The parking at the trailhead is limited so we will stop at the community park in Bovill and carpool as much as possible, leaving some cars at the park. The trailhead is only about a 6 mile drive past Bovill and we usually come back to the community park in town for lunch. This is a pretty shady hike with some uphill but should be considered an easy to moderate hike. It’s about a 5 mile hike and is a loop trail.
Evans Outdoor Adventures on Feather Creek (Fellow Trekkers who provide great info and pics!)
The Clearwater Trekkers are heading out to the Fourth of July Trailhead on Saturday, June 23rd. We’d love to have you there!
We’ll meet up at the Orofino City Park at 8:00 AM and caravan to the trailhead.
If you miss us at the park, or are coming from a different direction, we’ll head East on Highway 12 and take Highway 11 at Greer up towards Pierce. Just before you enter Pierce, take a right on French Mountain Rd, AKA Forest Road 250.
French Mountain/FS 250 will take you all the way to the Bungalo Ranger Station on the North Fork River. You’ll cross over the river here, then go right to stay on FS 250. Follow this to the Fourth of July Trailhead at the wooden suspension bridge.
If you reach the Noe Creek Campground, you’ve gone too far.
Our trail doesn’t actually follow the 4th of July Creek, instead, we’ll cross over the suspension bridge and climb up above one of the tributaries of the 4th of July Creek. See links in the comments section for more info on the trail.
Feel free to reach out if you have any questions. See you on the trail!
Gear up, Trekkers! We’re headed to Crystal Lake in the Gospel-Hump Wilderness area for the weekend of July 14th – 15th!
The Crystal Lake #299 Trailhead is on the west side of the Wildhorse Campground. There are six first-come-first-serve campsites there, and an outhouse, so grab a spot if you can make it out Friday night.
For those of us driving in in the morning, we’ll meet up at 7:00 AM in Grangeville on the backside, or east side, of Lyons Club Park, across the street from Mountain Smoothie. (Here’s a Google Maps link.) There’s a large dirt parking lot for the park. Let’s park there so we’re not leaving vehicles in The Gym parking lot over the weekend if we decide to carpool.
From the Lyons Club Park, we’ll take Mt. Idaho Grade Rd down to Highway 14 out towards Elk City, Idaho. Before we reach Elk City, we’ll take a right, heading south on Crooked River Rd towards Orogrande, Idaho. (Zoom in on the Google Maps and you’ll get a good view of why they call it Crooked River Rd!)
Just past Orogrande we’ll take a right on Gospel Hump Rd, AKA NF-233. This will take us to the Orogrande Summit Campground, where we will veer right onto NF-233I (also NF-205). Wildhorse Campground is at the end of NF-233I. Altogether, Wildhorse Campground is about 9 miles out from Orogrande.
I’ll include a Google Map with directions from Grangeville to Orogrande.
It’s gonna be an early morning for anyone driving in. Let’s meet up at the Lyons Club Park at 7:00 AM, with a goal of making it to the trailhead between 9:00 and 9:30 AM. Those of you camping out Friday night can sleep in!
Our trail will start on the west side of Wildhorse Campground, climb up on the ridge, pass the North Pole peak, and take us down into Crystal Lake just below Gospel Hump. The trail is about 7 miles. We’ll spend the night at Crystal Lake and head back in the morning.
The middle of July should be decently warm, but you may want to bring a pair of wool socks for the night. Weather is always uncertain, so pack a rain layer and warm layer in case it gets cold and wet. And if you feel like it, pack a bathing suit for Crystal Lake, too!
Reach out if you have any questions or ideas. We look forward to seeing you on the trail!
The trail head for this hike is at the Giant White Pine Campground north of Harvard. It’s a loop trail which is mostly shaded and has some challenging climbs. The trail markings on this hike can be very confusing and we manage to occasionally ‘get lost’ but always find our way out! It’s about 6-7 miles. We eat our lunch at the campground at the end of the hike.
On Saturday, August 11th, The Clearwater Trekkers are headed out to Coolwater Mountain.
We’ll meet up at the Weigh Station Parking area on the north side of Kooskia, Idaho where Highways 12 and 13 meet at 8:00 AM. From there, we’ll caravan/carpool up to the junction of Coolwater Rd and Idaho Point Rd. To get there we’ll take Highway 12 east to Lowell, then turn right on Selway Rd. We’ll follow Selway Rd for about a half mile before turning left onto Coolwater Rd which will take us up to our parking area at the junction with Idaho Point Rd. According to Google Maps, it should take us an hour to get to the parking area from Kooskia. But, according to the helpful folks at the Fenn Ranger Station, the drive up Coolwater Rd itself might take 45 minutes.
The plan is to park at the Idaho Point Rd junction and hike out to the Coolwater Lookout at the peak of Coolwater Mountain. It’s a little less than 3.5 miles one way with an elevation gain of maybe 900+ feet. Here’s a helpful link to learn a bit more about what we’re getting ourselves into on the Coolwater Ridge.
Coolwater Mountain stands at about 6,920 feet in elevation, so pack for unpredictable weather. You can always leave that rain layer in the car if it’s clear and warm enough when we get there. Also, be sure to pack plenty of water since we’ll be up on a ridge and not near a ready water source.
This should be a great hike with minimal elevation gains and stunning views, and high enough up to beat the August heat. At least a little. I look forward to seeing you there!
Oh, and a little something I keep forgetting…Bring an extra pair of shoes or sandals to switch into for the ride home. Your feet will love you for it!
The trail head is 7 miles south of Grangeville. This hike is a considered easy to moderate which actually utilizes trails used by cross country skiers in the winter. It is a loop hike with lots of options along the trail to make the hike as short or long as you’d like. We usually hike about 6 miles and eat our lunch back at the pavilion.
This is a moderate hike with some steep climbs but the reward at the end is spectacular. We end up at a manned (or womanned) fire lookout which feels like it’s at the top of the world and the views are beautiful. Some of the trail is shaded. It’s about a 5 1/2 mile in and out hike with a 1,500 ft. elevation gain. Part of the challenge is the drive getting there. Your vehicle should be one with high clearance or all-wheel drive. We eat lunch at the lookout and in the past we’ve brought fresh fruit and veggies to the young lady working the lookout, but not too much, she’s only one person with a very small propane powered fridge.
Is there any better way to wrap up the hiking season than with a soak in a natural hot spring?
We’ll meet at the Kooskia weight station parking lot at 8:00 AM and carpool to the Wilderness Gateway Campground 1 hour farther east on Highway 12. Ours is Trail #211. Feel free to meet at the trailhead. We’ll hit the trail at 9:15 AM. The plan is to spend the night so we can enjoy the hot springs, but day hikers are welcome, too!
Our hike is about 6 miles one way. It starts off with an aggressive, uphill climb to get up onto Boulder Ridge. Once on top, the going should get easier. We’ll cross Boulder Creek when we turn south onto Trail #222, but the crossing should not be a problem this late in the season.
MRH posted a fantastic article on SummitPost.org about the Selway Crags. In it he provides a great description of our destination:
“Stanley hot springs is situated in the lower Huckleberry Creek drainage just upstream from its confluence with Boulder Creek. This hot springs has numerous good dispersed campsites and three pools…To reach these springs hike south from the Wilderness Gateway Campground on Trail 211. Near the mouth of Huckleberry Creek, turn right on the 221/222 trail and cross Boulder Creek. This crossing is potentially treacherous, especially at high water as Boulder Creek is a very large and rocky stream…Once Boulder Creek is crossed its just a few hundred yards on the trail to the pools.”
For our first hike of 2019, The Clearwater Trekkers will meet up at the Big Eddy Trailhead at 8:00 AM this Saturday the 12th. We’ll hike out to one of the campsites at the 3 or 5 mile marker, do lunch, then head back. How far we go will depend on trail conditions and how well we’re doing for the first hike of the year. LOL!
To get to the Big Eddy trailhead and boat launch, cross the bridge from Highway 12 into Orofino, then take your first left onto Riverside Ave (AKA Ahsahka Rd). Follow Riverside Ave past the Fish Hachery and across another bridge into Ahsahka. In a short distance, you’ll take a sharp right turn onto Viewpoint Rd, which will end at the Big Eddy boat launch parking lot. The trailhead is on the left side of the welcome center.
Be prepared for wet trail conditions. We’re expecting cloudy and 40 degree weather, so layer up. Bring a lunch and plenty of water, and don’t hesitate to reach out or comment if you have questions or suggestions. We’ll see you there!