is often not possible
elsewhere along T1.
south (left) on South Fork/Mercer Creek
Road for a few miles to an intersection with Garden
Creek Road. Continue south another few miles to an
intersection with Rattlesnake Creek Road. Turn right and proceed a few
miles west to South Bannock Hwy.
proceed west into Arbon Valley and around Lusk Loop. Cross Arbon Valley
Hwy and proceed due west toward the flanks of the Deep Creek Range. The
road deteriorates to a jeep trail at a fence crossing at the foot of
the range. Proceed generally west up Green Canyon. Near the top of the
range the trail comes out of the trees and connects with Dry
Hollow Trail (956). Head
right (west) over the crest of the range and descend into Portage
Canyon toward ID 37 in
the Rockland Valley. At the intersection of Portage Canyon Road and ID
continue west, crossing ID 37, to Kuper Road.
Follow Kuper Road west then south a few miles
to Green Canyon Road. Follow Green Canyon Road/NFD 569 southwest a few
miles to an intersection with NFD
Turn right (west) and follow this road to as it descends Sheep Canyon
for a few miles to an intersection with
NFD 577 on the right. Head steeply uphill on NFD 577 to a
and descend into Houtz Canyon. Follow NFD 577 down Houtz Canyon about
4.5 miles to an intersection with a road on the left that leads to
Dairy Canyon. Follow this road uphill a mile or so to a pass
then descend another 3/4 of a mile into Dairy Canyon proper.
route out of American
proceeds west along ID 39 across the
American Falls Dam. Just across the dam turn left (west) onto Lamb
Weston Road. Jog around a few corners and turn south (left) on Borah
Road a short distance later. Follow Borah Road south and west about a
mile to a railroad crossing. From here follow Lake Channel Road
3.75 miles southwest and begin looking for a sandy dirt road
on the right. The next 30 miles of deep sandy trail is one of the
technical highlights of the Tour (video).
right at the first intersection and left at the second (indistinct) a
later. After the second
(west) to a
just south of Badger Peak (6500'). There is a faint road that leaves
west and can be ridden a half mile or so to the top of a knoll that
should not be
From the pass descend 1.5
miles to a four-way
intersection at the base
of the hill. Proceed straight through this intersection and
continue north 5 miles along Fall Creek to an intersection with Benson
Spring Road. Turn right (continuing on Fall Creek Road) and head
steeply up then downhill about a 1.5 miles to an intersection
Register Road (paved).
Turn right and head east on Register road to the Register Rock roadside
park - a historic point on the Oregon Trail. Head east
couple of miles to Deeg Road on the right. Head east on Deeg Road
(yeehaa!) 3.25 miles to an intersection with Rock Creek Road (paved).
Head north 3.5 miles to the I-86 overpass and continue along Eagle Rock
Road, which runs east along the north side of the Interstate, another
3.25 miles to an intersection with South Frontage Road that leads 2
miles into American Falls.
Perhaps no where else along the Tour is it as important to stay on the
track as it is out in this desert. The consequences of getting lost in
the middle of a hot day (or worse, at night) are almost too awful to
even consider. The trail from Lake Channel Road to Quigley Road, though
reasonably well-marked is, at times, difficult to follow. It is
important that you stay as close to the track as possible to avoid
unpleasant encounters with basalt outcroppings. It is incredibly
important that you scout the rock chute entrance to Lake Channel before
taking the plunge to make sure that you are in the right spot as the
surrounding cliffs reach heights of nearly 100'. Most
attempts to do this after dark count as failed suicides rather than
note that it is very hot in the desert most of the time during the run
Tour of Idaho season in July and August. Do not go out into the desert
without proper hydration and ventilation. On a hot day, the 140 or
so miles from American Falls to Arco are very serious (110+ temps). The
the heat will be the summit of Big Southern Butte. Stopping to open and
close gates will be particularly brutal and draining. Plan
accordingly. The normally fine, extremely dry basaltic sand west of
American Falls is the most difficult that some have ever ridden.
Where the trails are
whooped out it's difficult to keep up the speeds required to float on
top of the sand.. If you are very, very lucky,
you'll get there after a summer thunderstorm and experience nirvana.
Cross Lake Channel road and proceed south
then west about 1/4 of a mile to a cliff above Lake Channel Bowl. It is
important that you get off your bike and scout the entrance to the bowl
and make sure that you have the right one (a minimally technical short
rock chute). Be aware that the cliffs in this area rise to about 100'
above the bowl in some places, and that you would be unlikely to enjoy
the plummet into the bowl should you choose your line poorly.
To enter the sand bear
off Lake Channel Road onto the sandy dirt road and follow in about 1/4
of a mile to a faint trail that leads off to the west. Follow this
another 1/4 of a mile to a well-defined trail that leads north down a
canyon. After another 1/4 of a mile this trail climbs the steep left
bank of the narrowing canyon then heads west. Climb a sandy road up
through a gap in a basalt cliff lin then follow a faint trail (marked
with red ribbon) generally north up past large piles of lava rock to a
power line road and a fence crossing. Head through the fence and
proceed north for another 1/4 of a mile to a faint single track trail
that heads west. Follow this trail, generally west, as it
winds through dunes, sandy whoops and lava rock some 7 miles
to Lake Channel Road (again). There are a myriad of trails
criss-crossing this area
and you'll end up riding around in very tiring circles without paying
close attention to the GPS track. At times the trail is tenuous and
difficult to follow (look for red marking ribbon and flags), but as
long as you do not wander to far from the
GPS track you'll be fine. At times the sand is quite deep and
the dunes high and steep. It's easy for riders not accustomed to
difficult sand to get overwhelmed. Though exciting these
trails are well-ridden
hazards. Beware of large lava rocks, often hidden in the sand,
may assume are bolted directly to the center of the earth in terms
their ability to move upon impact. You'll need to keep up your speed
climb the omnipresent dunes but at a level below reckless abandon (video).
Once into the bowl follow the track (for the most enjoyable line) 1/2
of a mile to a climb out of the bowl on the right. Proceed along a
dunes, rocky roads, sandy roads and sandy trail about 5 miles to an
intersection with a trail that heads north. Follow the track north a
few miles to the second of two power line roads you'll encounter. Turn
right (east) and head back to Lake Channel Road. Turn left (north),
cross the RR tracks and immediately locate a gate on the left side of
the road. Head through this gate and proceed due north to the obvious
large sand dune about 1/4 of a mile north. Head over the dune and
follow an enjoyable single track trail north a few miles to Quigley
From here the
route skirts the east edge of the Wapi Lava Flow some 35 miles
the Great Rift - an area of lava tubes and deep chasms in the lava. Proceed north along Quigley
Road some 10 miles north to North Pleasant Valley then along
Schultz, Funk Roads and Classen Roads to Water Tank Road. The turnoff
north (right) to Classen Road from Funk Road is unmarked but
located where Funk Road turns from gravel to dirt. When the fields are
planted this may be difficult to find. It is entirely possible to skirt
the fields to by continuing another half mile west to Winters
Road, then turning right (north) and proceeding another half a mile to
an east/west road on the south side of a fence line (Water Tank Road).
No matter how you get there follow Water Tank Road east
Top Road (0733).
Follow this north about 7.5 miles to Gasten Beattie Well. Continue
north along 0733 another 3.5 miles to Mosby Well. Continue north
another 25+ miles to Big
Road. Along this section of the route is is very easy to get confused
by a myriad of confusing jeep roads and goat trails. The key is to stay
close to the GPS track at all times.
From the intersection with
BSB-Springfield Road turn left (west) and proceed
a few miles to Frenchman's
Cabin. The 6-mile trek to
top of the Butte,
which begins here, is not to be missed. On a
clear day the view from the top (7560') includes a dozen mountain
ranges, 1/3 of the T1, most of T2 and parts of Utah,
Montana and Idaho's Snake River Valley from the Tetons all the
to Boise (video).
Frenchman's Cabin the Tour proceeds west along Quaking
Aspen-Frenchman Road some 10 miles around the southern boundary of the
Idaho National Laboratory. Head west
toward Quaking Aspen Butte and an intersection with the Arco-Minidoka
road. Most of this section near the end of D2 is fast and flowing
but you will be happy to see the lights of Arco glittering in the
gathering darkness off to the north. Head north along the Arco-Minidoka
road 14 miles to an intersection with US
20/26/93. Turn north (right) and proceed about a mile into
Arco is a small
community with an excellent motorcycle shop (Lost River
Honda), a variety of eateries and several motels.
friendly town, and anything short of wheelies down main street
will probably pass without notice. We recommend the DK motel
for accommodations, but every place in town is pretty good to Tour
riders. The folks at Lost River Honda have been especially helpful to
Tour riders over the years. Treat them well.
in Arco, please be sure to patronize these supporters of the Tour of
D3 - Arco
to Smiley Creek
is a treat - traversing some of the most varied and spectacular terrain
in all of the USA
accessible by motorcycle. It's 185 miles of nearly continuous fun. Gas
should not be an issue. Most will find this to be a
full day (12
The route out of Arco may be
US 20/26 near the southeast edge of town. Look for the large submarine
parked on the east side of the highway (we kid you not). Turn east
(left) at the sub onto HiWay Drive which parallels US 20/26 southeast
for a 0.3 miles to a fork in the road. Take the east (left) fork 1
mile to an intersection with Arco Pass Road on the north
(left). After about 7 miles the Arco
intersects Sheep Camp Road near the base of King Mountain. Head west (left) on Sheep
Camp Road, past a
large natural arch, then up
and over Beverland
down King Canyon into the Big Lost River Valley.
Follow the track first west then south to Moore, then continue seven or
so miles south along farm roads to Hammond Canyon. Head west about 11
miles to Antelope Valley.
From here the route heads north some 50 miles along the flanks and
spine (10,086') of the White Knob Mountains along the eastern
side of Copper Basin. The photo on the left is shot near the
northern end of this section at Wildhorse LO (9359') - truly one of the
more spectacular spots along the Tour.
From here the route heads west over Trail
Creek Summit. From Trail Creek Summit you'll head southwest some 12
Ketchum/Sun Valley Idaho. - a.k.a. "Glitter Gulch." Bruce Willis lives
here. So do Peter Cetera, Steve Miller, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mark
Zuckerberg, Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher and Tony Robbins. Hemingway
home here as well and it might've had something to do with why he
for a ride on the great wheel in the sky on July 2, 1961. I suggest
taking the time to park your fanny on a bench in the vicinity of
Jacques and just take it all in (you are, after all, on a tour of
immortal words of Sophocles, "Oh, God, here comes the dreadful truth,"
will never ring more true. Do not let the laid back demeanor of the
$300 sandal wearing locals fool you either. Almost everyone staring at
you and your bike dislikes you and hates your bike. Honest and no lie. Shall I fan you gently so you don't go into
From Ketchum head west along Warm Springs Road (NFS 227) about 24
miles to Dollarhide Summit. It is remarkably pleasant for what it
is. If you are ahead of
schedule, well-marked hot springs right beside the road might be worth
From Dollarhide Summit proceed west another 5 miles to an intersection
with Trail 016 (Big Peak) on the right. Follow this wonderful trail
uphill a few miles to an intersection with trail 081 (video). Follow
this about 5 miles west to an intersection with Lick Creek Trail (080).
The regular route follows 080 west 4 miles to an intersection with NFD
227 and Big Smokey Guard Station just a stone's throw down the road.
|A right turn here puts you onto
the challenge section for the
day: Big Peak Creek (076) Though barely 5 miles in length to
the intersection of Big Smoky Creek (072) you'll need your big-person
jammies for this one. It's pretty stout for its length. Beware of
numerous creek crossings on Big Smoky (072).
From the southern end of Big Smoky head north
about 11 miles
along Paradise Creek Trail to Snowslide Lakes.
For many this will serve as a useful introduction to "side hills of
concern" - a theme that will become more prevalent in coming
days. Continue over the pass and down a couple of
miles to the West Fork of Big Smoky (224). Head southeast along
this trail just a bit over 2 miles and look for an intersection on the
left with trail 198, which is not well-marked. Trail 198 is a riot (video), and
will aptly punctuate the end of a great day of riding as you follow it
up several miles to the divide between the Smoky Mountains and the
Sawtooths, and an intersection with Big Smoky Creek Trail (072).
Follow 072 steeply downhill to an
intersection with NFD 215. About 5 miles later you'll encounter ID 75.
From here it's a short jaunt north to Smiley Creek Inn, or a slightly
longer (21 miles) ride to Stanley which has a wider variety of
D4 - Smiley Creek
traverses some of the most spectacular terrain in the USA
accessible by motorcycle. It's 125 miles of continuous fun and
should not be an issue. D4 is short by design. You'll have plenty of
time to kick back at Sawmill Station for lunch and you should get in
Challis early enough to see Mike
McGowan for you bike needs. Ten or so hours ought to suffice.
Smiley Creek head east on trail 194 a few miles to Pole Creek., then
about 3 miles to a intersection with Grand Prize Gulch Trail (7112) on
the right. Follow 7112 about 7 miles to the East Fork of the Salmon,
then another few miles to NFD 120 and the Bower Guard Station. The
alternative route follows Germaina Creek Trail (7111) to an
intersection with the East Fork Road a few miles north of the Guard
Station. The Germania trail is slightly more difficult, the Grand Prize
Gulch trail more flowing and fast. Both are great trails.
the Guard Station follow the East Fork Road about 8 miles to an
intersection with the Little Boulder Creek Trail (7682) on the left. This single track trail is one of the
highlights of the Tour (video).
Follow this (7682, 7407) about 10
miles up and over a pass to
the abandoned mining town of Livingston (video).
The next 5 miles (70669) climb
to the highest point of the Tour at 10,400' atop
Railroad Ridge where you'll want to stop for a while to enjoy a vista
that includes virtually all of the highest parts of Idaho and the
spectacular Chinese Wall.
|Proceed north 11 miles (70670, 7615, 7675,
2001) to French Creek where
the trail narrows from dirt road, to jeep trail to single track as
it descends down to the
Salmon River. At the very bottom
French Creek, within sight of Hwy 75, the trail bears left to avoid
private land. Do not go through the gate to get to the road, find the
trail off to the left which climbs a side hill and descends toward a
trailhead parking area.
Hwy 75 head east
about a mile to Old
Sawmill Station where gas
is available (24 x 7) along with supplies,
and some of the best grub along the entire
head west along 75 about 3 miles to a bridge which crosses the
River on the right, The right of way on the north side of the bridge is
private. The best thing to do is head west another two and
miles along 75 to a dirt road just the other side of a bridge that is
a public right of way. Either path
delivers you to Thompson Creek Road.
north along Thompson Creek Road (FS 040) about 10 miles
to a trail on the left (161). Follow 161 west about a mile and a half
to Cinnabar Creek Trail (162). A very short distance later you'll
encounter the day's special challenge: Custer LO. Though very short,
this 3.5 mile loop will test your meddle (recommended
Not advised for
Continue west down Five Mile Creek to an
intersection with Yankee Fork Road (FS 070). Turn right and head
northeast about eight miles to McKay Creek on the right. Follow
McKay Creek Road about a mile as it turns into trail 151, then a
short distance to an intersection with Squaw Creek Trail (149). Follow
149 south about 7 miles until it turns into Squaw Creek Road (40041),
then another mile to an intersection with Trealor
Road (40045) on the east (left). Follow Trealor Creek road a mile or
so to an
intersection with a jeep trail (40695) that heads north. A short
distance up this trail you'll encounter the Trealor Creek Trail (159)
on the right. Follow this five enjoyable miles to Bayhorse Lake.
Continue east some six miles over Ramshorn and Keystone Mountains
to an intersection with the Keystone Gulch jeep road.
| From here,
ascend Keystone Gulch and
Lombard ATV trail
northeast past Blue Mountain (video). Just a few miles outside
of Challis, a mile
or so below the pass north of Blue Mountain, the trail splits. The
right fork descends to the State Park at Yankee Fork (a fee area). Take
the left fork, right down the creek bed, a few miles into
(5000'), trail mile 710, is about the same size as
has about the
same level of services. Offroad legend Mike
McGowan has a shop on the edge of town (about a mile west of the
Yankee Fork Interpretive Center). There are several motels, half a dozen or so
eateries and plenty of choices for gas and supplies (Kimble Oil, the
station on U.S. 93, is particularly well-equipped for your TID needs:
straps, gas jugs, tools, outdoor equipment - we even found 4 stroke
motorcycle oil there). Ethanol-free gas is available at Kimble
Oil and Brett's
Village Inn is the best place to
stay in Challis.
permits the Yankee Fork Interpretive Center (south of town at the
intersection of US 93 and ID 75) is well worth taking the time to
in the Challis area, please patronize these supporters of the
D5 - Challis
includes the second
highest point of
the Tour (Twin Peaks
10,330'), and about 50 miles of, at times, very technical single track.
Most will find
this to be a long day for such a relatively short distance. Count on 10+ hours on the trail or more to
Shoup if extensive sawing is required. Some of the trails on D5 are
rarely ridden by anyone besides members of the T1 community so keep
your saws and shovels handy. Blowdown and washouts are perennial
issues. It is not uncommon to average a mile per hour along may
sections of D5 trail if they haven't been sawed recently. At the
beginning of the season it could take two days to ride this
section if it hasn't been sawed. There is no gas available between
Challis and Shoup. If you final destination is Salmon factor in an
extra hour to your schedule.
To begin, head west
up Main Street a
few blocks to 7th Street/Challis Creek Road
on the north (right). Proceed north out of town five or so
miles to NFD 138 - the Darling
Creek Road. From here it is a 25-mile out and back to the summit
of Twin Peaks
Lookout, which is not to be
the descent from Twin Peaks along Bear
Creek, look for Pats Creek (40173) on the left side of the
intersection of Challis Creek and Valley Creek. If, for some reason, the Pat
Creek/Eddy Creek trail
is closed, the Darling Creek trail, a few miles east, is a perfectly
Turn left (north) and
follow the Eddy Creek/Camas Trail (4134) a few miles to Eddy Basin.
Turn right on trail 4145 and head uphill a few miles to a
that leads to a spectacular view of Morgan Creek, and and an
intersection with Trail 4144, which
descends to a picnic area at the top of road 176. Follow this road
downhill a few miles to an intersection with road 057 and turn left.
Follow 057 northwest about 3/4 of a mile to the West Fork of Morgan
Creek Trail (4143). Trail 4143 is the D5 challenge. Please
note that we do not recommend this trail for soloists as the risk to
reward ratio is upside down. Great trail, wonderful
views, pretty moderate but for a few short technical
sections but some serious-as-a-heart-attack side hills
- including a few that are inobvious until you are someplace you'd
rather not be. It's the remote nature of this section that makes
it a challenge. It would be a long walk out by oneself.
|For the challenge follow 4143 westward up
Morgan Creek for about 3 miles to an
intersection with trail 4234. Continue another few miles, past West
Fork Lakes, climbing steeply to the scenic headlands above Morgan Creek
where the trail loops back to the east. After two or so
more miles, 4234 intersects trail Lick Creek Trail (4142),
descends steeply to the east into Morgan Creek. Bear northwest (left)
this point and contour around the steep slopes above the
headwaters of Furnace Creek. After another 1.5 miles, you'll encounter
the Furnace Creek Trail (4140) on the left (west). This trail descends
into Camas Creek, on the edge of the wilderness area. Instead, turn
right and follow the trail northeast up Furnace Creek, over a divide
west of Van Horn Peak (9616') and an intersection with Trail 4139.
Continue along the spectacluar ridge trail
around Wood's Peak another few miles and descend Alder Creek.
The regular route turns right on 057 and
proceeds a few miles to 055. From there
take 055 north a few miles to Van Horn Creek and ride up to the ridge
|From the base of Alder
Creek turn left
(north) on Morgan
Creek Road (FS 055) and follow it a few
miles to Morgan
Creek Summit. Turn right (east) on
road 40129. At the end of this road, continue along 4251 north, then
3.3 miles to an intersection with trail 6094.
For those feeling cheated on the amount of single track thus far it's
possible to turn south on 055 at the base of Alder Creek and take trail
8360 to Morgan Summit. This adds an hour to the day that's probably not
worth the time unless you are really jonesing for more single-track.
Turn left (north) and follow FS 6093 a few miles to Hat
generally north, another 4 or so miles, over a couple of
spectacular mountain passes, to Iron lake. Continue north
FS 020 road 7 miles to an intersection with NFD 099 on the left. Follow
NFD 099 west and generally downhill to NFD 055, now Panther Creek Road.
From the intersection of FS 099 it is
33 uneventful miles to
|The standard T1 D5 route ends at Shoup.
Normally we recommend that you
Shoup Store where gas, great food, lodging and some motorcycle
supplies await. Please note that as
of July 2016 The Shoup store is closed and up for sale. That
being the case the best option is to ride 17 miles east to The Village at North Fork
where you'll find food, accomodations and fuel.
in Shoup, please be sure to patronize these supporters of the
- Shoup to
is the easiest day of the Tour.
Though most of the riding covers scenic dirt roads, the 40 miles of ATV
trail east of Elk City is a real treat. Day six is an easy eight to
out of Shoup. The only difficulty is that
it also contains the longest gas-less stretch of the Tour.
Store is the
chance for gas and
grub before Lowell. The Shoup store
has ethanol-free premium gas and some motorcycle
supplies (including fuel containers).
You'll want to load up on some of that
ethanol-free premium gas (and grub) because the next easy opportunity
any of this is in Lowell some 215 miles away. Many miles and many
bitter experience have taught
us that dirt bikes make particularly poor wheelbarrows when deployed
along the Darby-Elk City Road. The Shoup Store has plastic fule
containers for sale that the folks in Lowell probably be willing to
take off your hands at the end of the day (though you might want to
hang on to them for D8 and D9).
north out of Shoup
NFD 038 which ascends 4000'
over 16 spectacular miles to NFD 044 Road near Beartrap Ridge
Follow NFD 044 north 5.5 miles to Horse Creek Pass
(7400') on the Idaho-Montana border. At the Pass NFD 044 heads west
(left) along the state line. Continue straight ahead (north)
on NFD 044 a few miles to Woods Creek Pass. The start of the D6
challenge is found here (Note: because you'll be
carrying supplemental fuel, this SC is probably not the best one
to attempt - unless you are intent on doing them all). Note that this
challenge section, Razorback Mountain, is slated to be closed in the
current FS Travel Management Plan may be closed as a result of a new
Travel Management Plan.
route veers east and
heads steeply downhill. For the next 20 or so
are in Montana. Continue generally north 10 miles to an
intersection with Route 473, which is paved.
Turn east (right) onto 473
follow it generally north for several miles, past the community of
Alta, to mile-marker 26, just south of Painted Rocks
Turn left (west) onto NFD 5660
| (Coal Creek Road), and
follow it past
some homes (please respect the privacy of these homeowners and take it
easy while riding the right of way through their properties) for about
a mile to an intersection with NFD 5658, on the right. Turn right at
this and each successive each intersection for the next several miles
as Upper Coal Creek
Road skirts the south and west shores of Painted Rocks Reservoir on a
scenic ridge high above the waters.
Eventually the road
into a valley and intersects with NFD 362. Turn left on NFD 362 and
follow it a short distance to the first road that veers off to
the right. Follow a series of well-marked roads 6 miles up
to Tough Creek Saddle. From Tough Creek Saddle follow the road
goes north then west descending steeply down to the Nez Perce
are beginning a trek through the heart of the largest contiguous
wilderness area in the lower 48 states - the Frank Church. Head west on
Nez Perce (also know as the Darby-Elk City Road) to Nez
Perce Pass (6597'). This pass marks the halfway
point of the Tour
west 15 miles downhill to the Selway
River, then another 5 miles to the Magruder Crossing Campground and an
intersection with NFD 6223 on the north (right). Go left
continuing along the Nez Perce Road and the Magruder Corridor. The road
climbs a long grade 5 miles to Kim
(6000'). Continue a few more miles to the Salmon Mountain
along the Nez Perce/Magruder Corridor/Darby-Elk City Road (video)
miles, generally west, to Mountain Meadows. Look for an ATV trail (505)
that departs the main road north less than a mile from Mountain
Meadows (mile marker 6).
The 505/835 ATV trail network is one of the best along the entire Tour.
Follow the 505 north several miles to Soda Creek
Point, then continue as the trail gradually wraps west and
follows a series of switchbacks down the mountain to Red River and FS
234 (note: Red
miles northeast along the road 234 at this point. There are supplies
there, but no gas pumps). Turn left and head
southwest on FS234 some 2 miles to an intersection with FS 423. Turn
right and head west then north along a 423 to an intersection
with ATV trail
(810) on the right.
Follow 823 to Black Hawk
this point, you are
running low on gas, it's possible to take a 12-mile (one way) detour
west into Elk
City. Please note that as of July
2016 the gas station in Lowell (at day's end) is closed. A detour into
Elk City might be the best option for not only fuel but lodging as
Continue, generally northwest, along
ATV trails (505) another few miles to Anderson
Butte, then northwest 10 or so miles, following the Anderson Butte
Recreational Trail (835), to NFD 443 (Note: There is a right turn just
north of Anderson Butte that is not completely obvious). Continue
NFD 443 a short distance to an intersection with NFD 464 on
the west (left). Turn east (right) and continue along NFD 443
another 6 miles until the road narrows near
Falls Point. Here the road takes an
amazing 3800' plunge in 7 miles to Selway
Once in the valley follow the Selway River downstream a mile or so to
a bridge crossing. On the other side of the bridge turn northeast
(left) and follow the Selway
Road downstream some 14 miles to Lowell.
Lowell is a small
community with a
resort, a motel, a
restaurant, and a general store/gas station. The gas station does not
have 24 hour pumps (and as of July 2016 is not open at all). Lowell
is the lowest
elevation of the Tour at 1450'. The Wilderness
Inn is currently the only dependable option for lodging.
in Lowell, please be sure to patronize these supporters of the Tour of
D7 - Lowell
to Powell RS
one of the best of the Tour. You'll
want to get an
early start as the short distance to Lowell (170+ miles depending on
the exact route taken) makes the day deceiving. Much of D7 is
spent on single track trail that, though
mostly moderate, is relatively slow going. Powell Ranger Station is
also a good place to get to early if you expect to find an unreserved
bunk. Expect to spend about 10 hours on the bike.
A small amount of supplemental fuel is recommended.
From Lowell go east on
Highway 12 about 2
miles to Pete King Creek. Head up the creek for about a mile then
turn right (east) and climb steeply for several miles to Pete King
Ridge and an eventual intersection with FS 460. Follow 460 for a
few miles west toward Higgins Hump, then take FS 5515 a few miles north
to Fan Saddle and an intersection with FS 101. After a short side trip
to Walde Lookout, continue north several miles along FS 101 to Canyon
From Canyon Junction take NFD 483 several miles east to Frenchman's
Butte. Continue east several more miles to Middle Butte, then north and east to trail Fish Butte
Saddle. Here you'll find trail
2230 on the right and a short, 3-mile out and back to the top of
Fish Butte straight ahead. After the out and back head
east along 2230, a
spectacular single track trail, several
to Hwy 12.
Highway 12 turn left and head back east up trail 2240, Fish Creek,
several miles to Trail 225, Ant Hill. Climb steeply for a few miles to
FS485 and follow this east to the Lolo Motorway, FS500.
The challenge trail for the day avoids Fish Creek and instead
follows Hwy 12 northeast a couple of miles to
Sherman Creek Trail on the left. This challenge is neither particularly
scenic nor inspiring but it is quite difficult. It, too, ends at the
Lolo Motorway (FS500) but several miles east of FS485. It is
significantly shorter than the regular route.
Turn right (east) on NFD 500 and
proceed a few miles to a brief out and back to the Castle Creek Lookout
then several more miles to 12-mile Saddle. Here at 12-mile
Saddle the fun really
begins. Head north along
single track trail 164,
some seven miles, to trail an intersection with trail 531. Take trail 531 to Windy Bill Saddle,
Switchback Hill, then climb Scurvy Mountain to a truly spectacular
alternative trail which leaves Windy Bill Saddle and heads toward
Junction Mountain is just as good as the regular route. The only
difference is a bit more dirt road you'll have to ride to get to Powell
Ranger Station. If the hour is late it is the preferred alternative as
the climb up to Scurvy Mouuntain is overgrown and difficult to follow
in a few places. The
Scurvy Mountain LO is available to groups as a wilderness retreat.
Please be courteous to anyone you meet there.
From Scurvy Mountain LO you'll follow an
ATV trail steeply downhill several miles to East Saddle and FS 581
road. Follow this east and south to Cayuse Creek, then uphill to
Toboggan Ridge. Continue southeast along 581 around 20 miles to Cayuse
Junction and an intersection with the Lolo Motorway (NFD 500). Follow
NFD 500 east about 10 miles to Papoose Saddle. From here you are very
close to Powell Junction with numerous alternatives, all involving
logging roads. The suggested route, which follows NFD 568 downhill to
US 12, is as good as any.
| A left turn (east) on US 12 will deposit you
at your destination in about 3 miles. Here you'll encounter the historic Powell Ranger Station and Lochsa Lodge. I guarantee that you'll
find the ambience very enjoyable after a day of great riding.
You'll need to make a reservation in advance (generally by several
months) if you want a place to
sleep. The complex contains a lodge, campground, cabins a
general store and gas pumps. Gas containers are available for D8.
Lochsa Lodge, please be sure to patronize these supporters of the Tour
D8 - Powell
RS to Wallace
is another gem. It's also a day for another early start as you'll want
to arrive in Wallace, the penultimate town on the Tour (after
early enough to enjoy both the hospitality of Donna and her staff at
the Ryan Hotel and a nice meal at any of a dozen splendid eateries in
Wallace to celebrate your impending D9 finish. Ten hours ought to do
it. After that you are almost done.
In terms of time, D8 is split between single track and logging
roads - with a few fast transfer sections. Most of the trails are
moderate in difficulty but very scenic. You'll have fun. The only
issue is logistical - there is no gas available anywhere in the 170
miles between PRS and Wallace. This will stretch most desert tanks.
Carrying some supplemental fuel is advisable. Under normal
circumstances, large parties with OHVs may be found at the Cedars
campground, about halfway to Wallace. I have never been refused on an
offer to purchase a few gallons of fuel here.
by heading north out of PRS several miles along FS 569 up Parachute
Hill to Powell Junction. From here you'll ride the a section you rode
end of D7, FS 500 and FS 581, in the opposite direction to Lunde Ridge.
Turn left off of FS 581 and take the Lunde Ridge Trail (534) 12+ miles
through the aptly named Rock Garden to Lunde Peak, then down trail
534 to Cayuse Creek
intersection with Trail 532. Follow 532 east down Cayuse Creek for a
few miles to an intersection with FS 581.
Turn left (north) and continue along 581 a few miles over the mountain
to Kelly Creek. Continue north along FS 255 (Moose Creek Road) 10 miles
or so, across Deception Saddle, and downhill to an intersection with
NFD 250 - the main drag along the North Fork of the Clearwater. Turn
right on NFD 250 and head northeast a few miles to The Cedars.
From The Cedars, look
for an intersection with NFD 720, which
climbs out of the Clearwater River and heads west 10 miles to Fly Hill and
an intersection with NFD 715. Follow NFD 715 another 10 miles north to
Gospel Hill (6457') then another 6 miles to
intersection with NFD 320. Turn east (right) and follow NFD 320 to
Missoula Lake on the Idaho/Montana border.
From here you'll turn left and head north
some 6 miles north along the State Line Trail (391). to Binocular Peak
and Heart Lake. For any group still in need of a challenge
section, the long but spectacular Heller Divide/Simmons Ridge loop begins here. For all others, continue north,
along 391 another 5 miles until it becomes a road near Little
||Follow NFD 391, now State Line Road, several
50. Cross NFD 50 and continue on State
Line Road another 30 miles northeast past Quarles Peak, Crittenden Peak
Peak to Roland Summit. Turn south (left) at St. Paul Pass and descend a
few miles down Cliff Creek to NFD 326. Be careful descending Cliff
Creek Road, as you will be sharing, part of the way, the right of way
with bicyclists pedaling the Hiawatha
Trail. Follow this west
Road (NFD 456). Turn north (right) on NFD
follow it over Moon Pass (4826') about 19 miles to Wallace.
is a historic mining
town with a current population of slightly less than 1000.
It's located just off I -90, and is generally brimming with
tourists. There are a variety of restaurants, hotels, motels and shops.
It's one of the best towns along the entire Tour in which to
We recommend the Ryan Hotel
for accommodations where Donna and her staff will treat you right.
Ethanol-free gas is available at Beamis
Wallace, please be sure to patronize these supporters of the Tour
D9 - Wallace
to Priest Lake (180
Gas, food and water
are not a problem on day nine
of the Tour, as
there are frequent highway crossings and small towns all along
way. It's the easiest day of the Tour and has a
challenge section (Independence Creek) for those so inclined.
Factor 10+ hours by the time you connect with your shuttle in
take 6th street north under I-90 to 9-mile
Road/NFD 456 and follow it
north. After three miles, 456 (which is paved) heads uphill through a
series of curves, while 9-mile Road veers left and becomes dirt.
Continue along 9-mile Road a short distance as it ascends through a
to an intersection with NFD 424. Turn west (left) on NFD 424 and follow
it 16 miles as it winds northwest to Moon Saddle. The GPS
will prove invaluable in keeping you on route through the maze of
logging roads that criss-cross this area. From Moon Saddle (4669') head
west (left) a short distance and find NFD 620 which heads north
(right). Follow NFD 620 about 9
miles as it descends to the Coeur D'Alene River Road (NFD 9).
Note: we've experienced consistent problems with a variety of
units in this area getting a good fix. The hillsides are steep, the
trees large and clear views of the sky sometimes difficult to obtain.
We suggest extra map study for this section of the Tour.
(right) on NFD 9 for 1.5 miles to a river crossing. Immediately on the
north side of the bridge you'll encounter NFD 503 (Old River Road -
County 1 C) on the left. Head west along this road and look
immediately for an intersection with NFD 207 (Brown
Road). Go northwest a few miles to Brown Creek Saddle, then
few more miles to along FS 993 to
Grizzly Ridge Road (NFD 260), then to Flat Creek Saddle and
then, north of NFD 265, to Spyglass Peak Lookout (look for a short
road up to the lookout on the left. The road
heads west a few miles to Big Meadows and the Magee Historic Site. From
here you may turn right (north) and follow NFD 6310 a few miles
to the challenge section for D9, the Independence
Creek Trail. This trail is an example of what happens when a bunch of
trails are closed funneling all traffic onto one. Independence Creek is
beat to death and uninteresting except for one spectacular climb near
it's end. You've already seen much better.
main route continues west along NFD 534,
the Cascade Magee Road, to Hamilton Creek/Hamilton Mountain Road (436)
on the right (north). Follow this 7+ miles to Crooked Ridge Road (258),
then head north a few miles to Bunco Road (332). Any of the multitude
of logging roads in the area that gets you to Bunco Road works as well
as any other.
Follow Bunco Rd. (NFD 332)
downhill to Bunco
Corners. Turn north (right) on Goodhopper Road and proceed 0.5 miles to
Belmont Road. Turn west (left) on Belmont and proceed 4 miles to an
intersection with US 95. Proceed across 95
and continue 0.5 miles west then 0.5 miles north to Old Highway 95.
Follow Old Highway 95 north 1 mile to the town of Athol - a great place
for a brief lunch before the last push north.
|| Head west out of Athol on
Ave./Highway 54. Go 1.5 miles to an
intersection with North Clagstone Road on the north (right). Take
Clagstone Road north and east 10 miles to an intersection with Spirit
Lake Cutoff. Head west (straight) through this intersection and
Clagstone Road another 1.5 miles to an intersection with
Blanchard Cutoff Road. Turn west (right) and follow this road a little
less than a mile to NFD 2550 Road on the north (right). This
the second dirt road on the right and is marked with a sign that has an
anvil on it. This
the heart of Ruby Ridge country and it would be best if you didn't
get lost. That tune that keeps running through your head, the one that
you can't quite place - it's Dueling
|Follow NFD 2550 as it winds
7.5 miles up to the summit of Hoodoo
You'll have to backtrack about 1 mile from the summit to find the
continuation of NFD 2550 that descends the north side of the mountain
to Priest River. Follow NFD 2550 down some 15 miles to an intersection
with Dufort Road on the south side of
the Pend Oreille River. Follow this road west 3 miles along
southern bank of the Pend Oreille to a bridge that crosses the river
north to the town of Priest River.
Priest River is the best place to have a
shuttle waiting. It's also the the last chance for gas before the final
sprint into the
heart of the Selkirks. Mitchell's
has ethanol-free gas. The Eagle's
Nest Motel is
also the best lodging anywhere near the end of the Tour). The Travel
America RV Park in Sagle (about 20 miles east) is the best place
near the end of the Tour to park a rig that you plan on leaving for a
Take US 2 east out of the
town of Priest
River. About a mile east of town look for
an intersection with East Side Road (W43) on the north (left) side
of the highway. Proceed north 12 miles to an intersection with W39
(East River Road). Turn north (right) and proceed 11 miles toward
About a mile or so south of Coolin, look for the Sundance Mountain Road
on the right (east).
Follow this route uphill a few miles to an intersection with 207. Take
this jeep road steeply uphill a few miles to the majestic Sundance
Mountain Lookout. Enjoy the splendid views of the Selkirks and Priest
Lake. You've made it.
If you get to Sundance early enough it's not a bad ride up to the
original end of Tour north of Upper Priest Lake, then back down the
west side of the lake back to Priest River. This loop, however, adds
another 80 miles to the end of the day.