July 26, 2016

Elk City Wagon road, Elk City, Idaho

Elk City Wagon Road-100 years ago starting at Harpster winding on the old Nez Pierce trail through Newsome and to Elk City, where in 1861 men were mining gold from the streams. The road brought in freighters, miner, mail.  In the winter the team of horses pulled sleights through ten feet of snow and cold. Half way was Mountain House Way Station, where you can get a meal and a place to sleep. Summer travel took two days, winter travel took five days. $2,000,000 worth of gold was taken from Newsome creek area.

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Day 1- 32 mi
We headed up the Forest Service road 1858,  to find a camp site, the road is very dusty, and at 4.5 mi we found camping site along the Newsome creek on the left and at Sing Lee campground. (no services)
Sing Lee had room for 10 campers, but Newsome campground just 1/4 mi up the road, there was room for 3 maybe.
We headed up the road, and on the Elk City  Wagon road, at the old town of Newsome, the 284  road gets rough and higher elevation, a fun atv ride. We went left to the Pilot Knob Lookout tower, fs rd 466 where Gary was manning the tower, at 7135 ft. Along the trail there we saw Pilot Rock, a landmark used by the Nez Pierce Indians long ago.  The trail to the lookout tower is 5 miles and the last miles is rocky and climbing.
We visited with Gary and he told us about the 2015, 7,000 acre fire that surrounds his fire lookout station. A large spark landed on his cat walk and burned a hole in the board, luckily he put out the fire. The firefighters put a shield around the tower and got Gary out of there.
On the way back we took 466 road and the 1858 road, which turned out to be just plain curvy dusty roads. The wagon road we went out on was much more interesting, with signs along the way, showing interesting points
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Day 2-36 mi
We headed south on fs rd 284, and got on the Nugget Peak trail #  828    , it is a narrow, hill climbing, weaving, the best trail we've rode on!! We came across a few small roads not on maps, so have your sense of direction. We hit fs rd 471 and went south till we hit fs rd 1199, which took us into the town of Elk City, Id. Take time and tour the town, Forest Service Ranger Station, a grocery store, Laundromat, shower house, a convenience store with a restaurant, gas, propane, grocery supplies, and other cafe in town.
After touring town and lunch we came back on 1199 and went on the Elk City Wagon Rd 1808, till we came across the sign for Elk Summit Lookout tower, 2 mi

July 21, 2016

Pittsburg Landing, White bird, Idaho

  45 mi
We camped at Hammer Creek Campground, at White bird, and drove 1.5 miles to Deer Creek Road or forest service road 923. We drove along enjoyed some specular views, mountains with grass, some pine trees, deep valleys.

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We reached the tree line at 4,000 ft elevation and it cooled off. We stopped for lunch, went around the corner and found a picnic table and a drop off view. Down we went toward the Snake river. Once at the bottom, we went to the river and talked to the rafters coming down the river. As we were leaving, we took the trails to the left. The first goes down to the river again, the second one goes on for 11 miles, and we only road 3 miles of it because it was 98 degrees at the bottom.
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July 18, 2016

Bull Creek to Quartz Creek, Id. to Montana

July 18th, 2016- 49 miles
We headed west on hwy 50 to fs rd. 338 or Bull Creek road, it was 7 miles on the highway from Nugget Creek.  It is a gravels road which gets narrower and rougher the higher you go. We enjoyed the sights along the way, even picking huckleberries.

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When we reached the intersection of 327, we went right, and a short distance we turned right up a real rocky trail to Quarles Peak, ele 6557 ft. Wow, what a amazing sight we had for our lunch. There were valleys, open grassy areas, rock cliffs and elk trails. After lunch we kept going up to the top, another great view.
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Back on the trail 391, you are at the border of Idaho and Montana on the peak of the Bitterroot mountains. We stopped at an overlook, and could see a small town, perhaps Saltese, on I 90. We enjoyed the sights and smells of the wild flowers, trees, but no animals. When we got to the intersection of 391 / 214 (Where we were on the 16th) we headed down the mountain, back to camp 15 miles.

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Check last page of St. Joe riding for information

July 17, 2016

Prospector creek, to Bull creek, Avery, Id.

July 17 2016 --58 mi
We headed west, from our camp site, Nugget Creek, along the St. Joe River, on Hwy 50, 4 miles to Prospector creek, one of the few river crossings to the south.  We climbed in elevation, enjoying the views.  There were some fs roads off the main 752 road.

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We kept heading up, past a logging operation. Wow, these guys work on the side of a mountain! We turned off on a open grassy road to the left- Which kept following the contour's of the mountain. Then we came out on  a main gravel road          , where we saw 7 elk on the hillside. We continued to the fork, turning Left, up hill, (no sign) where the fire tower is at Middle Sister Peak at elevation of 6986 ft.
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After climbing the tower, we went down to Dismal Lake, which is very beautiful. Saw Mammoth Springs campground- well it is actually 1 picnic table in the woods, with no parking. Then we returned down fs rd. 509 – Bull Creek to highway 50, and back home again.There were numerous side roads to explore, but it was gettin late.  It was a great ride seeing mountain hillsides, gravel roads draped across the mountains like ribbon. Wild flowers were full bloom, red, white, blues.
Dismal lake

July 12, 2016

Steamboat Springs, Kingston, Idaho

July 12th, 2016-- 37 miles
I was leading the group with a GPS, a MVUM  Forest Service map and my smart phone with the Avenza pdf, Forest service map downloaded. The Avenza helped three times to keep us on the track, and the direction we desired. I'm not sure how the compass  works, because at camp, we don't have phone service, but Avenza was still tracking us.
We camped north of Kingston, 16 miles from the Exit 43, Interstate 90. Go north on Hwy 9, turning Left after 5 miles, at the Bumble Bee Campground sign, crossing the bridge and turning right on the Old River Road. Drive out 6 miles, then turn Left, after crossing another bridge, onto FS rd 400. Drive 5 more miles, where the paved road ends, you will find a Forest Service, dispersed camping spot.  It is at the fork of Steamboat creek, east and west forks.

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For our ride of 37 miles and 6hrs, we headed south on FS rd 400, about 2.5-3 miles, to the Right on FS rd 257. There are a few dead-end trails off of this road, that was interesting to explore. Then we got on 1005 / 965 roads. (The roads are some times two tracks and a little bumpy, just the way we like it)

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Then we got on the 803 trail, which winds along the side of the mountain. There are some dips, where creeks come down the hill, keep watch for the drop offs! At the intersection of 803A, we stopped for lunch.  Just a short time after heading out we came around the corner and saw a bull moose, 60ft ahead, right on the trail! We stopped to give it time to go off the trail, if he would like. When we rode on, we did see his tracks, but he had disappeared. Once on the road, we took 409A and 260 to Riley Saddle where we turned right on 900 for 8 miles back to camp. It was a great ride, seeing the moose was a bonus, and the rain didn't stop us.

Day 2 –54 miles                                                                                                                                                                     We headed up 2329 FS rd, to Grassy Mountain, an open area to see the views.  There are a couple areas which had been burned off in the past.  Spyglass Peak (gated) and Lookout, just around the corner, you can see for miles.

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On 265 and over to Magee to see the Landing Strip, Ranger Station Historic Cabin. Built in 1922.  There is also a Forest Service Cabin that you may rent for a night. From camp it was 18 miles.

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Then we went home on routes 534, 911 over to Leiberg Saddle.  My favorite trail was 260 over to Stull Saddle , then back to camp on 409, seeing valleys of forest, mountains, moss thick on the trees. We saw 2 Spruce hens. This leg of the day was 36 miles. Once again I used the Avenza map on the smart phone, it was very helpful at the numerous intersections along the way. Be sure you have a Forest Service MVUM map with you.

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    • INFORMATION>North Eastern Washington ATV club
      LOCATION>   NEAREST CITY=Kingston, Id   DIRECTIONS=North of interstate 90, read above
      AREA >   TYPE OF LAND=- forest, mountain  , OWNER=  Nat Forest
      QUALITY >  Pro-100s of miles / Con-can get confussing /  Length of stay-4 / Rating-stars-5 out of 5
      TERRAIN>  MILES OF TRAILS, hills /  forest / dust  /elevation           TRAIL MAINTENCE   - Yes   NEAR BY TRAILS-4th of July Pass, Wallace, Id, St Joe River area, St. Maries, Id 
      REGULATIONS> Permit required –some/ Campinp-Dry camping and Forest service campgrounds /whip-no / helmets req.-age / width req.-some trails
      FEE> Camping / Entry-no
      KEY SERVICES> Camping / Gasoline / Diesel / First Aid /  Water /  Dump/ Propane / Food=Exxon Gas Station @ Exit 43
      GPS POINTS>I just used maps
      SIDE TRIPS>4th of July Pass, Wallace, Id, St Joe River area, St. Maries, Id                   CONTACTS>Forest Service Office in Coeur d’Alene, Id.