North from Thompson Pass on the ID Centennial Trail?

Discussion in 'Pacific Northwet - Where it's green. And wet.' started by XR4EVER, Sep 1, 2012.

  1. XR4EVER

    XR4EVER 919 excuses to ride!

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    I have been studying maps and searching forums, trying to see if anyone has ridden the Idaho Centennial Trail north from Thompson Pass, in between Murray, ID, and Thompson Falls, MT (Trail #7). I have been trying to talk the wife into attempting it from the pass to Idaho Point and back, about a 70-80 mile ride on (supposed) single track. I am looking to find someone who has done this ride first to see if it is realistic. We are both very capable riders, but if we will be spending half our day dragging our bikes over impossible rock faces while teetering on the edge of a 2000' drop-off, I might think twice. 5 years ago, maybe. But kids drastically change what your concept of "dangerous" is. :baby

    Thanks for your input!
    #1
  2. Kootenai Rider

    Kootenai Rider Gentleman of Liesure

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    I haven't but if you feel like pre-riding it before taking your wife, let me know. One of my riding buddies and I are always looking for new trails to ride.

    Looking at the Benchmark map it looks like a lot of it ridge trail, which shouldn't be too precarious.
    #2
  3. XR4EVER

    XR4EVER 919 excuses to ride!

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    I might take you up on that.

    I found a blog from a couple that hiked it, and I think the picture in this link is from that trail.

    [​IMG]

    That looks like some sweet riding to me.

    I am going to be busy with work for about a week or two, but I would like to check it out.
    #3
  4. N-Id-Jim

    N-Id-Jim Been here awhile

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    Wow sounds like an adventure brewing...... would a DRZ400S be able to tag along? Cant go till the 15th.
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  5. XR4EVER

    XR4EVER 919 excuses to ride!

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    No Suzukis!! Just kidding. That's fine with me. Just more muscles to potentially help drag a bike up a cliffside. The 15th is out for me. That weekend is daddy day care.

    These dates could be pending, but as far as I can tell, here are the dates I could go: Sept. 13, 14, 17-24, 27, 28
    Any of these work for you guys?
    #5
  6. dylanj

    dylanj Adventurer

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    I am Kootenai Rider's adventure/getting lost friend...let's do this ride...I am in search of the hardest trails in our area...wide open to finding that 'impossible' trail :rofl
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  7. XR4EVER

    XR4EVER 919 excuses to ride!

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    If you wanna make a full day of it, I know a sweet single track that is on the way there. Apparently, it is a loop that will bring you back to the pavement within 1 1/2 miles of the start. (Short jaunt on pavement should be fine; Johnny law tends to look the other way up there.) We've never attempted the full loop because we didn't know where it went until I looked at a map after we returned, and we haven't made it back since. Maybe we could hit it on the way back. (Or save it for another day if the monkey butt has set in. My seat is awful.)

    I like the difficult stuff too, and my wife likes the super-fast stuff. When I can find a mix of both, we are happy. When we end up in an area that looks like Erzberg, I am smiling, and she wants to kill me. That trail I just mentioned will take you up the rocky south-eastern face of Graham Mt. if you want it to. In fact, I know enough trails on that mountain alone to make a whole second trip.
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  8. Kootenai Rider

    Kootenai Rider Gentleman of Liesure

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    I'm outta town the next two weekends....so whatever the weekend dates are of the 17-24th section or the 27-28th weekend...
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  9. XR4EVER

    XR4EVER 919 excuses to ride!

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    Back on Sept 22, Kootenai Rider and I attempted this trail. It was immediately obvious that it had been years since anyone had had a bike up there. We finally decided to turn around after hopping, dragging, and maneuvering our bikes over and around endless deadfall, making it less than a half mile in over an hour. We were determined to return before winter with a chainsaw because the trail looked so promising.

    Well, my wife (on her YZ250F) and I made it up there this morning with a saw strapped to the front of my XR. It was brisk to say the least, and it wasn't long before we hit patches of light snow cover (as if 14 pounds of chainsaw hanging off my forks didn't add enough of a challenge). Progress was ridiculously slow, having used a tank and a half of fuel in the saw in the first 3 miles. It seemed like I would get the saw strapped on, get the bike started, turn a corner and there were 3 more downed trees in our way.

    The trail was unmarked and hard to follow, even with a GPS and a handful of maps with coordinates printed off of Google Earth with detailed directions at points I knew would be confusing. At one point, we came to a "Y" and (of course) chose the wrong direction. We realized this after a half-mile of rapidly deteriorating side-hill goat path that was dropping downhill fast. We found a point that we could wrestle our bikes around without too much risk of life and were happy to get back to the correct trail.

    Around mile 5 1/2, the trail intersected with a logging road, and we couldn't pick up the trail on the other side. We followed the road for miles trying to find another intersection but had no luck and called it a day. (After returning home and looking at the maps, we were a 1/4 mile from picking it up again!) It took nearly 4 hours to make it 5 1/2 miles, but the ass-hauling return trip made it all worth it. I have never been on such a diverse and gratifying trail; it went from deep woods slalom, to impossible boulder fields, to craggy goat paths, to high-speed straight(ish) sections, just in those 5 miles. I can't wait to get back up there to clear more trail to see what is next, although it may have to wait until spring!

    I encourage anyone who is into difficult single track to check it out and enjoy the fruits of our labor. The trail starts up the hill directly across from the parking lot at the top of the pass. And go left at the "Y"!


    [​IMG]
    #9
  10. wdsrdr

    wdsrdr n00b

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    i thought this was a hike and bike only trail. was i wrong?
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  11. XR4EVER

    XR4EVER 919 excuses to ride!

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    Yup.

    It's marked on the printed "Motor Vehicle Use" map from the forest service as a motorcycle trail, and it is also on the ID parks and rec website trail map. There are a few sections that are hike-only, but most of it is shared-use.
    #11
  12. wdsrdr

    wdsrdr n00b

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    let me know if your going again! i guess i was reading bout a hike only section. sounds like a dream come true.
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  13. Kootenai Rider

    Kootenai Rider Gentleman of Liesure

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    When you want to head up there again? Next weekend?
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  14. XR4EVER

    XR4EVER 919 excuses to ride!

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    The next weekend I could go would be the 20th/21st, unless you could call in sick and go on a weekday!
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  15. Factory Phil

    Factory Phil Adventurer

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    We cleared a lot of that last spring, but there was a lot of windfalls soon after that.

    If you are heading back up there this spring, hit me up. We are going to clear a long lost trail that is still off highway use that heads over that way towards pond peak. We tried to get up there, but we are going to need a brush cutter. Its really clogged up.

    Thanks for you work.
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  16. XR4EVER

    XR4EVER 919 excuses to ride!

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    That is amazing. I would have guessed it had been years since anyone had cleared that!

    Have you ever made it the 30 something miles to Idaho Point like I had hoped to?

    I will definitely be heading back up there after the snow melts with a re-designed saw mount. That is a sweet trail. Thanks for your info!
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  17. Factory Phil

    Factory Phil Adventurer

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    No, but I would like to try it sometime. I have mainly ridden north of there. If the snow stays away, this should be a great weekend to do some riding up there.
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  18. XR4EVER

    XR4EVER 919 excuses to ride!

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    I'd be willing to bet the snow is already there. I was riding in the area last weekend at around 4000' and getting snowed on, plowing through it at 6000'. Thompson Pass is at 4500'. It's all up from there and down the cold north faces of the mountains. You can go check it out - I'll be back in the spring! :D
    #18
  19. Kootenai Rider

    Kootenai Rider Gentleman of Liesure

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    With how warm it has been these last few days I'm wondering if all that high country snow has melted.

    Sunday I'm helping the Idaho dept of rec on some Canfield trail maintenance
    #19
  20. Factory Phil

    Factory Phil Adventurer

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    Can you PM me the info on this?

    Thanks
    #20