DUAL SPORT ADVENTURE TOUR:
Riding The Idaho Bucket List
They say this place you're lookin' for
It's a little off the track
Don't know the number of the road
But I can tell you where it's at
You know there isn't no pavement there
A few rocks that might give you a scare
I used to know it like the back of my hand
When I was just a boy
Idaho. if you don't live there, chances are you're limited to
how much time you have to ride there. Us too! That's why we put
together the Idaho Bucket List Dual Sport Tour.
Above photo: Part of the 2012 Sasquatch Dual
Sport Tour in Idaho. And yes that's Bruce Graham's Sportster 1200
outfitted with Avon Gripster 80/20 tires. Worked great off-road.
This was the route for the annual Sasquatch Dual Sport Tour in
2012, but if you missed it and you're interested, you can get your
hands on a copy of the tour book and the GPS routes as well.
Our first observations during the tour were that the roads
are well marked throughout Idaho, and there are many interpretive signs along the way
to help you learn the history of the area in detail.
The tour begins in McCall, a small inviting resort town on
the west side of Idaho. Nice restaurants, all types of
accommodations and great views onto Lake Payette. For campers, the
state park camping facilities on the north end of town are
state-of-the-art. And since day one offers two loop options, there's
no need to pack up and leave until day two.
Photo: the fire overlook at Horse Mountain near Hells Canyon.
Day one provides two options to visit Idaho's Hells Canyon
Scenic Overlooks. The south option takes riders out to Horse
Mountain and Sheep Rock, while the north option takes riders to The
Seven Devils and Hells Gate overlooks, then provides a back road
route back to McCall that includes a don't-pass-this-up stop at a
If you're an iron man you can attempt both routes in a single
day, or if you have more time you can do them both over two
Day two takes riders south through Warm Springs in the morning
and into Stanley for lunch. The road is easy breezy, but the tour
book also provides a paved option if you want to withhold your dual
sport stamina for the afternoon.
Photo: Taken at 10,400 feet on Railroad Ridge, several riders
are seen with the 13,000 foot Chinese Wall behind them.
The afternoon portion features a ride to the top of the world as
you make your way up Railroad Ridge to 10,400 feet for a look at the
13,000 foot high Chinese Wall. This is the highest
elevation you can take a motorcycle to in the State of Idaho, though
very few people do it. The road up is a steep two track and includes
100 feet of fist sized rocks to navigate. Only intermediate
and experienced riders should attempt this. The best way to
navigate these five miles is in first gear at a steady speed of 15
mph. Anything faster will cause excessive shifting which can lead to
stalling. Anything slower will cause a tip over if speed is not
maintained through the more rugged sections. Eyes up, arms relaxedit's time to rumble!
Then it's north for an overnight stop in Salmon.
Day three starts with a roller coaster ride over Chief Joseph
Pass down into Montana. Fuel up and then plan to spend the afternoon
making your way (dual sport style) across the fabled Magruder Corridor
into Elk City. Magruder Corridor has quarries on either side, so the
roads into and out of it are well groomed. The interior sections are
a bit more rugged, but nothing an average rider with a few thousand
miles of dual sport riding under their belt can't handle.
Photo: Interpretive sign noting the location of the Magruder
Massacre along the Magruder Corridor.
The final leg of the day is on the Elk City Highway out to Kamiah
(kam-ee-eye). This road is an awesome stretch of pavement that puts
US12/Lolo Pass to shame. You'll love it!
The stop at Kamiah provides two nights in the same place so
there's no need to pack up to move on until day five.
Day four starts with breakfast/brunch at the Lochsa
Lodge, then heads up into the Clearwater National Forest for a five
hour tour along the all dirt Lolo Motorway. Pavement conditions
switch from easy going to rugged, making it a great workout for
the dual sport enthusiast who likes a mixed bag.
Interpretive signs along the route tell the story of Lewis &
Clark's expedition in this area.
A section west of The Smoking Place Camp is lovingly referred to
as the' boulder pit' or 'bike eater'. Smooth granite rock jets out
at heights of up to 1.5 feet, making it tricky to navigate. If this
makes you uneasy, get off the bike and work as a team with another
rider to walk each bike over this section one by one.
Day five closes out the tour with a romp across the Nez Perce
reservation and into the wheat fields and farmland south of Moscow
(Moss-co) and into Moscow itself. The off-pavement sections are all
easy breezy pea gravel, and the views into Big Canyon are stunning.
Photo: Summit Grade Road with the Clearwater River below
along the Nez Perce Reservation.
You missed the inaugural Idaho Bucket List tour, but you can
still get out and ride it. The tour book includes maps, turn by turn
directions and listings of restaurants, accommodations and
motorcycle shops along the route.
To get the tour book and GPS
routes and tracks,