Anyone ridden State Line Rd 391 in ID and MT?

Discussion in 'GPS Tracks - West & PNW' started by John E Davies, Mar 23, 2006.

  1. John E Davies

    John E Davies Runs at Mouth Adventurer

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    I am thinking about exploring that area this summer, and would like some feedback on what it is like, and possible tent camping sites.

    It's a 50 mile forest road that follows the high crest of the Bitterroots between ID and MT west of St Regis MT. From the St Joe NFS map it looks simply phenominal, but the only thing I can find online is this:

    http://campspecialties.com/statelinetrail.htm

    The Route of the Hiawatha bicycle trail (MT end) starts right at the north end of the road at Roland Summit - that is simply amazing in itself. I have ridden the Idaho portion of that trail, but am completely unfamiliar with the area otherwise.

    http://www.skilookout.com/hiaw/

    I'm thinking about a loop trip along 391 and back west to Spokane along the St Joe River. Can anyone familiar with the area please comment?

    Thanks.

    John Davies
    SPokane WA
    #1
  2. sleepertoy

    sleepertoy 4Wheel Crossover

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    Well I'm not familiar with that exact road but I did explore a further south of there going in the back side to hike Trapper's Peak and have camped at some forest service campgrounds. In June there will be snow of course but July or August might be a little more comfy. The only thing I could really offer is to make sure the area you want to hit wasn't burned recently... unless you don't care about that I guess. Should be a cool ride though, have fun! I miss those mountains terribly :-(


    #2
  3. John E Davies

    John E Davies Runs at Mouth Adventurer

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    Was that Trapper's Peak, 10,157ft, 11 miles SW of Darby MT? I had a hard time locating it - my TOPO USA software doesn't name that particular peak (which is odd, since I think it is the highest mountain in MT). That's about 100 miles south and in _much_ higher terrain than the area I was talking about. How was the Trapper's peak region, in general?

    There was a huge fire in the area late last summer - it shut down I-90 near St Regis for a day or two and forced many travellers (me included) to spend hours detouring and sitting in traffic jams out n the middle of nowhere. I'm not sure what spots burned, but in terms of siteseeing, a freshly burned forest offers some advantages. The shrubbery may be gone, but the far off vistas are now visible. As long as the roads aren't shut down for logging, a burned forest is no reason to stay home IMHO.

    Thanks for the comment.

    John Davies
    Spokane WA
    #3
  4. rwamf

    rwamf Follow me

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    Rode quite a bit in that area in the 90's (before I had a GPS) Mostly in the Panhandle, did ride around Lolo pass but never went the way you have listed,
    Did a ride from NV to Thompson falls in 04.
    Here are a couple of the tracks we did from Kooskia to Superior, then Twelve Mile over to Thompson Falls, and Cooper Pass over to Wallace then a great ride down to Avery
    I hope you have a good ride, In July???
    LTR
    Robert

    Attached Files:

    #4
  5. thetourist

    thetourist Just passing thru

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    The state line road is a nice ride. Dirt, twisty, high. I've seen the road blocked by snow till the end of July. Nice vistas around Ward Peak. There are tunnel type mines in this area. It may be possible to get to the Red Ives-Superior road these days. I was on Simmons Peak and saw a new road on the north slope. I was with people and didn't explore.
    The Red Ives to Superior Road has some spectacular views. Check out Needle Peak and Simmons Peak if you go there. A short section of this road has a 1000ft drop.
    There is a road running east of Moon Pass road that goes up Loop Creek between and crosses the Hiawatha bike trail. Lets you see the trestles and crosses the trail at a tunnel with a curve in it.
    The St Joe River Road is all paved on the Idaho side, and Montana is or will start paving its side. West of Avery it is old railroad line and straight. East of Avery (upriver) is just a bit of allright. A constant bit of lean with some sharp decreasing radius corner to keep you on your toes. It's unmarked the the river is the curb. Make a mistake and you'll get wet. I would cross at Avery and run the old haul road back to St Maries. Let your imagination go, and drive a truck over this. In the 60's near every time I drove this section a truck was freshly turned over.
    Another good loop would be south side of the St Joe. From Red Ives south over Beaver Creek (tight andtwisty) to Surveyors Ridge, then back and head west to Dismal Lake, then Bluff Creek to the River Road. Or. From Dismal to the Round Top Area then over Freeze Out to Clarkia. Freeze Out is a spectacularly scenic road. One of my favorites in North Idaho. Snow may be a factor. This road has some hard scrabble sections that keep me to 5-10 mph. Maybe 10 mi. or less of rough stuff.
    South out of Avery is Kelly Creek Road and a couple miles to the west is Fish Hook Creek Road. Good roads. Fish Hook has a tunnel and vertical rock walls 50-100 ft apart.
    One of my routes to Montana from Moscow, Idaho is over FreezeOut, down Fish Hook and the River Road to St Regis. Takes about 4 1/2 hrs without rushing.

    That's my version of the best roads in the Joe. Hope it helps.

    Dick Fuhrman
    #5
  6. John E Davies

    John E Davies Runs at Mouth Adventurer

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    Yeow! That is a bunch of very useful info. I have printed it out and will study my topo maps. Local knowledge from someone who drives the area regularly is platinum grade! Thanks so much!

    BTW, I was planning June or later because of leftover high mountain snow in the shady areas. In is a real PITA to find a great back country trail or forest road, only to have to turn around and backtrack 30 miles due to an unexpected 3 foot deep ice bank.

    John
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  7. John E Davies

    John E Davies Runs at Mouth Adventurer

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    Thanks for the tracks. Looks like you went right across the State Line Trail (where it is a footpath) on your way toward/ from I-90. Do you have any pics or did you post a ride report for that trip?

    John
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  8. rwamf

    rwamf Follow me

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    http://www.rwamf.com/NVtoMT/index0.html
    Check out some photos from the ride at above link
    Enjoy
    Robert
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  9. Thumpercrazee

    Thumpercrazee Long timer

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    Are you considering this for a motorcycle trip? Indications are that the trail is for bicycle and hiking. It looks like a great trip from what I found on topo maps. I'd be interested on further info if motorized veh can use.

    Thanks,

    TC :D
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  10. thetourist

    thetourist Just passing thru

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    From Moon Pass to Gold Creek is a good road. Dirt (not gravel) two track. No steep climbs. A really nice cycle road. All the "roads" I mentioned are traversable by pick-up and were part of my normal routes while I was in the USFS. Some may have snow and fallen trees, depending how early you travel them. In the high country snow lingers and shaded areas can be impassable. I've heard snow pack was high this last winter.
    This means FreezeOut, Ward Peak, and Simons Peak areas. These are not main roads and get maintained last.

    This is a very historical area, because of the Silver Valley mining area and it is region 1 of the USForest Service.
    Historical Buildings: www.historicdistricts.com/ID/Shoshone/state.html
    The Big Blowup...1910 Fires: www.missoulian.com/specials/1910/mountains.html

    Give a hollar and I'll lay out my grand tour of the Palouse and St Joe.

    Dick Fuhrman
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  11. John E Davies

    John E Davies Runs at Mouth Adventurer

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    No, the lower 50 miles is non-motorized only, I am fairly sure. I was going to ride the upper 50 miles as part of a meandering loop through the Idaho Panhandle, with some camping over 2 or 3 nights. I'll trailer my bike (525EXC) and camp at a central NFS camprground somewhere, and explore from there. My bike only has about 150 mile range and it's not esp happy over long distances.

    John
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  12. John E Davies

    John E Davies Runs at Mouth Adventurer

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    I'm very interested - maybe it would be good to start a new thread....?

    John
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  13. rwamf

    rwamf Follow me

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    Some really great single Track in and around HWY 6, about 18 miles east from US 95, Stay at the White Pine campground, Without a guide you will only find about 50% of the good single track, There are some very fun stuff around there, 2-3 days of it, I made some great ones but never GPS'ed them, I hope to get up there again soon,
    Allot of the trails are well marked, and you can make some great loops , be sure to sign the trail registers, and mark "Motorcycle", if they don't show usage you lose it., That comes from the Ranger up there.
    Enjoy
    Robert
    #13
  14. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    We use it from west of Superior to almost Wallace on our Mexico to Canada (Mex2Can.com) ride. Only one short piece of single (quad) track, them there is a nice quad side trail just south of Wallace.

    Attached Files:

    #14