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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Updated on post #16: Back roads suggestions, references?

Howdy,

I thought I'd query you folks for some possible guidebook suggestions, or destination suggestions of your own.

In a few weeks, I am going to be taking a lengthy vacation, primarily in the Canadian Rockies, but I should have some extra time that I would like to utilize to explore Idaho a bit. I've visited the main state web sites for the scenic highways, but I'm also interested in scenic backcountry roads off the beaten path. High pass roads or anything that is worthy of pointing a camera at is what I'm looking for. If there are some rocks I can drive on to get to some views, that's great, too! But, my main interest will be scenic roads rather than ones that only require a locker or two.

So, with that in mind, do any of you have anything off the top of your head, links or otherwise?

The only backcountry byways book that I've run across is Tony Huegel's Idaho Byways, but I can't tell how that is. Is there any book for Idaho that is similar to Massey and Wilson's 4WD Adventures series or Charles Wells series that are available for other states? Any other references you could recommend?

Thanks!

-Darren
 

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I hope that you do have time to stop through and check things out. Unfortunately, there are not many resources for Idaho backcountry. That's what we love about the area :thumb:

If you let us know where you are coming in from (direction, interstate, etc) and where you wanted to end up, we could help you plan a few worthwhile routes.
 

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I think Tony Huegels book is the only one about Idaho. You might try the BLM and forest service offices along where you will be traveiling Idaho is still about 60- 70% public land :rotfl: :rotfl:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Very good. Thanks, gentlemen! That's kind of what I was gathering.



DougK20 said:
If you let us know where you are coming in from (direction, interstate, etc) and where you wanted to end up, we could help you plan a few worthwhile routes.
I have zero idea where I'd be coming in! I'm basically going to wing the whole trip and plan for the next day as I go. I've got the gazetteer, a few tidbits from the net on a few places I want to check out, and I'm just going to explore things on my own. If I see a bunch of close lines together on the topo, that will be enough to keep my interest peaked and keep me heading in the right direction. I don't need a guidebook, but thought if there was one that really looked appealing, I might check it out. I'll live by Yogi Berra's motto: "We're lost, but were making good time!"

I'll no doubt enjoy your part of the country when I get there.

Thanks again.
 

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head north on hwy 20 from Idaho Falls till you hit Ashton, then take the Mesa Falls Scenic byway up into Island Park, then wing it through Yellowstone Park, north to Mammoth Hot springs... that will be either one long day, or 2 days of nothing but scenery.. :thumb: :thumb:
 

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Idaho and Canada, eh?

Just a tip about traveling to Canada. You must have at least a birth cetificate to cross the border and then get back into the U.S. with the least amount of hassle. Passports are even better (or both). They are getting touchy about things at the border. Won't let you cross with any firearms. They were even jumpy about my wife's pepper spray she keeps in her purse. We just told them it was to deter bears while hiking and they let her keep it. My wife's friends' husband lied to them about having a hand gun. When they found it on a search they confiscated it (brand new $425 .41 Mag). It's better to be up front with them about things and be turned away from crossing the border than to have something of value confiscated.
If you are traveling in the southern Canadian rockies you don't want to miss Waterton park. It's the Canadian side of Glacier national park. The entry fee is $75 (canadian money), But you might get a discount if you have a U.S. national parks pass which I think is about $50. The pass is good for a year and I would sell you ours real cheap, but my wife gave it to my sister-in-law. We just got back last week from Waterton (where my wife's family has a cabin, she's originally canadian) and in 5 days we saw 3 bears (2 black,1 griz), lots of deer, a herd of elk, a herd of big horn sheep, and a wolf, all in the wild. Take some good binoculars or a spotting scope. Also note, gas is very expensive in Canada, about the equivalent of $3.30 a U.S. gallon. So plan your budget accordingly.The first time I filled my 34 gallon tank and saw $96 on the pump I nearly had a heart attack. Right now the exchange rate is not as good for us as it has been in the past.
Now for a little about Idaho. One thing you have to promise though. That you not tell anyone about what you experience in our great state. We are trying to keep Idaho a secret. One of my favorite parts of Idaho is the Panther Creek area west of Salmon. It borders on the Frank Church river of no return wilderness and is a beautiful area. Just know that as you travel to the west you could get into wilderness area so keep your gazeteer handy and know where you are. Fines are steep for wheelin' in a wilderness area. I agree with someone who wrote previously about Ashton/Island Park/Yellowstone area. It is very worth while to see also, especially if you've never been to Yellowstone. Yellowstone is a must see before our environmentalist friends are able to shut it down. I know, I sound pessimistic, but much of Idaho is still public land and I think the entire west should stay that way. I'm not saying we should rape and pillage the land, just be able to use it responsibly, without limiting access.
Better get off my soap box. If you have any other questions let us know at Planet4x4. There's lots of guys willing to help on this site.
Gasman
 

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yup

If you are headed up hiway 20 from ashton id to yellowstone.. turn at anderson mill canyon! But don't tell anyone..... I know thats wierd to say but we hit it last week and we were the first this year!!!! It's one of those hidden little places that everyone passes right by. take one of us and we will show you the hidden trails( don't miss these)!!!!! it's like you are transported to another climate! grass is chest high and the flowers bloom all summer. unreal!!!!!!!! :thumb: just gotta see it for yourself!!! so call us lol lol :thumb: :thumb:
and please don't hate us for trying to keep our gem state a gem!!!!! :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
 

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and

Also.....driving thru Island Park...drive up sawtelle mountain. cars can make it!! It's about 10,000ft and on a clear day you we see oregon, washington and Utah :thumb: every day you can see montana, wyoming!

It's the big mountain with the golf ball on it! (huge radio tower)!

on the last switch back from the top, stop and glass off the back side. those hills are the terreces, (you will see the lines) spend some time looking for elk! you will see em 75% of the time! there used be a wolverine that lived down in there, and we would see him everytime for about three years, but maybe you will get lucky and see him!
down the hill a couple turns, is a trail head(walking only) it is part of the divide trail. you can hike about a mile to a great view!!! special places in Island Park. also big springs is a must see! a huge river just springs from the hill!! tons o fish to feed. (can't fish tho) anyways have fun!!!
 

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If you don't mind rocks call us and we can take you out on Hells half acre area too. Talk about a different landscape Lava flows as far as the eye can see :rotfl: :rotfl:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the suggestions. I will definitely be taking them with me and I hope I get to try a couple of them out. I don't own a cell, and don't plan to stop for internet access, so meeting others is out. Perhaps next time!

Gasman, I'm fully prepared for crossing the boarder. I don't own a gun and Waterton is definitely on the list. I've been up there before, but just not as in-depth as it's going to be this trip. I've got the Golden Eagle Pass, so I'm set for our side of things. I cannot promise that I'll keep from saying that I had a good time, though. Pictures and a possible corresponding trip report will have to be displayed. Don't worry, nothing will be compromised!
 

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Man, I went out to your web site, some unbelievable pictures. I am looking forward to seeing more pictures of your trip. I am originally from a little town in Colorado ( Gateway), I noticed you put it on your satellite image. I am going to Moab for Labor day. I miss those red rocks. Anyway have a great trip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks!

Gateway, huh? I love that area! You may have already seen, but about a month ago they finally opened a huge (for Gateway!) resort there. Some friends of mine happened to visit on its opening day and said it's very well done. You can see a couple small pictures of it here. It was funded by the Discovery Channel founder and owner who has even bigger plans going forward for the town. I don't think it's going to be all that much longer before people really find out about that place. I bet when you get back there, it won't be the town you used to know--good or bad.
 

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I was in Gateway last May. The area has changed alot. The owner of the Discovery Channel bought alot of the valley. He has some very big plans. The new store, motel, possibly a golf course. When I lived there it was mainly a ranching and mining town. My mother finally sold her place last year and moved to Grand Junction. Most of the people that lived there when I was growing up have moved on. I am going to Moab over Labor Day and might try to make the drive over the Lasal mountain to Gateway. It is a very pretty drive, mostly gravel road.
 

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Those are some really nice pictures man. I really liked the Wyoming ones since that is where I grew up. I actually grew up 90 miles south of Jackson Hole, in a town called Big Piney, and if you really wanted some great scenery I could tell you about some really great places around the BIg Piney area and a few over in the Pinedale area.... And it looks like you are not affraid of a good hike so you could get into the really pretty areas!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I want to thank everyone again who replied to my original query. I didn't get to check out any of the places mentioned above, but have certainly saved the suggestions for future reference. I spent 3.5 days in Idaho on this trip which was definitely not long enough. I felt right at home in the Thousand Springs Valley/Trail Creek Pass area out of Mackay and enjoyed it more than any other area I passed through in the state. I will be back to explore it further at some point. I'm replying as late as I am due to the fact I just recently finished the trip report. If interested, you may check it out the following link. The Idaho portion begins on day 39. Thanks again!

http://www.mycolorado.org/canada_2005/canada_05.html
 
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