North Idaho - help plan my ride

Discussion in 'Pacific Northwet - Where it's green. And wet.' started by Kodanja, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. Kodanja

    Kodanja Been here awhile

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    Hello fellow Idahoans. :wave I'm planning a 4-5 day ride up north sometime in Sept., mainly to ride the St. Joe river and Moon Pass. Can you recommend some other areas to ride?.... pavement or dirt roads (I'm on Anakees), nice photographic scenery, good camping sites, nostalgic cafes, architectural and railroad history (I'm aware of the Hiawatha trail), cool bridges, special places to visit? I'd also like to visit Wallace and Kellogg for the history, but don't want to get there via interstate (guess I could take the frontage roads.) A planned loop ride would be nice, but not necessary....I don't mind back-tracking a bit so see the good stuff!

    Thanks in advance for your help!:ear
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  2. Rainier_Rider

    Rainier_Rider Gone

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    How far North Idaho?
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  3. Kodanja

    Kodanja Been here awhile

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    Sandpoint.

    I might be able to loop Hwy 200 via Prospect Creek Road to Thompson Falls, then to Lake Pend Orielle and on down to Coeur d' Alene and along the east side of the lake and back to St. Maries...hmmm that actually sounds nice. I stayed at Farragut state park a couple years ago.

    It will take me a couple days to get to St. Maries, so it only leaves me a day or two for riding the surrounding area. Thanks
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  4. Rainier_Rider

    Rainier_Rider Gone

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    Well, I'm in super-duper North Idaho. (Really).
    If you have a 650-sh or smaller I can show you ya some fun-ish roads.
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  5. Ladybug0048

    Ladybug0048 Bug Sister

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    He's so super duper ID alright he's almost in Canada or Montana but worth the ride up to check out his neighborhood.

    Moon Pass will take you right in to Wallace. There is tons of history in that area that's for sure. If you are riding along the St. Joe which it sounds like you are you will get to Avery which is a fun town you will enjoy. From there it heads to Moon pass and you will be riding along the RR and through some of the tunnels.

    I'll dig up more info for you later when I'm a little more awake.

    A group of us will be in the Avery area this weekend so watch this thread for some pictures: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?p=16662853#post16662853
    #5
  6. IdahoRenegade

    IdahoRenegade Long timer

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    With 4-5 days between the St. Joe and Sandpoint, you can have an epic trip! I spent 5 days down on the Joe a few weeks ago and had a fantastic time. Plenty of camp spots and you can go thousands of miles on gravel/forest service roads. The upper St. Joe (above Avery) is georgous country, as is the ride along the south shore of Lake Pend Orielle.

    Got a GPS? What bike, and what kind of fuel range? Hwy 200 and 97 along the East side of Lake CDA are nice, but if you want to see the really pretty country, the dirt roads are where it's at. To be clear, you'd be startng in Sandpoint, right?

    If you are into logging history, Marble Creek is worth a look, as is the Pulaski Tunnel hike, just south of Wallace on Moon Pass road.

    More to come tonight.
    #6
  7. Kodanja

    Kodanja Been here awhile

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    I'm riding a gs1200 adventure and can handle forest service roads. I was going to base myself out of St. Maries (Sandpoint is just the northern limit I wanted to go.) I actually have about 5-6 days from Boise, so I can only spend 3 days max in the area.

    Idahorenegade: Yeh, I'd like to go further up the St. Joe past Avery to St. Regis....I wonder how I can get back to Wallace unless I backtrack the St. Joe.....just need to figure out how to do Moon Pass as well. The Pulaski Tunnel hike sounds nice...I'll check into it.

    Ladybug0048: I'll read the posts for some ideas as well. Thanks and I'll keep watch for your report, sounds fun!

    Rainier-Rider: Next time I'll get further north in your area. Thanks :)
    #7
  8. IdahoRenegade

    IdahoRenegade Long timer

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    If you run up the Joe to the Idaho-Montana border, there is a road that runs along the border, towards Wallace. The parts I've been on are fantastic, much nicer than Moon Pass. MP road gets a fair amount of traffic, has loose gravel and is dusty. Still, the tunnels are worth doing. There is also a loop south of the Joe, that from Avery parallels the river up to the headwaters (Red Ives).

    What I'd try for a 3 day ride on a big bike from St Maries, assuming you're camping "on the road" each night.

    Day one-head up hwy 97 along the East side of lake CDA. Paved and very pretty. Head north out of CDA on Hwy 95, then head east on Bunco Road (@Silverwood Theme Park). The road here turns to gravel. Ride the 278 road along the S shore of Lake Pend Orielle. Head down the CDA River to Pritchard, then to Murray and south to Wallace. Spend the night in Wallace. There are several hotels, and Down by the Depot campground in town.

    Day 2. Do some exploring around Wallace, check out the mining museum, railroad depot, Bordello Museum :D and the 1313 club. Maybe go a couple miles s of town on Moon Pass road and hike Pulaski Tunnel trail (2 mi each way). Hit the road mid day or so, head south on Moon Pass road. At Loop Creek, head east and catch State Line road. Ride this southeast till you hit pavement at the St. Joe River Road. There are some nice (unimproved) camp spots along State Line road, and some georgous ones along the Joe. Check your map, you'll actually be hitting the road to St. Regis, head west till you hit the "main" river road, it just runs together. I'd go south to Red Ives ranger station while you're there. There is a nice campground there, and a nicer one (Bever Creek) a couple miles before Red Ives...but it's small and may be full. Either would be a good place to end the day.

    (can anyone recommend the State Line road as suitable for a big bike? I don't remember any issues (assuming the effing snow finally melted), but haven't run all of it)


    Day 3. Head down the St. Joe towards Avery. It's all paved, putt along and enjoy the view. This stretch is one of the prettiest roads I've ever been on. Only thing is, there are enough cool curves to carve, it's tough to slow down and enjoy the view. At Avery, do a side trip north on Moon Pass, you can check out some tunnels. At the high trestle bridge, turn off MP road, drop down below the trestle, there is a side road and ATV trail (easy and flat) that will take you back to Avery. I'd continue down the Joe to Marble Creek, either on the paved road, or the gravel road on the far side of the river. Check out the interperative center. There is a nice, about 50 mile loop they show on one of the flyers. A number of historical sites and pretty ride, as well as some hikes if you choose. It's gravel, but smooth and easy. Then head back to St. Maries. There is a resturant at Calder (mile 24) and at the Big Eddy (about mile 20) if you want someone elses cooking.

    I'd recommend picking up the forest service visitor's map for the St. Joe forest. Also, let me know if yo want some GPS tracks. Oh, and don't forget pictures and the ride report!
    #8
  9. Kodanja

    Kodanja Been here awhile

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    IdahoRenegade:

    Perfect! That is awesome.....much appreciated!
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  10. Idahosam

    Idahosam Set Adrift

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    Hi there, I think IdahoRenegade is pretty spot on with very cool places.

    I would Highly recommend the Bunco Rd around the east side of CDA. Plan to stop off at Lakeview too.

    Here is a link to my ride that I just finished up not long ago.

    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=712306

    One option that is big bike friendly is: From Avery north on 456 (tunnel road ) to Wallace, from there north on 456 towards Bunn it turns to 9 right into Montana dropping out at Thompson Falls left up 200 to Clark Fork cross the bridge (double bridges one I slept under) as soon as you cross the bridge turn right on I think 744 it turne into 278 around CDA (BEAUTIFUL ride stop off in Lakeview and maybe Whisky Rec. it turns to 332/Bunco dropping you out at Hwy 95 @ Silverwood




    #10
  11. Kodanja

    Kodanja Been here awhile

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    Thanks Sam. Good report by the way.....a good prelude to my ride!
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  12. tomasinator

    tomasinator Been here awhile

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    If you're interested in old railroads, you're sure to know that the 72 mile long Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes is the old Northern Pacific route. It's paved and only open to bicycles and hikers. However, just east of Wallace, ID, the trail ends at Mullan. However, from that point on you can ride a motorcycle on the old rail bed.

    Mullan, ID
    [​IMG]

    The trail is marked with an occasional sign and you're on a road for several miles as you head east toward Lookout Pass and the Montana border:
    [​IMG]

    A mile or so beyond the previous picture, you'll be back on the rail bed:
    [​IMG]

    Old railroad cut near Lookout Pass:
    [​IMG]

    You'll ride through a tunnel or two:
    [​IMG]

    The rail bed snakes it's way down from Lookout Pass and eventually hits the exit at Taft, the same exit for the Hiwawatha trail (a different railroad I'm sure you know).

    I rode all of this on a wimpy KLR-250 on the 4th of July. I passed a few dirt bikers and a jeep or two on the trail. It was a blast. The trail may go farther than this but I didn't keep going. I turned around and rode back to Wallace.
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  13. Kodanja

    Kodanja Been here awhile

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    Thanks tomasinator:

    Looks like fun! Just rode through Redmond last week on our trip back from the coast.
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  14. IdahoRenegade

    IdahoRenegade Long timer

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    Not a bad thought. From Taft, if you go up Rolland Summit, it puts you right on the State Line Road. It would be a nicer ride than the northern part of Moon Pass down to Loop Creek.

    Just to whet your appitite, if you know the route, this is a view not far from the 278 road. It's on the south side of Lake Pend Orielle, it should be labeled Bernard Overlook on your map.

    Attached Files:

    #14
  15. Jason Abbott

    Jason Abbott Long time Idaho rider

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    Well that's kind of ironic. I'm covering that same ground with my brothers September 2–6. I've been casually planning over the last nine months or so. Here's the general route and links to lots of references: http://www.flickr.com/photos/boise/5439813564/ (view the image at its original 15K x 10K pixel size to see details).

    I'd love to say join us! but we're shooting for a lot of ATV and single track (if not too gnarly).

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  16. IdahoRenegade

    IdahoRenegade Long timer

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    I'm familiar with trail 16 where you're running from Lake Elsie to Moon Pass. I can't tell from your map, but do you go east of Moon Pass road? If not, the Red Oak trail up to Gold Mountain is worth the ride.


    ***edit to add..never mind, looking at your map more closely, it looks like you are running it.
    #16
  17. Jason Abbott

    Jason Abbott Long time Idaho rider

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    You were kind of too quick. I was uploading a new map while posting but the upload died. :doh Trying that again. Then you'll see the final route ...
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  18. IdahoRenegade

    IdahoRenegade Long timer

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    That should be a fantastic trip. What bikes are you running on it?

    I need to learn the trail you show that goes from Latour Creek to Pine Creek. It would help with some loops in the area. Any idea if it's ATV or mid sized bike (DR650/KLR) friendly?
    #18
  19. Kootenai Rider

    Kootenai Rider Displaced Adventurer

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    Jason, what are you guys going to be riding? Some of the single track can get pretty gnarly if you pick the wrong trail. There's a few that aren't that hard, just a lot of sidehill which suck-diddely-uk-lucks.
    #19
  20. Jason Abbott

    Jason Abbott Long time Idaho rider

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    Kodanja, after a dozen tries I've given up on uploading a high-res map. Here's the biggest it would take (Flickr). It seems like turning off to see some of the Hiawatha Trail would be photo-worthy. And Cataldo Mission, the oldest building in Idaho, is scenic (I have it as an optional loop in the northwest of that route).

    I think Road 301 turning north along Fishhook Creek is beautiful, if not too far from your plan. That's the lower half of our loop. And you could run northeast from Wallace to the old Burke Mine—nice images there. Lots of other mines around that I've seen but I don't have directions. Good luck! I look forward to hearing about your trip. You make great images.

    I hear ya. At no point does our route depend on single track. I need no suckage. :D

    Southern St. Joe Forest last year
    [​IMG]
    #20