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Old 03-07-2011, 10:59 PM   #1
Jäger OP
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Wallace ID to Elk City ID?

Doing a little trip planning for this coming riding season. Don't seem to be able to find much about anyone riding this leg of a trip.

Attached is the .gpx file I have tentatively laid out for this particular part of the journey. Is there anyone out there with corporate knowledge of this route or the area that can offer commentary on riding on this stretch between Wallace & Elk City? I have no idea where the best vistas, roads, etc are to be found on this particular portion of the ride I am planning - I just looked at maps and guessed as best I could.

Looks like fun!

All advice, suggestions, information happily accepted.
Attached Files
File Type: gpx Wallace ID to Elk City ID.gpx (138.3 KB, 230 views)
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Old 03-08-2011, 04:09 AM   #2
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Well----you need to read this

http://www.bigdogadventures.com/AnotherWayUp.htm


And this

http://www.bigdogadventures.com/TID.htm

before you make another move.

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Old 03-08-2011, 10:20 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDogAdventures.com View Post
Well----you need to read this

http://www.bigdogadventures.com/AnotherWayUp.htm


And this

http://www.bigdogadventures.com/TID.htm

before you make another move.

Mark
Hi Mark... thanks for weighing in; much appreciated.

I have been travelling in this general area on trips for a bit over 35 years now, but they have always been trips in and out off the slab to a specific spot in these National Forests for flyfishing, kayaking, to take off on a backpacking trip, etc. I have never taken the time to specifically ride/drive a calculated route through here, thus my lack of general knowledge of the area for that sort of a ride.

I have read both of those ride reports of yours previously. But they're a good read, so what the hell, I went and read them again. I have some first hand knowlege of what Wallace was like back when its previous main attraction was still roaring along, accompanied by equally crazy shenanigans in the local bars which would have resulted in the Mounties throwing all concerned in jail if it had occurred back home in Canada. It was a popular destination for young bucks on their days off from the local mines and sawmills back in the 70's, and I left a good part of my paycheque in those bars and backroom card games a few times back then.

One thing I didn't notice the first time around was your buddy who joined you for the ride with a Giant Loop and fuel blivet. Sort of the same setup that I run:



It seems a few of us are finding these fuel blivets in conjunction with a Giant Loop works very well - I do like being able to roll that sucker up to minimal size when it doesn't need to carry fuel and just stow it away. And I'm basically a motorcycle tourist these days - the sales pitch for the Giant Loop about it being great for going like your hair on fire with gear aboard wasn't what sold me. It just works, that's all. Although I do keep eyeballing that Wolfman Expedition setup you're running... I will probably talk myself into that eventually as well...

Given the legs of the trip plan to date (partial trip .gpx file attached), the fuel blivet gives me all the legs I need for the longer runs, with a safety margin in case of downed trees, side route wandering (I am infamous for that), etc and so forth.

Anyways... I don't see any .gpx tracks for your travels through the same area, but your narrative mentions many of the same places so I assume I'm roughly on the same path as your two trips above. I do note you headed a little more west to Priest Lake, while I'm currently planning on just touching CdA before heading back east towards Eureka.

I suspect it is hard to pick a boring route through these areas, and now that I'm a Montana guy living a couple of hundred miles away, I'm hoping/assuming I'll have many trips into these NFs in the future. However, for some of the guys hoping to come along on this ride, this may be their one and only kick at the cat, so I'm hoping I get this ride planned out right as best possible for them.

Thanks again!
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File Type: gpx West Side Keepin it in the green.gpx (976.4 KB, 123 views)
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Old 03-11-2011, 09:47 AM   #4
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Thanks for posting this. I've been trying to figure this section out too, as I'm planning a loop from Missoula to Darby, hop on the Magruder Corridor to Elk City, then up to Wallace. Haven't figured Wallace to Missoula yet either...
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:29 PM   #5
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I have lots of Active Logs for Lowell to Powell and Powell to Wallace if you are interested.
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Old 03-11-2011, 03:53 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by danceswithcages View Post
Thanks for posting this. I've been trying to figure this section out too, as I'm planning a loop from Missoula to Darby, hop on the Magruder Corridor to Elk City, then up to Wallace. Haven't figured Wallace to Missoula yet either...
Well, in the spirit of my asking others for suggestions and assistance (thanks Mark), attached you will find the initial roughing out of my plans so far.

This particular leg, there isn't a bazillion choices. I'm coming from Eureka south. So when you get to the Kook, it's either cross the bridge or stay on the east side. If you stay on the east side, you'll be following the lakeshore to Libby on Hwy 37. Most likely not wanting to do that slab, so you cross the bridge. Then you either stay with the Kook and go down the west side to Libby, or you head off into the hills at Big Creek. If you take the hills, you either decide to either drop down to Libby on Pipe Creek, or you head a bit more west and drop down the Yahk River to Troy.

From there as you go south, if you want to stay off Hwy 56, it looks like you pretty much have to go west to Lightening Creek drainage, and then drop south to the Clarke Fork/edge of Lake Pend Oreille.

From there to Wallace, the choices are a lot more varied, which was why I was looking for local knowledge, but there's certainly some nice river drainages to choose from. Possibly all being one just as nice as the other.

Anyways, gotta get off this and back to work. .gpx file attached if it is of use to you.
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File Type: gpx ID-MT.gpx (1.44 MB, 136 views)
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Old 03-11-2011, 03:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Countdown View Post
I have lots of Active Logs for Lowell to Powell and Powell to Wallace if you are interested.
That is a part of the trip I didn't see a hole lot of options for routing, and in particular where I was trying to see if I could stay on the Selway as far as possible.

Anyway, I would certainly like to have a look at them. PM sent w/email addy...
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Old 03-16-2011, 07:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jäger View Post
I suspect it is hard to pick a boring route through these areas, and now that I'm a Montana guy living a couple of hundred miles away, I'm hoping/assuming I'll have many trips into these NFs in the future. However, for some of the guys hoping to come along on this ride, this may be their one and only kick at the cat, so I'm hoping I get this ride planned out right as best possible for them.
I have ridden your route from Elk City to the Selway River. Just north of Elk City your route becomes Motorcycle / ATV only down to the river, point 1076 on your West Side gpx file. From 1076 south for the next 15-20 points is a wicked uphill ATV trail. I've ridden it coming down. Going up that section is probably not for beginners. FYI. Those 15 or so points climb about 3000 feet.

I can probably find my tracks which have an elevation profile if you're interested. Looks like a fun ride. Your bike is my next one.
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:36 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by pckopp View Post
I have ridden your route from Elk City to the Selway River. Just north of Elk City your route becomes Motorcycle / ATV only down to the river, point 1076 on your West Side gpx file. From 1076 south for the next 15-20 points is a wicked uphill ATV trail. I've ridden it coming down. Going up that section is probably not for beginners. FYI. Those 15 or so points climb about 3000 feet.

I can probably find my tracks which have an elevation profile if you're interested. Looks like a fun ride. Your bike is my next one.
Well, that was the kind of local information I was looking for - but not the kind of news I wanted to hear.

Let's see, that's where Falls Point Road makes an abrupt turn back on itself to climb in a northern direction at Meadow Creek? About 150 yards west of Sims Campground? Yeah, the contour lines show a 2400 foot climb over about 3.5 miles. And what if it's been raining? Don't think I want to help push a big loaded BMW or KLR quite that far.

So... a few questions about that section.

1. We have a mix of riders here, all 50+ age guys that are pretty fit (army guys, construction, ski patrollers, etc), and no beginners. How bad is that climb for... say... just a weekend rider guy on a smaller bike like my WR250R? I'm wondering about a bike swap where the skilled guys could ride the bigger bikes up while the average guys ride the littler bikes.

2. More obviously... is there a way around this that doesn't include a backtrack?

I've seen ride reports and pics through the Selway Falls area about 1.5 miles to the east of this point you're mentioning, and nothing mentioned about a gnarly downhill or uphill in this section. Which, of course, hard core riders might not think is worth mentioning.

How about OHara Creek Road heading south about 12 miles west of this point. It heads due south to link up with Iron Mountain Road, and then off on NF 464 east to Table Meadows Road, linking up with the original track again somewhere around track point 1191 - cuts out about 25 miles of the track you're speaking of.

Anyways, would appreciate any .gpx tracks or suggestions you have as alternatives to that or alternative routes from Lowell to Elk City. I'm old enough now I don't need to see the elevation profiles to accept local knowledge...

Good news is we can consider giving it a shot when we get there as Lowell and gas isn't that far behind. And if nothing else reasonable is nearby, we can always head back to Lowell, hang our heads in shame (just a tiny bit), and slab it by Hwys 12, 13, and 14 to Elk City. Most of us used to make our living once upon a time jumping out of airplanes and helicopters in the middle of the night. So the good news is we don't feel we have to prove anything to anybody anymore by taking on something over someone's head, and this is not intended to be a gut wrenching adventure, just a soul moving, enjoyable ride with old friends.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 03-16-2011, 10:54 AM   #10
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Let's see, that's where Falls Point Road makes an abrupt turn back on itself to climb in a northern direction at Meadow Creek? About 150 yards west of Sims Campground? Yeah, the contour lines show a 2400 foot climb over about 3.5 miles. And what if it's been raining? Don't think I want to help push a big loaded BMW or KLR quite that far.
Yes, that's the section. As I look at my detailed track log, it is basically a linear climb. Basically. Near the bottom are a couple of short but very steep sections. I came down on a loaded-for-camping KLR with 4 other guys on the same or similar bikes. My brakes were toast when I got to the bottom. :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jäger View Post
1. We have a mix of riders here, all 50+ age guys that are pretty fit (army guys, construction, ski patrollers, etc), and no beginners. How bad is that climb for... say... just a weekend rider guy on a smaller bike like my WR250R? I'm wondering about a bike swap where the skilled guys could ride the bigger bikes up while the average guys ride the littler bikes.
I would say no problem for your WR250. Light is right when it comes to getting up steep hills. A fully loaded R1150GS is going to be a challenge unless the rider has Jimmy Lewis skills. OTOH, if there are a bunch of you, ride as far as you can and help each other through the tough spots. Its only tricky because it is rather narrow and steep in spots. It used to be a normal forest road, but so steep they gave up maintaining it and put up moto/atv signs. There are cut logs that stick into the path here and there so you have to get around them and across and over the water ditches. I don't remember there being a lot of loose stuff. Even if you all have issues it won't take long to get everyone to the top. Like all riding, its that 10% that's tricky, the rest easy.

Interesting anecdote: We were all sitting at the bottom drinking water (it was hot!) and congratulating each other for being alive when several ATV riders arrived heading uphill. Little 4WD machines with fat tires just make it look easy. One couple looked like they were dressed for a Sunday afternoon church social. He had nice jeans and a polo shirt. She was in shorts and a nice top. She had a nice top, which was why we noticed. :) Anyway, they just motored right up.

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Originally Posted by Jäger View Post
How about OHara Creek Road heading south about 12 miles west of this point.
That was my thought. I note that on my Garmin Topo map it makes just as large a climb in about the same distance, but the road appears fairly straight. If it is a regular forest road and not blocked, I would say that might be an option. No personal experience for me, tho.

Worse case would be taking the pavement around and following 14 east into Elk City. One of the great moto roads in North America. You'll wish you were on your supermoto with sticky tires. YeeHaw!

Have fun!
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Old 03-16-2011, 12:00 PM   #11
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Funny you should mention a "fully loaded R1150GS"... one will probably be on the ride if it all comes together.

All righty then... if it isn't a long sustained patch of misery and guys can stop to help others who need it before carrying on, then I'll plan and assume that it is passable without risking some guy with a broken femur laying under a supertanker. Being as we're going up, I guess they'll only have to worry about clutches, not brakes...

OHara Creek as v.2.1...

I doubt we'll suffer to much if we have to slink back to Lowell and do a few miles of slab...
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Old 07-17-2011, 03:50 PM   #12
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Question

Have you done this ride yet? I am in the Coeur d'Alene area and have been looking for some good rides, so I am curious how it turned out for you.

Thanks,

Derek
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:01 PM   #13
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Not yet. Late coming of summer and a bunch of personal life stuff going on right now. Still looking for an opening to get away and do it.
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Old 07-25-2011, 04:21 PM   #14
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Trails around Wallace are still covered in global warming. Might be another week or two just to do State Line Road.
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Old 07-25-2011, 06:42 PM   #15
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Not familiar with that road. Did the track I laid out travel along part of it? Oh wait... I don't think I have it attached here...

Fixed...

Kind of an 80% finished work in progress. When (hopefully) the window of opportunity opens, it will only take me a few hours to fire up ArcInfo, do some last checks, and then start plotting out the road mapsheets.

Not surprised it is still snowed in. Gray Pass just opened a week ago - although the snow did disappear in a flash when it went. We had a regimental wedding for one of the guys outside at a local lake on Saturday - he had beautiful, fresh snow halfway down the mountain for a background. Matched the bride's dress, which was not good. Now she'll be confused and not realize that she didn't wear white to match the mountains, she wears white to match the rest of the appliances.

Anyways, niggling personal crap is screwing up my riding plans, and those of the guys I wanted to go with. I'm now desperately holding out for hoping to cut out and do the ride sometime in August. If it was work screwing my plans up, it would be easy: go on leave.

Thanks for the heads up on the snow. Any best guesses when it will be snow free? Days? Several weeks?
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File Type: gpx Eureka - Wallace - Elk City - Darby.gpx (1.45 MB, 118 views)
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