Thursday, May 9, 2013

Three new rides on include the Lolo Motorway and two big rides from Whitebird

On the way into Pittsburg Landing. 
Bighorn sheep are commonly seen in Hells Canyon. 
Native American petroglyphs 
Lolo Motorway, a single-lane dirt road that traces the route that Lewis & Clark
took through the Lochsa River Country in northcentral Idaho. 
Purple mountain majesty in the Clearwater National Forest
Kirkwood Museum and Ranch 
Hi all,

It's springtime in Idaho. The mountains are greening up, and the wildflowers are blooming everywhere. It's time to go riding!

We've recently added three new rides to that are worth experiencing no matter where you live in Idaho. In fact, most states would love to have rides like these in their state. One of them is a great destination for this summer - the Lolo Motorway, Forest Service Road #500, which traces the route of the Lewis & Clark Corps of Discovery, as they slogged their way through the Lochsa River country in thick timber and snow. More about that below.

Two other rides, recommended by the Idaho Pathfinders ATV Club in Whitebird, are perfect to ride in the spring, or basically, right now!

  • Whitebird to Pittsburg LandingThe Deer Creek Road, Forest Service Road #493, is a well-signed and well-maintained gravel road that climbs more than 3,000 feet to a high saddle and then descends more than 3,200 feet over to Pittsburg Landing, a major boat ramp for jet boats and float boats, in Hells Canyon, the deepest gorge in North America. The ride is 34 miles over and back. The scenery is stunningly beautiful.  
    Pittsburg Landing is also an overnight camping destination, and there are Native American petroglyphs in the vicinity. This is a scenic ride that's suitable for motorbikes, ATVs and UTVs. It is a county road, so a street-legal license is required on your OHV. The Deer Creek Road also gets a fair bit of traffic by trucks hauling boats over to Pittsburg Landing, so it's important to drive defensively and watch out for traffic on blind corners on the way up and the way down.

    Click on the link above for the full details, video and trip map. We also mention a 22-mile side trip to Big Canyon.
  • Whitebird to the Historic Kirkwood Ranch and Museum The day-long ride from Whitebird to the Historic Kirkwood Ranch and Museum in Hells Canyon is a real treat. It features more than 5,000 vertical feet of climbing as you ascend the mountains from Whitebird toward Pittsburg Saddle, and then you'll stay on a high ridge over to the Kirkwood Corrals before you descend into Hells Canyon to visit the Kirkwood Ranch and Museum. Total distance is about 29 miles one-way to the Kirkwood Museum, or about 60 miles round-trip. The ride follows major Forest Service roads, so it's open to motorbikes, ATVs and UTVs. You'll be on county roads, so a street-legal license is required on your OHV. Be sure to drive defensively and watch out for traffic on blind corners on the way up and the way down.

    Click on the link above for the full details, video and trip map.
  • Lolo Motorway/Lewis & Clark TrailATV and UTV groups like to ride the Lolo Motorway in four days, hauling trailers with camping gear. The best place to start is from Lowell, 99 miles east of Lewiston, Idaho. Three Rivers Resort in Lowell has an RV park with hookups where you can base camp prior to the ride. The standard approach is to ride from Lowell approximately 50 miles or so to a half-way point for the first night's camp. On the second night, you can plan on staying in the tiny town of Powell, where you can refuel, buy any supplies you need, take a shower, and stay at the Lochsa Lodge or camp nearby.

    Then you retrace your tracks, ride another 50 miles or so from Powell to a point where you'd like to camp on the #500 road, and then return to Lowell on the fourth day. It's about 110 miles from Powell to Lowell, all on Forest Service dirt roads. There are many historical points various points of interest listed below often have an interpretive sign to explain the historical significance. There are numerous places where you can camp along the way. There are no services on the trail, so it would be self-support camping. Much of the trail follows a high ridge without access to water, so be sure to bring plenty of water for drinking during the day, and for camping.

    The Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest maintains the single-lane dirt road for four-wheel-drives, ATVs, UTVs, and other recreational vehicles during the summer months. The best time to visit is between late June and September. Otherwise, you may encounter snow.

    Click on the link above for the full details, video and trip map. 
If you have a favorite OHV ride that you think we should add to, please let us know! Write Steve at to share your ride. 

Have fun! 


  1. So true, and what’s perhaps even more devastating is that there’s been so little support to help the community wheel service

  2. It’s a very nice place to do some ATV rides and jogging around the place.

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