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Old 09-12-2010, 05:56 PM   #1
Kodanja OP
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Location: Boise, Idaho
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Along the Magruder Corridor and More...

Between the 1.2 million-acre Selway-Bitteroot Wilderness and the 2.3 million-acre Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness lies a road called the Magruder Corridor, a 101 mile primitive road, built by the CCC in the 1930’s. The two wildernesses make up the largest “unroaded area of land in the lower 48 states and are nearly twice as large as the combined states of Delaware and Rhode Island.”

It was this historic road that prompted our desire to ride it and even though we would only see a small portion of the vast wilderness area, the corridor was fascinating and filled with many points of interest. The Magruder wasn’t the only road out there however; we navigated our way south to Shoup on the Salmon River and onward along Panther Creek to Challis. We would split up at Challis and I would head back to Warm Lake via Bear Valley along the Landmark-Stanley road.

You know you had a memorable ride when you can’t get it out of your mind. I keep thinking about the great experiences I had on this short ride and I’m yearning for more! Riding 250 miles of dirt roads in 2 days, getting to know your riding buddies, meeting people along the way (not just meeting them, but getting to know who they are, where there from, etc.,) primitive camping (and camp cooking....a first for me!,) and challenging myself with Burnt Knob....and more!

Here are some starter photos for you.

At the top of Burnt Knob Lookout

In the Corridor

Along Panther Creek

Along Morgan Creek
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Old 09-12-2010, 06:22 PM   #2
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Old 09-13-2010, 07:34 AM   #3
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Our plan was to get to Elk City, get on the Magruder and camp when daylight fades.

From the left, I'm on the GS, Gary the KTM950, Becky a Suzuki350 and her husband Kelly on the KLR.

I’ve ridden north on 55 along the Payette River up to McCall so many times I must admit that I don’t take the time to re-shoot photos for every ride report, but you can see some of the scenery on my ride report below titled Idaho West Mountains - Payette River. Once past Riggins the trip really got started for me.

Just north of Riggins, crossing the Salmon River and into Pacific Time Zone.

We decided to take the old Whitebird grade to Grangeville instead of the 4-lane super highway. A couple of quick shots passing through Whitebird....

You can see the switchbacks lined with fence posts.

Looking back down toward Whitebird

At the top of the summit

Along the Mt. Idaho Road.

And along the Southfork of the Clearwater heading to Elk City.

I always wanted to ride this road and it was very scenic and twisty. barely saw this waterfall as I passed by doing 50, but a quick turnaround yielded this photo.

The Southfork of the Clearwater River

I had seen a photo of this rock outcropping before and kept my eyes open for it.

Here are my friends waiting for me up the rode.

I told you guys that I'd be stopping for photos along the way

So we made it to the Elk Creek Station for fuel before venturing into the Corridor. Kelly isn't so sure that the fuel is any good.

So he decides to put Diesel into Becky's bike.....just kidding.

Shall we get a few beers for camp tonight? You bet!

During our fill-up a couple of locals and their dog pull in and are waiting for us to finish up...

I think we're in the back country now. I strike up a conversation with them and they get out of the truck to look at the bikes. But they don't know what to think when I ask for their photo. This is the quintessential image of Elk City and the Idaho backcountry.

You can see on the far left of the map where Elk City is located. We would make camp for the night at Camp 2, Granite Springs Campground. Burnt Knob is No. 5, so we'd ride up there in the morning.

I'm ready for it!

But before we get on the Corridor, let's check out Elk City ....

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Old 09-13-2010, 07:49 AM   #4
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I've been thinking of riding this same ride.
Now I get a sneak preview.

I was out at Panther Creek and the Challis NF two weekends ago -Nice area.

OK. Ready for more.

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Old 09-13-2010, 05:37 PM   #5
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OK, let's look around Elk City. Well this sign is a good place to learn about the town.

And here a brief explanation about the Nez Perce Trail. Pretty amazing to know we would be riding through the same country that the Nez Perce indians and trappers used. We would travel about 100 miles through the corridor in a day and half....I wonder how long it would take on foot!

A known landmark

The hotel has a small gift shop. This is the Owner who has lived in Elk City for 35 years. Came out here with her boyfriend from California on a motorcycle and never left. She was very friendly and told us about the Magruder Corridor and the mining that went on.

Then I walked in the back room and noticed a couple models of a mining structure (I love miniature models.) So I asked her about them and they are replicas of the stamp mills that were used at the mines. The stamped crushed ore is washed over mercury coated copper sheets and the fine gold particles form with the mercury and is separated.

Then she said, "would you like to see it work?" Huh? The model actually works! Then she flips a switch and the power belts start turning, stamps start pounding and the ore trays start vibrating ....pretty cool. It even had a miniature lamp so you could see!

So if you visit the Elk City hotel, be sure to walk in the back room and see the working models.

Before we left Becky had to check out the liquor store

It was starting to get late and we still had to make camp. Here is the start of the dirt road....looks like we have 18 miles to our campsite.

This way.

Here is our camp at Granite Springs. The guide to the Historic Magruder Road says this site has drinking water, so you would assume there would be a water spicket. We looked all over and finally Gary found a small creek down the hill Gary and Kelly would fill their water bags later on at Poet Creek, so we set up our tents and Kelly started a fire, we ate dinner and sat around the fire talking.

We had a great first day riding into the Corridor. Tomorrow we confront the road up to Burnt Knob lookout.

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Old 09-13-2010, 06:44 PM   #6
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Outstanding! I grew up in and love that area. Ride safe!

Fide Non Timet
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Old 09-13-2010, 07:00 PM   #7
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Thanks a bunch for posting! At westfest from Darby with a late start we went as far as Maguder Ranger station. Made another attempt but only went to Dry Saddle and up to Burnt Knob Lookout.
It was stormy and unsure of the fuel situation in ElK City we headed back to Darby.
It was my first time in Idaho, but won't be my last!
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