If you’ve ever wanted to travel 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 with plenty to see along the way!
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 trip 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 and 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.
Idaho Backcountry Discovery Route (Jul 2019) - July 17, 2019. We've run two Backcountry Discovery Routes (BDRs) in the past - Oregon in 2017 and Washington in 2018. So, when it came to planning for this year, we decided that we'd run what we thought would be one of the coolest BDRs out there - Idaho. Little did… IDBDR Pt. 2 - Across the Snake River Plain - July 18, 2019. Having arrived late the night before, we were not up early. We'd slept well next to the East Fork of the Jarbridge River just outside Murphy Hot Springs, and it was a little after 10:00am when we rolled into Jarbridge, NV - the official start of the… IDBDR Pt. 3 - Stymied By Gates - July 19, 2019. The night passed uneventfully - a cool breeze blowing off the lake, a refreshing relief from the heat of the day. Now technically in Mountain time, I'd set my alarm for the absurd hour of 5:30am to catch sunrise - hoping that I'd be able to catch… IDBDR Pt. 4 - We're Recognized on the Trail - July 20, 2019. Hard at work as we slept, the fire fighters working on the Vader fire had it contained - as far as we could tell given the complete lack of rising smoke - by the time my alarm went off at 4:00am. As fires go, it hadn't been… IDBDR Pt. 5 - (No More) Gold in Them There Hills - July 21, 2019. Camped deep in the valley next to the South Fork of the Salmon River, getting up for sunrise wasn't even an option for us. The dual-sport bikers had we'd met the night before were surely later to bed and earlier to rise than we were, but that… IDBDR Pt. 6 - Macgruder Corridor and Hell's Half-Acre - July 22, 2019. Wanting to get an early start to the day so we could try to get ourselves through all of the Idaho Backcountry Discovery Route's Stage 4 from Elk City to Darby along the Macgruder Corridor, we were both up and out of the tent right around 7:00am… IDBDR Pt. 7 - The Curse of the Lolo Motorway - July 23, 2019. We couldn't have chosen a better spot to setup camp when we pulled up to Rocky Point lookout. Our view east was spectacular, and the clouds and lightning storms from the night before had cleared out, leaving just enough moisture in the air for an amazing sunrise… IDBDR Pt. 8 - Driving the Lolo Motorway - July 24, 2019. Rocky Point proved once again to be one of the best camp sites of our trip and we slept well through the night. Wanting to capture sunrise, I was up early with a new idea - video - which also allowed me to catch another 90 minutes… IDBDR Pt. 9 - Move Over, Moose! - July 25, 2019. I wasn't sure how sunrise would be given that we were in a bit of a bowl around Dworshak Reservoir - with no line of sight to the horizon - and no clouds in the sky - it could be a complete dud. And for the most part,… IDBDR Pt. 10 - Where Are the Nice Canadians? - July 26, 2019. Positioned well above the horizon, sunrise would have been one of the best if just a few clouds had made an appearance in the sky. Without them, an orange glow an hour or so before the sun peaked out was all we got. Shucks, right? 😉 The… Rig Review: Idaho July 2019 - What worked and what didn't? - July 29, 2019. In perhaps our most-traveled month to date, July was nearly an entire month in Idaho. In fact, we've had four trips in the last couple of months to this tiny state - after only having visited once before. After our SE Idaho trip to Indian Hot Springs…