• East to West Crossing of River of No Return Wilderness

    Gas Station in Stanley

    Photo of Terrace Lakes by Julie Rittenberry Gauging interest in an East to West Crossing of The River of No Return Wilderness, backpacking about 60 miles from the Crags Campground, to Terrace Lakes, down Waterfall Cr. to the Middle Fork of Salmon River. Then cross the Middle Fork and walk up Big Creek to Big Creek Campground, near the Big Creek Airfield and Edwardsburg. This is a shuttle hike that will depend upon getting drivers to drop the hikers at the Crags Campground and retrieving the hikers at Big Creek (or perhaps use Air Taxi to fly to McCall or Stanley). Ideal numbers of hikers is four with one driver or 8 hikers with two drivers. One driver must be well versed in traveling and navigating on backcountry roads. This trip involves some elevation gains, but the most difficult part will be about a 5000 elevation loss down Waterfall Creek. I have been on most of this trail (with the exception of Waterfall Trail) but there are no guarantees of trail conditions. There should be no water issues as most of the trail is alongside water courses. Rattlesnakes will be an issue at the lower end of Big Creek. When we crossed the River of No Return Wilderness in 2018 we did see bear and wolf. As usual, they caused us no problems. Tentative (read not carved in stone) Schedule: Begin hike at Crags Campground and hike to Terrace Lakes, about 10 miles and +2400 feet and -2400 feet. Day two: Terrace Lakes to Middle Fork Salmon about 9 miles with -5400 feet. Day three: Middle Fork 'Salmon to Taylor Ranch about 7 miles +1200 Day four: Taylor to Coxey Creek about 12 miles +1500 Day five: Coxey Creek to Ramey Creek About 8 miles +1300 Day six: Ramey Creek to Big Creek Campground about 10 miles +2000 feet. We need two days travel time. I need time to fish as Big Creek may be some of the best backcountry fishing offered! There are several points of interest worthy of visit: Taylor Ranch, Big Creek pictographs, Cabin Creek ranch site, Soldier Bar Landing strip and Private Egan memorial (requires fording /crossing Big Creek ). We will decide a go-no-go date and time after a February planning meet to be determined. This is a serious backpack that requires good physical conditioning. Prior multi-day experience is recommended. There are a few backcountry landing strips on the route that provide bail-out points but they are very expensive. If you might be interested, please get on the list and begin planning as this trip requires advance preparation/planning/physical training. A hiking buddy to share tent/equipment to cut backpack weight is a plus.

  • Iceland 2019

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