#2 of 2. 2022 The Idaho Backroads Discovery Route

Thursday, July 15, 2022

Track #6

Starting out of Wallace wide and smooth
The trestle bridges are for ATV’s and bicycles only.
The tunnels accommodate full size vehicles.
Be sure to stay on the Moon Pass/North Fork Saint Joes River Trail for full sized vehicles and train tunnel experience ( red track). The other parallel trail is for ATV’s and bicycles only. We took the wrong fork and had to turn around.
Riding on the old rail line is interesting and beautiful! The train trail has been widened and is beautifully maintained as part of the nation wide “Rails to Trails” project.
Back in the day:

Milwaukee Road’s train #15, the westbound “Olympian Hiawatha,” exits breathtaking backcountry on the late afternoon of May 27, 1953. Alas, nothing remains here today aside from an empty path. (Sandy Goodrick photo).

Train tunnels!
More stray branches in the road
This downed tree is huge. So far no one has attempted to cut through it. Our little chain saw was no match for it.
This tree was three feet in diameter.
We squeezed through the ATV bypass. VERY careful spotting required.
We’re out the other side with a few new scratches. The rock rails did their job.
The downed large tree was just before the Blue Heaven Cabin.
Someone beat us to it! Our new friend Clark welcomed our company. Nice little 1971 Honda Trail 110.
Night #3. Friday July 15th . Plenty of room for Jeep campers. Be sure to sign the log book inside!
This was a surprise! Giant old growth cedar grove.
Huge cedars
Lotti’s still hanging on to her baby.
Beautiful views from the top……. I think we’re going over there next…….
Just another mountain to climb. This trail is constant switchbacks.
It takes two people to move these trees.
The forest workers were littering the road with downfall. We had to get them down off the ridge to cut up some of the bigger logs. I’m sure they are removing these cuttings as they go.
Young bull moose
The bumpy road down to Pierce.
There was only one gas station, the octane was unknown and Bruce had problems that would suggest contamination.
Back up into the mountains we go!

Saturday July 16

Track #5

We were finally on The Official Lolo Motorway. And it was rough. We were averaging 5 to 8 miles per hour. This was the most difficult section of trail we’ve been on all summer.

The Lolo is overgrown and full of dead trees. If you’re going to face miles of low range over bumpy and muddy roads, it would be nice to be able to see through the brush.

There is so much history up on this series of ridges. Luckily there are many information boards explaining the role of The Nez Perce, and their interaction with Lewis and Clark.

Makes sense, the Nez Perce worked their way up into this nearly impossible trail to escape the army.
There are many small camp sites up on the ridges.
Night #4. Saturday July 16, Weitas Meadows campground. Beautiful, plenty of room, but mosquitoes!!!
The next morning…,
Many washouts required a spotter.

We had a nice break at the “Smoking Place”. We reevaluated the broken weld on the Taylor’s rear rack mount. The bush fix was holding for now, but our luck was running out. It didn’t take much discussion to agree we needed to find the first route down off the Lolo Motorway and get to Missoula where we had the best chance of hiring a welder.

We gave the Lolo our best shot, but we had to be practical. We figure we cut off at least 20 miles of the trail and we really hated to do that. Down we went on the next good looking road to Highway 12 and Lochsa Lodge and campground. They also have gas.

Ahhhhh, the 12 is nice and smooth….
Love this!

We went to the visitor center down on the 12. It’s a nice little museum that explains more about what we were seeing and why there was so much activity back in the day.

We were actually up there!!

We made it to Missoula where there are no Airbnb’s available so we instead found the correct motel. The one where we can park our rigs right outside the door, but it’s not too old or run down. We usually find these “motor hotels” in the older historic parts of town. Beats hanging out in the new builds out on the freeway by the truck stop and Walmart! And we have much more freedom with the dogs.

One side had broken. Both sides got stronger welds and new gussets.

And we got right in to get the racks welded! Yay! We can get back on the trails tomorrow!

Or not…. Why not? What could stop us??


Covid, yes we have Covid in our group and that changes everything. We’re going home. Now. 🤢

6 thoughts on “#2 of 2. 2022 The Idaho Backroads Discovery Route

  1. Bummer about Covid.    I can’t get to the actual pages, says not found so I could not leave a comment. Get well soon, Mike


  2. Great trip report with key knowledge of the trail and its challenges. Glad to see Bruce’s rack got fixed, but unfortunate that COVID got the best of the group. Safe Travels home!!


  3. Sorry to hear someone has Covid – we are still hiding up on the Snake River. Be safe going home. I will send you some pics from the road once you are home.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s