Idaho Backcountry Discovery Route

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IDBDR route

If you’ve ever wanted to ride endless twisty mountain roads, the Idaho BDR will throw corners at you for days on end. You also won’t get many digital interruptions because your cell phone won’t have reception on much of this route. It’s a true off- the-grid ride that is long enough, at 1,250 miles, that you might just use up an entire rear knobby tire.

Starting in the historic town of Jarbidge, NV the route crosses range lands and then heads into the Boise National Forest and treats riders with views of Andersen reservoir and epic alpine camping at Trinity lakes. Tiny towns and treasures like Burgdorf Hot Springs make this a bucket list ride for sure. You’ll travel where Lewis and Clark made history and experience the legendary Magruder Corridor and Lolo Motorway which skirt the roadless Selway-Bitteroot Wilderness. You will reach modest hints of civilization as you pass through Sand Point, Bonneys Ferry on your way to the Canadian Border. 

Best time of year: July though October are ideal. Late June can be nice if the snow has melted from the high passes. Watch out for early snow and hunters if you are going in the fall.


The IDBDR project is presented by the Idaho Department of Commerce – Tourism Developmentand Big Twin Motorcycles, Idaho’s premiere motorcycle dealership, and the official dealer of the IDBDR. 


Additional Route Resources

In addition to the Intercative IDBDR Map on the right, SheADV.com hosts an interactive BDR Map that shows current weather conditions, estimated snow levels, and forest fires for all BDR's.  For ride reports, route updates, and to join or organize BDR rides, please visit the BDR Forum,  IDBDR thread on www.ADVrider.com, the Americas thread on www.advrider.com or the BDR Facebook.


Route Updates

Sept 25, 2017 - Update on the Bearskin Fire, including a re-route and Section 3 now open.

August 29, 2017 - Detour Due to Bearskin Fire in Section 3 and Magruder Corridor Closure.  Most of the IDBDR appears to be closed due to fires.

August 22, 2017 - Section 3: Hanover Fire Closure/Detour-Update

August 22, 2017 - Timber Salvage Area Closed For Public Safety until December 2018. Bypass available.

August 3, 2017- Read this update if you plan on riding the IDBDR (includes a detour).  Also, don't forget to check the BDR Forum for additional information. 

July 24, 2017 - Yellow Pine to Warren Closed due to Fire.  Detour available.

 


IDBDR Discovery Points

While riding the IDBDR, we recommend visiting some (or all) of these not-to-be-missed places, selected for their natural beauty, high photo opp value, historical significance, or pure pleasure of discovery! (These waypoints are included in the IDBDR GPS tracks available for a free download on this page).  Send us your photos from these discovery points to share with the BDR community. 

(Listing South to North) 

Jarbidge Nevada Food & Gas: 41.875502, -115.430672, on the route.
Anderson Ranch Reservoir Dam: 43.359746, -115.449492, on the route.
Anderson Ranch Reservoir Access: 43.418785, -115.390084, on the route. 
Pine Food & Gas: 43.48563, -115.31198, on the route.
Featherville, Idaho: 43.612324, -115.25526, on the route.
Big Trinity Lake: 43.622756, -115.430678, on the route.
Trinity Mountain Fire Lookout: 43.598862, -115.428944, on the route.
50-Inch Wide Bridge: 43.809135, -115.536544, on the route.
Haven Hot Springs Food & Gas: 44.073075, -115.550764, on the route.
Creek Crossing: 44.20621, -115.509928, on the route.
Whitehawk Mountain Fire Lookout: 44.287564, -115.530589, side trip,
Deadwood Reservoir: 44.326028, -115.649273, on the route.
Warm Lake North Shore Resort: 44.654534, -115.6689, side trip.
Yellow Pine Food & Gas: 44.964076, -115.493327, on the route.
Elk Summit Pass: 45.1508, -115.423116, on the route.
Pilot Peak Fire Lookout: 45.173969, -115.52716, side trip.
Old Cemetery: 45.149615, -115.559259, on the route.
Warren Mining Town: 45.265685, -115.678257, on the route.
Burgdorf Hot Springs Resort: 45.277066, -115.913704, on the route.
Old Bus: 45.372368, -116.022004, on the route.
French Creek Grade: 45.40634, -116.01632, on the route.
Manning Bridge: 45.401596, -116.116878, on the route.
Florence Ghost Town: 45.500083, -116.029068, on the route.
Florence Cemetery: 45.510354, -116.029439, on the route.
Elk City Food & Gas: 45.82556, -115.443365, on the route.
Burnt Knob Fire Lookout: 45.702778, -114.991325, on the route.
Magruder Corridor near Massacre Site: 45.73087, -114.766869, on the route.
Lolo Hot Springs: 46.725016, -114.533393, on the route.
Lolo Pass: 46.634719, -114.577732, on the route.
Lochsa Lodge Food & Gas: 46.510969, -114.718092, on the route.
Indian Post Office: 46.549187, -114.985895, on the route.
Hemlock Butte Lookout Tower: 46.473494, -115.629252, on the route.
Pierce Food & Gas: 46.486968, -115.798779, on the route.
Grandad Bridge: 46.815352, -115.920984, on the route.
Blue Heaven Cabin: 46.986067, -115.83769, on the route.
Avery Train Car: 47.250513, -115.806614, on the route.
St Joe River Tunnels: 47.26628, -115.775562, on the route.
Historic Town of Wallace: 47.471598, -115.92348, on the route.
Coeur D'Alene River Cliff Jumping: 47.65235, -116.030654, on the route.
Grizzly Mountain Summit: 47.713106, -116.093405, side trip.
Grassy Mountain Summit: 47.790102, -116.205265, on the route.
Spyglass Peak Lookout Tower: 47.841885, -116.196854, side trip,
Clark Fork Bakery: 48.1458, -116.176295, on the route.
Char Falls: 48.36659, -116.172051, on the route.
Lunch Peak Lookout Tower: 48.374853, -116.193504, side trip. 
Roman Nose Lake: 48.635086, -116.571158, side trip.
Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge: 48.706785, -116.414784, on the route.
Porthill Bar at Canadian Border: 48.998675, -116.500686, on the route. 


Businesses Servicing the Route (Lodging, Food and Fuel)

For your convenience, these businesses are also marked on the IDBDR GPS tracks available for a free download on this page.

Outdoor Inn (Jarbidge, NV): Main St, Jarbidge, NV 89826.  Tel. (775) 488-2311. Food, Camping, Hotel, Showers, Laundry.

Hayhurst Bed & Breakfast (Pine, ID): 810 So Twin Pine Dr, Pine, ID 83647. Tel. (208) 653-2135.  Two Cabins, and a seven room Bed & Breakfast with separate Cottage. 

Haven Hot Springs (Lowman, ID): 7655 ID-21, Lowman, ID 83637.   Tel. (208) 259-3344. Food, motel, camping, gas.

Sourdough Lodge (Lowman, ID): 8406 ID-21, Lowman, ID 83637.  Tel 208-259-3326.  Hotel, store, food, fuel. 

Yellow Pine Lodge (Yellow Pine, ID)360 Yellowpine Ave, Yellow Pine, ID 83677.  Tel. 208-697-7343.  Food, Gas, Store, Rooms and lodge.  

The Corner (Yellow Pine, ID): Tel. 208-633-3325.  390 Yellowpine Ave. Yellow Pine, ID 83677.  Food and beer throughout the summer. Also have high octane fuel, supplies and wi-fi. Can be contacted for conditions.

The Baum Shelter (Warren, ID): 131 Bemos Gulch St, Warren, ID 83671.  Tel. (208) 636-4393.  Restaurant, full bar, lodging and gas.

Secesh Stage Stop (McCall, ID): 24728 Warren Wagon Rd., McCall, ID  83638. Tel. 208-636-4498.  Gas, Drinks, Eats, Lodging.

Burgdorf Hot Springs (McCall, ID): 404 French Creek (USFS #246), McCall, ID 83638. Tel. 208-636-3036. Cabins, hot springs, small store and gas. Call ahead for food or lodging! Forest Service Camping 1/4 mile away. 

Elk City Hotel (Elk City, ID): 289 Main Street, Elk City, Idaho 83525.Tel. 208-842-2452. Motel and gift shop.

Riders Rest (Elk City, ID): 302 Main Street, Elk City, ID 83525 .Tel. 208-790-8107. Privately fenced campground with showers.

Red River Hot Springs (Elk City, ID): 3827 Red River Road, Elk City ID 83525.  Tel. 208-842-2587. Lodge rooms, cabins, camping,  natural hot springs, food service.

Lochsa Lodge (Lolo, MT):115 Powell Rd, Lolo, MT 59847.Tel. (208) 942-3405. Lodge, Cabins, Gas, food and store.

Lolo Hot Springs (Lolo, MT): 38500 US-12, Lolo, MT 5984.  Tel 877-541-5117. Hotel and Restaurant.

Travellers Rest Cabins and RV Park (Darby, MT)  601 N. Main St, Darby, MT  58929. Tel. (406) 821-3282.  Cabins, motel rooms, hostel, RV and tent campsites downtown Darby, along Hwy 93.

Scheffy's Motel and General Store (Avery, ID): 95 Milwaukee Rd, Avery, ID 83802. Tel. 208-245-4410. Food, hotel, shower and laundry, as well as non premium ethanol gas.

The Timber Inn and Bar & Grill (Pierce, ID): 2 S Main St, Pierce, ID 83546. Tel. (208) 464-2736.  Highly reviewed food and lodging.

The Outback (Pierce, ID): 211 S. Main St., Pierce, Idaho 83546.  Tel. 208-464-2171 or 800-538-1754.  Individual cabins with kitchens, log lodge with a private hot tub, suites that sleep 6 or more with kitchens.  

Wallace Hotels & Shops (Wallace, ID):  Downtown Wallace, ID is worth visiting for lodging, dining, shoping, etc.

The Last Resort Vacation Cabin (Clark Fork, ID)58 East River Drive, Clark Fork, 83811.  Tel. 208 266-0525.  Waterfront cabin, free wifi (but no cell service), just off Highway 200. 

 

Completed Backcountry Discovery Routes

Utah Backcountry Discovery Route

Washington Backcountry Discovery Route

Colorado Backcountry Discovery Route

Arizona Backcountry Discovery Route

New Mexico Backcountry Discovery Route

Nevada Backcountry Discovery Route

 

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The Corner (Yellow Pine, ID)

The Corner (Yellow Pine, ID)

Food and beer throughout the summer. Also have high octane fuel, supplies and wi-fi. Can be contacted for conditions.

Proprietors: Matt, Heather and Skadi Huber.

Tel. 208-633-3325

390 Yellowpine Ave. Yellow Pine, ID 83677.  

Red River Hot Springs (Elk City, ID)

 

Lodge rooms, cabins, camping,  natural hot springs, food service.

3827 Red River Road, Elk City ID 83525.

Tel. 208-842-2587. 

The Last Resort Vacation Cabin (Clark Fork, ID)

Waterfront cabin, free wifi (but no cell service), just off Highway 200.  Owner - Cathy Bixler

58 East River Drive, Clark Fork, 83811
Tel. 208 266-0525

The Timber Inn and Bar & Grill (Pierce, ID)

2 S Main St, Pierce, ID 83546

Tel. (208) 464-2736

Food, lodging.

Hayhurst Bed & Breakfast (Pine, ID)

810 S Twin Pine Dr, Pine, ID 83647

Tel. (208) 653-2135

Two Cabins, and a seven room Bed & Breakfast with separate Cottage. 

Owners: Gary and Denise Freeman

Yellow Pine Lodge (Yellow Pine, ID)

360 Yellowpine Ave, Yellow Pine, ID 83677

Tel. 208-697-7343

Food/ Gas/ Store/ Rooms/ and lodge.  Proprietor: Steve Holloway.

Sourdough Lodge (Lowman, ID)

8406 ID-21, Lowman, ID 83637

Tel 208-259-3326

Hotel, store, food, fuel.

The Baum Shelter (Warren, ID)

131 Bemos Gulch St, Warren, ID 83671
 
Tel. (208) 636-4393

The Baum Shelter (formerly know as the Winter Inn) has a restaurant, full bar, lodging and gas in the beautiful Idaho back country.

Secesh Stage Stop (McCall, ID)

24728 Warren Wagon Rd., McCall, ID  83638

Tel. 208-636-4498

Gas, Drinks, Eats, Lodging.
 

Burgdorf Hot Springs (McCall, ID)

404 French Creek (USFS #246), McCall, ID 83638

Tel. 208-636-3036

Cabins, hot springs, small store and gas. Call ahead for food or lodging!

Forest Service Camping 1/4 mile away. 

Riders Rest (Elk City, Idaho)

Privately fenced campground right next to the general store with a restaurant across the street. There are four campsites, each with water, power, sewer, a lean-to shelter, fire pit, and picnic table. Four and six-person tents are available for rent. There is also an office with two bathrooms with showers for campground use.

302 Main Street, Elk City, Idaho 83525

owner@ridersrestelkcity.com

Tel: (208) 790-8107

Elk City Hotel (Elk City, ID)

289 Main Street, Elk City, Idaho 83525

Tel. 208-842-2452

Motel and gift shop.

Scheffy's Motel and General Store (Avery, ID)

Food, hotel, shower and laundry as well as non premium ethanol gas. Six large motel rooms with full kitchens that sleep up to 6.

95 Milwaukee Rd, Avery, ID 83802

Tel. 208-245-4410

Email: scheffys@yahoo.com

The Timber Inn and Bar & Grill (Pierce, ID)

2 S Main St, Pierce, ID 83546

Tel. (208) 464-2736

Food, lodging.

Rider Scott Thompson reviewed on July 18, 2016:  "Not enough is said about the Timber Inn. This small town bar inn was amazing.  The owner was more than willing to help us with whatever we needed. We had a large group so we filled his small inn for the first time. He did not even have a no vacancy sign to post. He allowed tents in the back yard for $5. We were there on taco Tuesday. The large tacos were like your mother made at home. All the food and hospitality was outstanding. While talking to the owner he explained that his business is really struggling so he really appreciated the business. Can you pls repost this on the website to encourage other riders to take advantage of this great small business. 

 

The Outback (Pierce, ID)

211 S. Main St., Pierce, Idaho 83546

Tel. 208-464-2171 or 800-538-1754

Email: harvandcolleen@outbackidaho.com

Individual cabins with kitchens, log lodge with a private hot tub, suites that sleep 6 or more with kitchens.

Owners: Harv and Colleen Nelson

Wallace Hotels & Shops (Wallace, ID)

Downtown Wallace, ID is worth visiting for lodging, dining, shoping, etc.

Porthill Bar at Canadian Border (IDBDR)

Porthill is the official northern end of the IDBDR. It is just on the US side of the Canadian Border. They have a gas station, store, restaurant and bar, and even a hostel. The Kootenay River is runs right behind Porthill.

Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge (IDBDR)

The north end of the IDBDR follows the west side of the Kootenay River. While there are many places to view birds along this river, the Auto Tour Road loop that begins at the wildlife refuge visitor center makes it much easier to look out into the wetlands.

Lunch Peak Lookout Tower (IDBDR)

The panoramic view from the fire tower atop Lunch Peak is worth the extra time needed to ride four miles each way from the route. 

Char Falls (IDBDR)

Char Falls is a waterfall on Lightning Creek that is easy to walk out to from the parking lot.

Clark Fork - Food, Gas, Lodging (IDBDR)

Clark Fork has fuel, restaurants, lodging options, and a delicious bakery at Clark Fork Pantry. 

Spyglass Peak Lookout (IDBDR)

A short side road leads to the top of pyramid-shaped Spyglass Peak, the site of a former fire lookout tower.

Grassy Mountain Summit (IDBDR)

While not as high as Grizzly Mountain, Grassy Mountain is easier to access and offers similar 360 degree views.

Grizzly Mountain Summit (IDBDR)

An out-and-back ride of about 2.5 miles each way takes you up to the summit of Grizzly Mountain and 360 degree views.

Coeur D'Alene River Cliff Jumping (IDBDR)

If you are hot and dust-covered and like cliff jumping, this is a worthy stop along the IDBDR. Locals might already be here cooling off in the Coeur D'Alene River under the summer sun.

Wallace - Food, Gas, Lodging (IDBDR)

The historic town of Wallace has all services including nice hotels, and lots of tasty restaurants.

St Joe River Tunnels (IDBDR)

North of Avery there are two parallel routes to choose from. One follows a wide old railroad grade through several tunnels and the other follows the eastern bank of the St. Joe River on a narrow trail.

Avery - Food, Gas, Lodging (IDBDR)

Scheffy's in Avery has premium non-ethanol fuel, a small store, and a motel.

Avery Train Car (IDBDR)

Train enthusiasts will want to stop at this train car which has info on the old trains that have passed by this spot. The IDBDR follows the Old Milwaukee Railroad Grade north of Avery.

Blue Heaven Cabin (IDBDR)

Blue Heaven Cabin is a first-come-first-served free cabin in the woods. It has several beds and even a wood stove.

Grandad Bridge (IDBDR)

The Grandad Bridge crosses over Dwarshak Reservoir.

Pierce - Food, Gas, Lodging (IDBDR)

Pierce is the closest gas stop on the west end of the Lolo Motorway. This quiet town has a grocery and all the services you'll need to push on.

Hemlock Butte Lookout Tower (IDBDR)

A 1/4 mile long road leads away from the Lolo Motorway to a lookout tower with distant views.

Indian Post Office (IDBDR)

Indian Post Office is a ridgetop marker where notes were left for other travelers back when the Lolo Motorway was the route of the Nez Perce Native Americans.

Lochsa Lodge - Food, Gas, Lodging (IDBDR)

Lochsa Lodge has gas, a store, a restaurant, cabins, a hotel, and a campground. You'll need to fuel up here before or after tackling the Lolo Motorway.

Lolo Pass (IDBDR)

Lolo Pass is on the Idaho-Montana border. The visitor center at the pass has information about the Lewis and Clark Expedition and the Nez Perce National Historic Trail which both passed through here.

Lolo Hot Springs (IDBDR)

Lolo Hot Springs Lodge is a resort on the Montana side of the Lolo Highway.

Conner MT - Food, Gas, Lodging (IDBDR)

Conner is the closest gas stop to the eastern end of the Magruder Corridor. Food, lodging, and more gas stations are available in nearby Darby, MT.

Magruder Corridor near Massacre Site (IDBDR)

A sign along the route explains the Magruder Massacre.

Burnt Knob Fire Lookout (IDBDR)

This short rugged side road climbs up to a lookout tower near the middle of the Magruder Corridor. It's only about a 1.5 mile ride each way to see the view from this lookout.

Elk City - Food & Gas (IDBDR)

Gas up in Elk which marks the western end of the Magruder Corridor, a 100+ mile segment with no bailout points or services.

Florence Cemetery (IDBDR)

Take a break and walk around the cemetery in Florence. Read the signs and the tombstones too.

Florence Ghost Town (IDBDR)

Florence is a ghost town hidden in the mountains north of the Salmon River. Several old log buildings can be found on the roads that branch off the main road. Florence thrived in the 1860's when gold was discovered in the area.

Manning Bridge (IDBDR)

The historic 1934 suspension bridge is being replaced with a new safer suspension bridge in 2017.

French Creek Grade (IDBDR)

Five tight switchbacks ease the grade of this road that descends down to French Creek and the Salmon River.

Old Bus (IDBDR)

This old bus has been rusting away at this spot above French Grade for many years. Worth a stop for a photo.

Burgdorf Hot Springs Resort (IDBDR)

Don't ride by Burgdorf without stopping. You might need to gas up here anyway. We highly recommend staying overnight if they have space. The hot springs are amazing and the resort has a restaurant as well.

Warren Mining Town (IDBDR)

Warren is a small mining town that has avoided ghost status. The old buildings are picturesque and the people colorful. Stop into the Baum Shelter for a drink if it is open.

Old Cemetery (IDBDR)

Look for a small historic cemetery next to the route along Elk Creek. Signs tell the story of some who are buried here.

Pilot Peak Fire Lookout (IDBDR)

This side trip climbs up to a lookout tower on Pilot Peak. It's a 5 mile ride each way to get there.

Elk Summit Pass (IDBDR)

Elk Summit is a high pass between Yellow Pine and Warren.

Yellow Pine - Food, Gas, Lodging (IDBDR)

The IDBDR passes through Yellow Pine deep in the central Idaho mountains. You'll need to fill up with gas here. The local restaurant is good and there is a rustic lodge in town too. 

Warm Lake North Shore Lodge (IDBDR)

A short side trip leads to North Shore Lodge where you'll find a lakeside resort with cabins and a restaurant. The national forest provides a campground and a day-use sandy beach too. 

Deadwood Reservoir (IDBDR)

Deadwood Reservoir has several campgrounds with shoreline access.

Whitehawk Mountain Fire Lookout (IDBDR)

A longer side trip to a summit with a lookout tower and distant views.

Creek Crossing (IDBDR)

This water crossing on Clear Creek can be intimidating but is required for the main route which follows Long Creek Road. If you want to avoid it, take the Clear Creek Road up the canyon 

Haven Hot Springs - Food, Gas, Lodging (IDBDR)

Haven Hot Springs is a small resort with hotel rooms, a cafe, and gas pumps. More lodging options can be found down the canyon at Lowman

Sourdough Lodge - Food, Gas, Lodging (IDBDR)

Sourdough is just off the main track but they have a comfortable hotel with a restaurant and gas station.

50-Inch Wide Bridge (IDBDR)

Motorcycles can get through the barriers on this bridge, but 4WD rigs will have to find a bypass to the north on NF Road 327.

Trinity Mountain Fire Lookout (IDBDR)

The last stretch of road up to Trinity Lookout is rocky, loose, and exposed in places but it's worth the effort if you are comfortable.

Big Trinity Lake (IDBDR)

There are several campgrounds on the Trinity Lakes. Big Trinity Lake's might be the largest.

Featherville - Food & Lodging (IDBDR)

Featherville has a small hotel with a restaurant.

Pine - Food, Gas, Lodging (IDBDR)

Pine has a small store, cafe, gas station, motel, and campground. 

Anderson Ranch Reservoir Access (IDBDR)

Anderson Ranch Reservoir has many different access points from the road on the north side. 

Anderson Ranch Reservoir Dam (IDBDR)

The route goes over the dam on Anderson Ranch Reservoir which can be quite low by the end of the summer. Look for an overlook on the road south of the dam.

Jarbidge Nevada Food & Lodging (IDBDR)

Jarbidge is the official start of the IDBDR.

The Corner (Yellow Pine, ID)

The Corner (Yellow Pine, ID)

Food and beer throughout the summer. Also have high octane fuel, supplies and wi-fi. Can be contacted for conditions.

Proprietors: Matt, Heather and Skadi Huber.

Tel. 208-633-3325

390 Yellowpine Ave. Yellow Pine, ID 83677.  

Red River Hot Springs (Elk City, ID)

 

Lodge rooms, cabins, camping,  natural hot springs, food service.

3827 Red River Road, Elk City ID 83525.

Tel. 208-842-2587. 

The Last Resort Vacation Cabin (Clark Fork, ID)

Waterfront cabin, free wifi (but no cell service), just off Highway 200.  Owner - Cathy Bixler

58 East River Drive, Clark Fork, 83811
Tel. 208 266-0525

The Timber Inn and Bar & Grill (Pierce, ID)

2 S Main St, Pierce, ID 83546

Tel. (208) 464-2736

Food, lodging.

Hayhurst Bed & Breakfast (Pine, ID)

810 S Twin Pine Dr, Pine, ID 83647

Tel. (208) 653-2135

Two Cabins, and a seven room Bed & Breakfast with separate Cottage. 

Owners: Gary and Denise Freeman

Yellow Pine Lodge (Yellow Pine, ID)

360 Yellowpine Ave, Yellow Pine, ID 83677

Tel. 208-697-7343

Food/ Gas/ Store/ Rooms/ and lodge.  Proprietor: Steve Holloway.

Sourdough Lodge (Lowman, ID)

8406 ID-21, Lowman, ID 83637

Tel 208-259-3326

Hotel, store, food, fuel.

The Baum Shelter (Warren, ID)

131 Bemos Gulch St, Warren, ID 83671
 
Tel. (208) 636-4393

The Baum Shelter (formerly know as the Winter Inn) has a restaurant, full bar, lodging and gas in the beautiful Idaho back country.

Secesh Stage Stop (McCall, ID)

24728 Warren Wagon Rd., McCall, ID  83638

Tel. 208-636-4498

Gas, Drinks, Eats, Lodging.
 

Burgdorf Hot Springs (McCall, ID)

404 French Creek (USFS #246), McCall, ID 83638

Tel. 208-636-3036

Cabins, hot springs, small store and gas. Call ahead for food or lodging!

Forest Service Camping 1/4 mile away. 

Riders Rest (Elk City, Idaho)

Privately fenced campground right next to the general store with a restaurant across the street. There are four campsites, each with water, power, sewer, a lean-to shelter, fire pit, and picnic table. Four and six-person tents are available for rent. There is also an office with two bathrooms with showers for campground use.

302 Main Street, Elk City, Idaho 83525

owner@ridersrestelkcity.com

Tel: (208) 790-8107

Elk City Hotel (Elk City, ID)

289 Main Street, Elk City, Idaho 83525

Tel. 208-842-2452

Motel and gift shop.

Scheffy's Motel and General Store (Avery, ID)

Food, hotel, shower and laundry as well as non premium ethanol gas. Six large motel rooms with full kitchens that sleep up to 6.

95 Milwaukee Rd, Avery, ID 83802

Tel. 208-245-4410

Email: scheffys@yahoo.com

The Timber Inn and Bar & Grill (Pierce, ID)

2 S Main St, Pierce, ID 83546

Tel. (208) 464-2736

Food, lodging.

Rider Scott Thompson reviewed on July 18, 2016:  "Not enough is said about the Timber Inn. This small town bar inn was amazing.  The owner was more than willing to help us with whatever we needed. We had a large group so we filled his small inn for the first time. He did not even have a no vacancy sign to post. He allowed tents in the back yard for $5. We were there on taco Tuesday. The large tacos were like your mother made at home. All the food and hospitality was outstanding. While talking to the owner he explained that his business is really struggling so he really appreciated the business. Can you pls repost this on the website to encourage other riders to take advantage of this great small business. 

 

The Outback (Pierce, ID)

211 S. Main St., Pierce, Idaho 83546

Tel. 208-464-2171 or 800-538-1754

Email: harvandcolleen@outbackidaho.com

Individual cabins with kitchens, log lodge with a private hot tub, suites that sleep 6 or more with kitchens.

Owners: Harv and Colleen Nelson

Wallace Hotels & Shops (Wallace, ID)

Downtown Wallace, ID is worth visiting for lodging, dining, shoping, etc.

Porthill Bar at Canadian Border (IDBDR)

Porthill is the official northern end of the IDBDR. It is just on the US side of the Canadian Border. They have a gas station, store, restaurant and bar, and even a hostel. The Kootenay River is runs right behind Porthill.

Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge (IDBDR)

The north end of the IDBDR follows the west side of the Kootenay River. While there are many places to view birds along this river, the Auto Tour Road loop that begins at the wildlife refuge visitor center makes it much easier to look out into the wetlands.

Lunch Peak Lookout Tower (IDBDR)

The panoramic view from the fire tower atop Lunch Peak is worth the extra time needed to ride four miles each way from the route. 

Char Falls (IDBDR)

Char Falls is a waterfall on Lightning Creek that is easy to walk out to from the parking lot.

Clark Fork - Food, Gas, Lodging (IDBDR)

Clark Fork has fuel, restaurants, lodging options, and a delicious bakery at Clark Fork Pantry. 

Spyglass Peak Lookout (IDBDR)

A short side road leads to the top of pyramid-shaped Spyglass Peak, the site of a former fire lookout tower.

Grassy Mountain Summit (IDBDR)

While not as high as Grizzly Mountain, Grassy Mountain is easier to access and offers similar 360 degree views.

Grizzly Mountain Summit (IDBDR)

An out-and-back ride of about 2.5 miles each way takes you up to the summit of Grizzly Mountain and 360 degree views.

Coeur D'Alene River Cliff Jumping (IDBDR)

If you are hot and dust-covered and like cliff jumping, this is a worthy stop along the IDBDR. Locals might already be here cooling off in the Coeur D'Alene River under the summer sun.

Wallace - Food, Gas, Lodging (IDBDR)

The historic town of Wallace has all services including nice hotels, and lots of tasty restaurants.

St Joe River Tunnels (IDBDR)

North of Avery there are two parallel routes to choose from. One follows a wide old railroad grade through several tunnels and the other follows the eastern bank of the St. Joe River on a narrow trail.

Avery - Food, Gas, Lodging (IDBDR)

Scheffy's in Avery has premium non-ethanol fuel, a small store, and a motel.

Avery Train Car (IDBDR)

Train enthusiasts will want to stop at this train car which has info on the old trains that have passed by this spot. The IDBDR follows the Old Milwaukee Railroad Grade north of Avery.

Blue Heaven Cabin (IDBDR)

Blue Heaven Cabin is a first-come-first-served free cabin in the woods. It has several beds and even a wood stove.

Grandad Bridge (IDBDR)

The Grandad Bridge crosses over Dwarshak Reservoir.

Pierce - Food, Gas, Lodging (IDBDR)

Pierce is the closest gas stop on the west end of the Lolo Motorway. This quiet town has a grocery and all the services you'll need to push on.

Hemlock Butte Lookout Tower (IDBDR)

A 1/4 mile long road leads away from the Lolo Motorway to a lookout tower with distant views.

Indian Post Office (IDBDR)

Indian Post Office is a ridgetop marker where notes were left for other travelers back when the Lolo Motorway was the route of the Nez Perce Native Americans.

Lochsa Lodge - Food, Gas, Lodging (IDBDR)

Lochsa Lodge has gas, a store, a restaurant, cabins, a hotel, and a campground. You'll need to fuel up here before or after tackling the Lolo Motorway.

Lolo Pass (IDBDR)

Lolo Pass is on the Idaho-Montana border. The visitor center at the pass has information about the Lewis and Clark Expedition and the Nez Perce National Historic Trail which both passed through here.

Lolo Hot Springs (IDBDR)

Lolo Hot Springs Lodge is a resort on the Montana side of the Lolo Highway.

Conner MT - Food, Gas, Lodging (IDBDR)

Conner is the closest gas stop to the eastern end of the Magruder Corridor. Food, lodging, and more gas stations are available in nearby Darby, MT.

Magruder Corridor near Massacre Site (IDBDR)

A sign along the route explains the Magruder Massacre.

Burnt Knob Fire Lookout (IDBDR)

This short rugged side road climbs up to a lookout tower near the middle of the Magruder Corridor. It's only about a 1.5 mile ride each way to see the view from this lookout.

Elk City - Food & Gas (IDBDR)

Gas up in Elk which marks the western end of the Magruder Corridor, a 100+ mile segment with no bailout points or services.

Florence Cemetery (IDBDR)

Take a break and walk around the cemetery in Florence. Read the signs and the tombstones too.

Florence Ghost Town (IDBDR)

Florence is a ghost town hidden in the mountains north of the Salmon River. Several old log buildings can be found on the roads that branch off the main road. Florence thrived in the 1860's when gold was discovered in the area.

Manning Bridge (IDBDR)

The historic 1934 suspension bridge is being replaced with a new safer suspension bridge in 2017.

French Creek Grade (IDBDR)

Five tight switchbacks ease the grade of this road that descends down to French Creek and the Salmon River.

Old Bus (IDBDR)

This old bus has been rusting away at this spot above French Grade for many years. Worth a stop for a photo.

Burgdorf Hot Springs Resort (IDBDR)

Don't ride by Burgdorf without stopping. You might need to gas up here anyway. We highly recommend staying overnight if they have space. The hot springs are amazing and the resort has a restaurant as well.

Warren Mining Town (IDBDR)

Warren is a small mining town that has avoided ghost status. The old buildings are picturesque and the people colorful. Stop into the Baum Shelter for a drink if it is open.

Old Cemetery (IDBDR)

Look for a small historic cemetery next to the route along Elk Creek. Signs tell the story of some who are buried here.

Pilot Peak Fire Lookout (IDBDR)

This side trip climbs up to a lookout tower on Pilot Peak. It's a 5 mile ride each way to get there.

Elk Summit Pass (IDBDR)

Elk Summit is a high pass between Yellow Pine and Warren.

Yellow Pine - Food, Gas, Lodging (IDBDR)

The IDBDR passes through Yellow Pine deep in the central Idaho mountains. You'll need to fill up with gas here. The local restaurant is good and there is a rustic lodge in town too. 

Warm Lake North Shore Lodge (IDBDR)

A short side trip leads to North Shore Lodge where you'll find a lakeside resort with cabins and a restaurant. The national forest provides a campground and a day-use sandy beach too. 

Deadwood Reservoir (IDBDR)

Deadwood Reservoir has several campgrounds with shoreline access.

Whitehawk Mountain Fire Lookout (IDBDR)

A longer side trip to a summit with a lookout tower and distant views.

Creek Crossing (IDBDR)

This water crossing on Clear Creek can be intimidating but is required for the main route which follows Long Creek Road. If you want to avoid it, take the Clear Creek Road up the canyon 

Haven Hot Springs - Food, Gas, Lodging (IDBDR)

Haven Hot Springs is a small resort with hotel rooms, a cafe, and gas pumps. More lodging options can be found down the canyon at Lowman

Sourdough Lodge - Food, Gas, Lodging (IDBDR)

Sourdough is just off the main track but they have a comfortable hotel with a restaurant and gas station.

50-Inch Wide Bridge (IDBDR)

Motorcycles can get through the barriers on this bridge, but 4WD rigs will have to find a bypass to the north on NF Road 327.

Trinity Mountain Fire Lookout (IDBDR)

The last stretch of road up to Trinity Lookout is rocky, loose, and exposed in places but it's worth the effort if you are comfortable.

Big Trinity Lake (IDBDR)

There are several campgrounds on the Trinity Lakes. Big Trinity Lake's might be the largest.

Featherville - Food & Lodging (IDBDR)

Featherville has a small hotel with a restaurant.

Pine - Food, Gas, Lodging (IDBDR)

Pine has a small store, cafe, gas station, motel, and campground. 

Anderson Ranch Reservoir Access (IDBDR)

Anderson Ranch Reservoir has many different access points from the road on the north side. 

Anderson Ranch Reservoir Dam (IDBDR)

The route goes over the dam on Anderson Ranch Reservoir which can be quite low by the end of the summer. Look for an overlook on the road south of the dam.

Jarbidge Nevada Food & Lodging (IDBDR)

Jarbidge is the official start of the IDBDR.

Sec 01 Jarbridge to Pine

The IDBDR begins just south of the Idaho border in the historical mining town of Jarbidge, Nevada. Plan on staying the night there and hanging out with the locals at the Outdoor Inn. The ride north out of the canyon follows a crystal clear creek before winding its way up to the dry desert of southern Idaho. You’ll make good time on straight gravel roads past the Saylon Creek Air Force Range before crossing the Snake River at Glenns Ferry. More wide gravel roads take you through low alpine terrain before connecting to Highway 20 and eventually Anderson Ranch Reservoir. The ride around the lake is a great one. Pine is located just north of the lake and is really more of a gas and convenience store than a town but it is the only place to fill up until you get to Lowman. Do not pass Pine without fueling up. Highlights: Exploring historical sites in Jarbidge. Low flying military jets training at Saylon Creek. Crossing Anderson Ranch Reservoir dam. Camping: Jarbidge & Jarbidge Canyon; Primitive campsites along Bennett Mountain Road south of Highway 20; Along Anderson Ranch Reservoir. Fuel & Food: Jarbidge, Glenns Ferry, Pine. Hotel/Motel: Very Limited -Jarbidge has a few rooms at the Outdoor Inn, Glenns Ferry has a handful of options.

Sec 02 Pine to Yellow Pine

Just north of Pine the route begins a dramatic climb into the Boise National Forest and a much different Idaho begins to take shape. The hot, dry landscapes you experienced in section one make way to jagged mountains and alpine lakes. Trinity Lake is a must stop for a rest, grab one of the managed campsites along the waters edge if you are ready to pitch a tent for the night. Take a ride to the highest drivable point in Idaho at Trinity Lookout, 9,451 feet. From here, the ride to Lowman and Yellow Pine is scenic but slightly gruelling with relentlessly twisty gravel roads which require plenty of focus. The small village of Yellow Pine is a true highlight of the trip. If you happen to be here the first week of August make a point to experience the Yellow Pine Harmonica Festival. Any other time of year you’ll be among a handful of friendly outdoorsman who use Yellow Pine as the jumping off point for exploring this remote area of Idaho. You’ll find just about everything you need to stock up on food and provisions at the small general store in the heart of town. ***Warning*** The ride to the Trinity Lookout Tower is for experts only. It is an optional alternate on the IDBDR. What you see from the gate is a great example of what the road is like all the way to the top. There are loose rocks and a handful of tight switchbacks. Park your bike below the tower and hike a few hundred feet up for spectacular 360 degree views. Highlights: Trinity Lake, Trinity Lookout, Deadwood Reservoir, town of Yellow Pine. Camping: Trinity Lake, Deadwood Reservoir, Primitive camping nearly anywhere. Fuel: Haven Hot Springs (Kirkham Campground) outside Lowman, Yellow Pine. Food: Lowman, Yellow Pine. Hotel/Motel: Very limited. Lowman has three small motels. Yellow Pine has rooms at the General Store as well as a small Bed & Breakfast.

Sec 03 Yellow Pine to Elk City

You are now in the heart of Idaho's backcountry along the edge of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. The roads are much like you experienced further south but there are a few incredibly interesting places that make this section of the BDR extremely unique. The small mining town of Warren has been around since the mid 1800’s and has plenty of historic relics to remind you of how life was over 150 years ago. Burgdorf Hot springs is a short ride from Warren and is another must stop on the IDBDR. The hot pools and cabins are open year round and make for an incredibly relaxing stop after miles of backcountry riding. From Burgdorf keep an eye out for the old abandoned school bus before you wind down the switchbacks of French Creek Grade to the Salmon River. After crossing the historic Manning Bridge you’ll ride a mix of pavement and meandering dirt roads to the small town of Elk CIty, the western portal to the Magruder Corridor. Highlights: Warren Mining Town, Burgdorf Hot Springs, French Creek Grade Rd. Crossing the Manning Bridge over the Salmon River, Old abandoned school bus. Camping: Burgdorf, plenty of primitive camping everywhere. Fuel: Burgdorf, Elk City. Food: Elk City. Hotel/Motel: Cabins for rent at Burgdorf. There are a few small motels in Elk City including a motorcycle camp.

Sec 04 Elk City to Darby

This is the Idaho you’ve always dreamed about: moose, wolves, elk and dramatic vistas. The Magruder Corridor itself runs from the Red River Ranger Station east of Elk CIty to Darby, Montana and splits the Selway-Bitterroot and Frank Church wilderness. Little has changed on the road since it was built in the 1930’s. The road surface itself is not particularly challenging in dry conditions; however, are no services for over 120 miles and very few people around for help. Expect to take six to eight hours without stopping but we recommend taking your time to explore the historical spots along the way. The corridor is typically open from July through September. Highlights: Lloyd Magruder murder site, Burnt Knob Lookout, views. Camping: Primitive Camping is sparse along most of the corridor. Fuel: Elk City & Darby, MT. Food: Elk City and Darby, MT. Hotel/motel: Elk City and Darby, MT.

Sec 05 Darby MT to Pierce

There is roughly 50 miles of pavement between Darby and Lolo before you turn onto the famous Lolo Pass and head back into Idaho. The paved segment from Lolo to Lochsa Lodge is as good as you’ll find anywhere. Lochsa Lodge has a great restaurant and cabins for rent to regroup before tackling the infamous Lolo Motorway. The Lolo Motorway follows the path used by the Nez Perce Indians to reach buffalo hunting grounds on the Great Plains. It was also used by Lewis and Clark during their quest to find an inland waterway to the west in 1805. The forest road you’ll be riding is not particularly challenging but if you take your time it should take you all day to stop and explore the dozens of historically significant spots along way. Highlights: Indian Post Office, Lolo Motorway, Lolo Pass. Camping: Beds and camping at Lochsa Lodge, primitive camping along the Lolo Motorway. Fuel: Lochsa Lodge, Pierce Food - Lochsa Lodge, Pierce has a few restaurants and a small grocery store.

Sec 06 Pierce to Wallace

You’ve entered the Idaho panhandle and are in for a real treat. The towns in section 6 are some of the quantist in the state, so take the time to wander around. A true highlight of the entire IDBDR route is the Blue Cabin between Pierce and Avery. This is a small cabin that is open to the public on a first come first serve basis - no reservations or key necessary. It sleeps 4-6 people on beds and has a antique stove and sink for preparing meals, plus a fire pit to sit around and watch the sun go down. It is VERY important to leave the cabin in better shape than you found it. Put a note in the guest book and check out the other adv riders who have had the pleasure of experiencing one of the unique treasures along the IDBDR. Just north of Avery there are two route options: one goes through the old railroad tunnels on a wide dirt road, the other is an easy bike and ATV only trail that parallels the tunnels on the other side of the creek. Both are worthy of your time and you can do both by looping back, it’s only a couple miles. Highlights: Blue Cabin, Avery Train, Historical Downtown Wallace. Camping: Blue Cabin, Primitive camping everywhere, hotels in Wallace. Fuel: Pierce, Avery, Wallace Food - Pierce, Avery, Wallace.

Sec 07 Wallace to Clark Fork

Section 7 begins in the Silver Capital of the World: Wallace, Idaho. Every building in downtown Wallace is on the National Register of Historic Places which is why I-90 had to be built above the town instead of going through it. The ride north from here winds along mellow forest roads with no real surprises. HEADS UP! This is Grizzly Bear country so camp accordingly. Highlights: Grassy Mtn, Spyglass Lookout, CDA River. Camping: Primitive camping most of the section. Hotels in Wallace. Fuel: Wallace, Clark Fork. Food: Wallace, Clark Fork.

Sec 08 Clark Fork to Canada

You’re almost to Canada. There are only a handful of dirt road options in this narrow strip of land between Washington and Idaho so expect a bit of pavement which may be welcome at this point in your journey. Just out of Clark Fork you’ll head up Lightning Creek Road towards the Kaniksu National Forest. Stop at the Char Falls. It’s a short hike - just a few minutes and well worth the photo opportunity. Lunch Mountain Fire Lookout is also on the way. With a little foresight and digging around online you can actually book out the bunk in the lookout itself. You’ll alternate between dirt and pavement on your north past the Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge. Highlights: Char Falls, Lunch Mountain Fire Lookout, Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge. Camping: Primitive camping along Lightening creek. Fuel: Clark Fork, Sandpoint, Bonners Ferry, CAN Border. Food: Clark Fork, Sandpoint, Bonners Ferry, CAN Border.

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IDBDR FAQ

Below are answers to some Frequently Asked Questions about the Idaho Backcountry Discovery Route.  

IDBDR Discovery Points

IDBDR Restaurants

IDBDR Gas Stations

IDBDR Lodging