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The Tour of Idaho

Please 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 nine trail 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 the T1 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. There 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 study and 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 take 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 route (directions for download and upload in the link).

For everyone else here are 
our 2016 gpx files: D1, D2, D3, D4, D5, D6, D7, D8, D9. 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 file.

We have an extensive collection of Tour of 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 Parks and Recreation OHV 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 Digital Atlas 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. 

Don't mess around. We recommend KLIM gear, the best there is, for the Tour of Idaho. KLIM Jimmy Lewis Off Road
Butler Maps
Jimmy Lewis does the Tour of Idaho

A trail is much more than a line on 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 outdoors.

Tracy 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 useful assistance. 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 Lowell.

Many 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.

Thanks to our friends at Pocatello Power Sports for keeping us in bikes, tires and accessories.

Note: Many 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 inexpensive way of checking in with family and friends at the end of each day.

The following description breaks the Tour into nine segments. Based 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 advantages of the suggested schedule are that accommodations are not generally a problem and the riding difficulties are distributed so that one day is not significantly more difficult than the next. The intervals are as follows: D1 - Utah to Pocatello, D2 - Pocatello to Arco, D3 - Arco to Smiley Creek, D4 - Smiley Creek to Challis, D5 - Challis to Shoup/Salmon, D6 - Salmon to Lowell, D7 - Lowell to Powell Ranger Station, D8 - Powell Ranger Station to Wallace, D9 - Wallace to Sundance Mountain.

A stopover 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 bike or equipment issues that you may have discovered on D1. It also makes 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 GPS 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 doubtless 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, outdoor 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 a substitute 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 more difficult challenge sections. 

D1 - Utah to Pocatello (140 miles)  

D1 Profile

Mile Marker 1 (Dan Colvin) Day one, though the shortest in terms of miles, yields long stretches of 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.  Gas, food and water 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 and 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 base of a hill.  Unload bikes here.

You'll encounter a farm gate after about a mile just beyond the top of the hill and around a few corners.  Proceed through the gate and down the hill into Jenkins Hollow. Follow the road south (70238) to Steel Canyon where the trail turns north at the Utah border (purists may turn left here and ride 50 feet to the actual Utah border, which is marked by a metal sign).  

Head north 6 miles along a series of roads and ATV trails (70055 and 7488) to Dry Creek Campground.  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)  to 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 trail 7441 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 steep spine of Oxford Ridge, gaining about 2000'.  

After 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 Pine Corral Spring (just before the next steep climb) and descends a rugged ATV trail (7419) steeply into Oxford Basin. The detour from the ridge is not obvious and a look at the GPS track (video) will prove extremely useful.
Weston Peak

After a long descent the trail climbs out of Oxford basin. A series of short ascents leads to a dirt road that goes east (right).  Go left after 1/4 of a mile and 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 (Cedar Knoll 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 Back Downata Road 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.

After 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 Valley. The route then follows a series of logging roads and ATV trails (video) that ascend to the summit of Sedgwick Peak  (9167'). A series of roads follows the crest of the 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 and fuel.

About a mile west of Lava on US 30, turn north (right) on Sunnyside Road (70030). Head 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 the 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 (7272) eastfor 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 your size...

Oxford Ridge

Tour of Idaho Mailbox From Inkom Pass. Follow a trail (7243) from the pass that descends to 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 Inman 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 and scenic ATV trail 3.75 miles west as it winds it's way to the summit of 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 community of 50,000 with a great motorcycle shop: Pocatello Power Sports (Honda/KTM/Suzuki), along with numerous hotels, motels 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 Power 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 them. 
Inkom Pass

While in Pocatello, please be sure to patronize these supporters of the Tour of Idaho.
Pocatello Power Sports Sand Trap Red Wing

D2 - Pocatello to Arco (260 miles)

D2 Profile

Day two 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 American Falls if you hit the desert sand much after noon on most summer days. Twelve or so hours ought to suffice at any reasonable clip. 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 to trail (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 Mountain (8700').

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 Road (70163).  

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.

Head 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.

You'll 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 37, 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 579. 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 pass 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 and then descend another 3/4 of a mile into Dairy Canyon proper.
Slate Mountain
Scout Mountain
Follow the road right at the first intersection and left at the second (indistinct) a short distance later.  After the second intersection head uphill (west) to a pass just south of Badger Peak (6500'). There is a faint road that leaves the pass west and can be ridden a half mile or so to the top of a knoll that should not be missed.

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 with 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 another 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.
The route out of American Falls 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).

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 heroic deeds. 

Please note that it is very hot in the desert most of the time during the run of the 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 only respite from 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.

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 and mostly avoid serious hazards. Beware of large lava rocks, often hidden in the sand, that you may assume are bolted directly to the center of the earth in terms of their ability to move upon impact. You'll need to keep up your speed to climb the omnipresent dunes but at a level below reckless abandon (video).

Desert dues
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.

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 mixture of 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 road.  

From here the route skirts the east edge of the Wapi Lava Flow some 35 miles to 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 to Flat 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 Southern Butte-Springfield 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 the 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, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho's Snake River Valley from the Tetons all the way to Boise (video).

Big Southern Butte From 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.

Arco is a small community with an excellent motorcycle shop (Lost River Honda), a variety of eateries and several motels.  It's a dirt bike 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. 

While in Arco, please be sure to patronize these supporters of the Tour of Idaho.   DK

D3 - Arco to Smiley Creek (185 miles) 

D3 Profile

Wildhorse LO Day three 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 hours).

The route out of Arco may be found off 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 Pass Road 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 Pass (7416') and 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 miles to 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 had a home here as well and it might've had something to do with why he volunteered 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 Whiskey Jacques and just take it all in (you are, after all, on a tour of Idaho). The 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 shock?

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 checking out.

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 accommodation.
Smokey Mountains
While in the Stanley area, please  patronize these supporters of the Tour of Idaho. Smiley Creek Lodge Stanley

D4 - Smiley Creek to Challis
(125 miles)

D4 Profile

Day four traverses some of the most spectacular terrain in the USA accessible by motorcycle. It's 125 miles of continuous fun and challenge. Gas 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.

From 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. 

From 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 steeply 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.  

Railroad Ridge

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 of 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.
From the intersection with Hwy 75 head east about a mile to Old Sawmill Station where gas is available (24 x 7) along with supplies, camping and some of the best grub along the entire Tour. 

From Old Sawmill Station, head west along 75 about 3 miles to a bridge which crosses the Salmon 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 a half 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. 
Castle Peak
Chinese Wall
Head 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 counterclockwise only). Not advised for soloists.

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 Creek 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 follow the Lombard ATV trail (4639) 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 Challis.

Challis (5000'), trail mile 710, is about the same size as Arco (population 1200) and 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 Phillips 66 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 Automotive. The Challis Village Inn is the best place to stay in Challis.   

If time 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 visit.
While in the Challis area, please  patronize these supporters of the Tour of Idaho. Challis Village Inn Old Sawmill Station

D5 - Challis to Shoup (125 miles)

D5 Profile

Day five includes the second highest point of the Tour (Twin Peaks Lookout - 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 missed (video).

On the descent from Twin Peaks along Bear Creek,  look for Pats Creek (40173) on the left side of the road near 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 good alternative.

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 switchback 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), which descends steeply to the east into Morgan Creek. Bear northwest (left) at 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 there.

Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks Idaho
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 east, another 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 Creek Lakes. Continue, generally north, another 4 or so miles, over a couple of spectacular mountain passes, to Iron lake. Continue north along 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 Shoup.

The standard T1 D5 route ends at Shoup. Normally we recommend that you patronize The 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.

Hat Creek

While in Shoup, please be sure to patronize these supporters of the Tour of Idaho.
Shoup Store
Village at North Fork

D6 - Shoup to Lowell (215 miles)

D6 Profile

Day six 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 10 hours out of Shoup. The only difficulty is that it also contains the longest gas-less stretch of the Tour.  

The Shoup Store is t
he absolute last 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 for any of this is in Lowell some 215 miles away. Many miles and many years of 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).

Magruder Road
Head north out of Shoup along NFD  038 which ascends 4000' over 16 spectacular miles to NFD 044 Road near Beartrap Ridge (8303').  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.

The standard route veers east and heads steeply downhill. For the next 20 or so miles you are in Montana. Continue generally north 10 miles to an intersection with Route 473, which is paved.

Turn east (right) onto 473 and follow it generally north for several miles, past the community of Alta, to mile-marker 26, just south of Painted Rocks Reservoir. 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 descends 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 the goes north then west descending steeply down to the Nez Perce Road.

You 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 of Idaho. Go 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 (south) continuing along the Nez Perce Road and the Magruder Corridor. The road climbs a long grade 5 miles to Kim Creek Saddle (6000').  Continue a few more miles to the Salmon Mountain overlook (8228'). 
Kim Creek Saddle

Elk City
Continue along the Nez Perce/Magruder Corridor/Darby-Elk City Road (video) 40 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 River Hot Springs is 2.5 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 Mountain (video). If, at 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 well. 

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 north on 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 Falls. 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 resort 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.

While in Lowell, please be sure to patronize these supporters of the Tour of Idaho.

D7 - Lowell to Powell RS (160 miles)  

D7 Profile

Fish Butte Day seven is 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 Junction.

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 miles downhill to Hwy 12.

Near 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 view. 
Windy Ridge

Scurvy LO The 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. 
Pete King

While at Lochsa Lodge, please be sure to patronize these supporters of the Tour of Idaho. Lochsa Lodge

D8 - Powell RS to Wallace (170 miles)

Profile D8

Day eight 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 Pocatello), 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.

Begin 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 near the 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 and an 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 an 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 Joe Mountain. 

Missoula Lake Follow NFD 391, now State Line Road, several miles to NFD 50.  Cross NFD 50 and continue on State Line Road another 30 miles northeast past Quarles Peak, Crittenden Peak and Dominion 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 to Moon Pass Road (NFD 456). Turn north (right) on NFD 456 and follow it over Moon Pass (4826') about 19 miles to Wallace.

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 spend some time. We recommend the Ryan Hotel for accommodations where Donna and her staff will treat you right. Ethanol-free gas is available at Beamis Hi Co.
Heller Divide

While in Wallace, please be sure to patronize these supporters of the Tour of Idaho. Ryan

D9 - Wallace to Priest Lake (180 miles)  

D9 profile

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 the 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 Priest River.

From downtown Wallace, 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 series of switchbacks 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 track 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 GPS 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.

Proceed east (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 almost immediately for an intersection with NFD 207 (Brown Creek Road).  Go northwest a few miles to Brown Creek Saddle, then north a few more miles to along FS 993 to Grizzly Ridge.

Continue north along Grizzly Ridge Road (NFD 260), then to Flat Creek Saddle and Grassy Mountain, then, north of NFD 265, to Spyglass Peak Lookout (look for a short road up to the lookout on the left. The road then 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.

The 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) across Prospect Peak then 7.5 miles steeply 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.
Independence Creek

Hoodoo Mountain Head west out of Athol on Watkins 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 continue along 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 is the second dirt road on the right and is marked with a sign that has an anvil on it. This is 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 Banjos.

Follow NFD 2550 as it winds it's way 7.5 miles up to the summit of Hoodoo Mountain (4665'). 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 the 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 Express 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 week plus.

Take US 2 east out of the town of Priest River. A
bout 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 Coolin. 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.


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