Lewis and Clark Trail, 8 yrs of it...

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by LewisNClark, Mar 8, 2015.

  1. Aces 6

    Aces 6 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Over

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    And you get a twofer on the history front. Same path on the Lolo was used by the Nez Perce on perhaps the greatest retrograde in military history from the Wallowa Valley. Unfortunately left the Nez Perce trail at Big Hole National Battlefield after starting at Wallowa Lake to ride south from Wisdom to Lemhi Pass to continue on L&C part of the trip. Need to get back to resume the Nez Perce retrograde. Great country.
  2. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

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    The Lolo is hard to do...last trip in June it was snowed in so closed with a gate....with no sign of a melt. The Lolo Motoring Hwy is just special and so much to see in the 122 miles. As with most areas the locals don't know where most of the "real" places are. Last winter struggled through BaseCamp gps software and I think I now have all their campsites noted on the Lolo located...but it will take some hiking to reach some of them.

    I always plan on hiking to Clark's Sinque Hole but have dodged the 1 1/2 mile steep hike, but won't next time.

    LCSingue_hole_2.jpeg

    The Sinque Hole does show up on Google Maps. Clark and his hunting crew were desperate for water with everything frozen solid when they ran across this little melted pond on the side of the Bitterroot Mountain and were able to get water for themselves and horses. The Sinque Hole trail also crosses the Nee-Me-Poo-Trail the Nez Perce used to escape from the soldiers,

    LCSinqueHole.jpg
    The BaseCamp satelite view of a dozen of their campsites. Always miss Devils Chair since it is sort of hidden,

    lolo3.jpg


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  3. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

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    ColtKillCmpSite.JPG

    For years a Powell Ranger told me where Colt Kill Creek was and discovered last summer he had told me wrong. There is even a road next to the real site called "Colt Kill Creek", where all 33 of them ate their first horse, a small suckling colt. The above picture is the real site of Colt Kill Creek.

    For years I thought the beautiful city park with the Long Day camp sign was where they camped for 27 days waiting for the snow to melt on the Lolo to return home. Reading the L&C Journals noted a little problem, the park was on the wrong side of the river. Long Day Camp was actually where the local lumber yard is located. Last summer went by the place and the lumber yard had gone under and they were talking about buying the real site moving their signs to where the real Long Day Camp was located.

    The sign below is where they ran completely out of food and were eating their candles and bear grease.

    Attached Files:

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  4. Aces 6

    Aces 6 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Over

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    In 2011, had to wait about an hour for the back hoe to clear a path. It was June if memory serves, and contractors had just finished clearing most the fallen timber and rocks. This section was closed. Posed the question to my buddy, "what would L&C do? Go around it of course." He was a bit more dubious. Back hoe operator was not happy as he just turned back another group of riders but then we poured on the "Forest Service said it was clear" (which they did) we now had found a common enemy. He was eager to "stick it to the man." After a 15 min tirade of gov't incompetency he got to work and cleared a path and waved us through. Haven't been back since but now its back on the list.

    DSC06231.JPG DSC06238.JPG DSC06239.JPG DSC06242.JPG
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  5. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

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    That looks like a good road for a KTM.

    I had a guy use my GPS ordinates to ride the Lolo about 5 yrs ago and ran in to heavy rain on top, with mostly just a tarp spent the night on top,,,had a very difficult time getting off in the mud. Another fellow, former President of large software company hiked the 122 miles solo from start to finish at Weippe, took him 2 weeks, but he plans on doing it with the 2 teenagers next summer, I ran in to a family on horseback years ago, father University of Alaska professor, 2 kids and wife, and grandfather ,,, came from Alaska to ride the Lolo. Bought 5 horses headed to a dog food processing plant for $50 each, took a month to do the Lolo, I ended up camping with them. Had plans to give the horses away when they got to Montana.

    LCAribian.JPG

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  6. DiggerD

    DiggerD DougFir from SuperDuke Days

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    I did a solo ride years ago and met a 4 door pickup loaded with high school girls.
    So much for my manly solo ride.
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  7. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

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    Have done the full Lolo twice and have only seen 2 travelers, the horse family and a Forest Ranger. The Forest Ranger had a beautiful black Lab trained to smell bear bait (normally rotten apples) in the bed of his pickup truck. Part of Ranger's job was to ride the Lolo twice a week during bear season to sniff and hunt for bear bait.
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  8. DiggerD

    DiggerD DougFir from SuperDuke Days

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    Lolo photos from 2019, my second ride thru.
    Really liked the looks of this old camp site and gives me good mental visions of days gone by with other travelers who camped here.
    Looks like a good place to fend off Grizz.
    More fire damage than the first trip.
    This trip, we set up camp west of Lolo Motorway, and rode with out camp gear.
    We then rode back to camp on HWY12 which is a fantastic road for a motorbike.
    P8290183.JPG P8290184.JPG P8290186.JPG P8290194.JPG
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  9. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

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    As I get older, the lighter the better. My WR250R was my best solution but getting it from Atlanta to Idyho, and back, was the problem.
  10. Shawnee Bill

    Shawnee Bill Long timer Supporter

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    Rode parts of the Idaho BDR last year, one of the things I was most looking forward to was the Lolo Motoway, but it started raining the day before I got there, I stopped at the Lochsa Lodge and talked to a ranger there, was strongly advised to not go up there in the rain on a motorcycle. So I skipped it. I was going to go back this last summer and try again but summer 2020 didn't go to well. Looking back I think it would have been fine.
    So it is still high on my list of places to ride, I will make it as soon as possible. Just gives me more time to research the ride. :*sip*
    Plan on trying to wait out any rain or fire delays.
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  11. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

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    DSCN2163.JPG
    Nope - waiting for snow to melt is usually the biggest issue, 2 yrs ago July it was still gated due to prior winters snow. Below Dec 10th, Parachute Hill Road off Hwy 12, one of the entrances to the Lolo Motoring Hwy. Frequently 5 to 6 feet of snow on top of Bitterroots.

    The only big deal for most/ME riding the Lolo is there are a number of steep up and down hills, and inevitably when you are MOST not expecting it, will be a "bowling ball" size rock at the crest of a climbed hill and you can not see it until you are right on top of it, and don’t dare stop. But yes, everyone at the Powell Ranger station warns about deep ruts after a heavy rain. But the trail is different each time I’ve been there,

    What should get everyone’s attention is once you get on the Lolo, you can get off at Saddle Camp Road or go the 122 miles to the end at Weippe, Idaho. There’s another off road exit back to Hwy 12 but never did see it,

    .

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  12. Shawnee Bill

    Shawnee Bill Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks for the warning, we will wait until the snow is gone. I'm not expecting a cakewalk. I will have a riding buddy with me and ride my KTM 690, we have plenty of experience.
    But I don't like long muddy rides. It rained in that area for three straight days when I was there. I kept going north and got out from under it.
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  13. DiggerD

    DiggerD DougFir from SuperDuke Days

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    Lolo Motorway will change from year to year.
    This last time was worst than my first trip thru.
    The fill dirt can get washed away on the hills exposing hundreds of baby heads that can be a challenge.
    Last time thru, the best line to take was right next to the down hill side of the road.
    One bad move / bounce and you are off the road and getting the bike back to the road could be a long hard task.
    This one washed out section was maybe a quarter to a half mile long.
    Plenty of rocks to do damage to engine cases, brake rotors and the like.
    And it really was a hand full to ride thru.

    This was a six state ride for the two of us.
    Not something I want to tackle on a small bore bike.
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  14. Shawnee Bill

    Shawnee Bill Long timer Supporter

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    I rode the 690 from Oklahoma to Idaho, did a good portion of the Idaho BDR, touched the Canadian border, then rode back to Oklahoma, little over 6,000 miles in 19 days. Alone. If I'm counting correctly I covered parts of 10 states. The 690 handled it well, the longer I was on it, the better it got.
    I ride Arkansas single track on it, the more gnarly stuff is a struggle so I avoid that.
    I also suffer no damage to my pride if I come across something that forces me to turn around. Well, maybe a little bit. :augie
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  15. Mcgee

    Mcgee Been here awhile Supporter

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    I rode the Lolo Motorway a few years back on my 1200GSA solo. It was hot and dry and was going to camp, but ran out of water. Plus the sky was turning black, so decided to get out. Camped at Lolo Hot springs and the springs were closed for maintenance, crap, lol. Btw, it rained like all hell broke loose. Was glad I went out when I did, looked like it could real muddy.
    Thanks again for the posts! I'm going to explore the trail further this year. At least I hope so, if we can get this Covid thing under control.
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  16. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer Supporter

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    Devils chair was kind of neat. Great view from a top it. I camped about 100 yards from it when I passed thru a couple of years ago.

    Thanks for filling in lots of missing details surrounding the area!
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  17. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

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    My first trip had only a very few wooden signs and those were just for trail intersections....so missed Devil's Chair. Any pictures appreciated....my new GPS coordinates defiantly have Sinque Hole and Devil's Chair. Devil's Chair is just off FR-500, in view, and I still missed it. Pretty sure L&C did not see Devil's Chair...Nez Perce probably named the rocks later.

    I now have all their campsite GPS coordinates and several are a mile or more off FR- 500 (aka Lolo Motoring Way). The LMH is only a guesstimate of where the real trail was, it was build by CCC Camp labor under Roosevelt, and their is a sign on Hwy 12 I ran across that WWII Japanese Interment Camp labor was also used to build the Lolo Motoring Way during the Depression and in 1945-1946 with picks and shovels.

    Historians believe "Lolo" was the Nez Perce word that means "no Salmon over the mountain (in Idaho or Montana), though they are there.

    Not my pictures: Google Maps does come in handy....searched for "Devil's Chair" and GoogleMaps found it...certainly an appropriate campsite.

    DevilsChair.jpg

    LCDevilsChair.jpeg
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  18. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

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    DevilsTowerWind.jpg
    Windblown was nice enough to provide some doner jpg's of his campsite at Devil's Chair...snoozing above the clouds.

    DevilsChairCamp.jpg

    This is a Screen Saver level photo below..........WOW.
    If anyone needs to make reservations to Windblown's campsite:
    N46.51613 W115.08093


    DevilsChairClouds.jpg
    Three ways I know of to exit the Lolo/FR-500 - Entrance or Exit, Saddle Camp Road, or Cayuse Junction, otherwise 122 miles. What is unique about the Lolo is the start heads up to the top ridge of the Bitterroot Mt and runs along the mountain ridge until you exit...almost like a rollercoaster ride.

    WindKLMSaddleBack.jpg
  19. skibrighton

    skibrighton n00b

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    exceptional report! appreciate the effort, I've read alot about Lewis and Clark and always wondered... even undaunted courage never explained what happened to Seaman, I assumed they had to make a meal out of him on the return trip.
    but i feel like i know now.
    Thank you
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  20. Baroquenride

    Baroquenride Everyone dies, but not everyone truly lives.

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    I was out on a local ride today and stopped by this signpost which helped explain all the local places where they camped. I've never found a condensed version of this info until now.
    Crap! Well these don't show up very well! If you're local and in Scappoose they're at the historical site along the highway near the Fred Meyer.
    20201209_135931.jpg 20201209_135925.jpg
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