2011 Southwestern USA travel blog

Lewiston, ID - Hell's Gate State Park - Site A19

Lewiston, ID - Hell's Gate State Park - Site A19, another view

Riggins to Lewiston, ID 0 - our route - 236 miles

Riggins to Lewiston, ID 1 - we have been climbing for miles...

Riggins to Lewiston, ID 2

Riggins to Lewiston, ID 3 - lots of farms here instead of...

Riggins to Lewiston, ID 4

Riggins to Lewiston, ID 5 - the terrain changes as we enter...

Riggins to Lewiston, ID 6

Riggins to Lewiston, ID 7

Riggins to Lewiston, ID 8

Riggins to Lewiston, ID 9

Riggins to Lewiston, ID 10 - the Clearwater River which dumps into...

Riggins to Lewiston, ID 11

Riggins to Lewiston, ID 12

Riggins to Lewiston, ID 13 - the Clearwater Paper Company at Lewiston,...

Riggins to Lewiston, ID 14 - an old railroad bridge - not...

Wolf Center and Elk River Trip 0 - our route - 200...

Wolf Center and Elk River Trip 1 - more of the Clearwater...

Wolf Center and Elk River Trip 2 - not sure what crop...

Wolf Center and Elk River Trip 3-this is a wide section of...

Wolf Center and Elk River Trip 4 - three of the wolves...

Wolf Center and Elk River Trip 5 - some beautiful wildflowers

Wolf Center and Elk River Trip 6

Wolf Center and Elk River Trip 7 - the Dworshak Reservoir

Wolf Center and Elk River Trip 8 - the Dent bridge across...

Wolf Center and Elk River Trip 9 - the Dent bridge from...

Wolf Center and Elk River Trip 10 - our first Elk this...

Wolf Center and Elk River Trip 11 - a little closer

Wolf Center and Elk River Trip 12 - half of this mountain...

Wolf Center and Elk River Trip 13 - part of the reservoir...

Wolf Center and Elk River Trip 14 - some of the trip...

Wolf Center and Elk River Trip 15 - downtown Kendrick, ID

Wolf Center and Elk River Trip 16


It was a 256 mile trip through varying landscapes as we journeyed from Riggins to Lewiston, ID. We left the ranches behind and found many farms before entering the Clearwater Canyon as we approached Lewiston. We are staying at Hell's Canyon State Park just below Lewiston. It is a beautiful park with large sites and we have 50 amp full hookups. I had to use the tripod to get to the satellite through the trees and Verizon was so weak as to be unusable for voice but did manage to give us texting and poor internet speed.

Wednesday we headed to the Wolf Education and Research Center located about 45miles from the campground. We were a little disappointed with the center as they still have lots of work to do to make it visitor friendly. They have a six-wolf pack located on a heavily wooded two acres and you get frequent views of them but there are two chain-link fence between you and them so you can't see them very well. They have a platform built up for you to see them but it needs to be about six feet higher to give you a clear view.

We then wanted to travel the Elk River Back Country Byway. At the wolf center we entered the start of the Byway into Sheila, our GPS, and she found us a route and away we went. About 15 miles later we turned onto a gravel road, not surprisingly since we have found a good many gravel roads on this trip, called the Greer Grade Road. Unbeknown to us this is a steep, twisty, one lane road going five miles down the mountain to Highway 12. It took us about 25 minutes to cover that five miles. Doris was holding on all the way! The mountain was on our left so she was hanging out over the canyon as we came down. We were fortunate not to meet anyone (did I say that it is a single lane) as the wide portions (as shown in our picture) allowing two vehicles to pass were very infrequent. The rest of the time it was barely wide enough for one car and making sharp switchbacks as we came down the mountain.

We did make it safely and continued on to the Byway. Most of the byway is gravel as well but it was two lanes the whole way! On it we passed the Dworshak Reservoir and the Dent Bridge across a neck of the reservoir as the only way to get to Elk River, the town, from the South. We were also able to see our first elk of the trip. It was a young female crossing the road and she didn't stick around long for us to get a good shot of her. We did finally reach Elk River and attempted to see the Elk River Falls but we unable to reach it without a two plus mile hike and we were not wearing suitable shoes for the terrain involved. So, we headed back to Hell's Gate. We got to see some great scenery on the trip as this area of Idaho is full of mountains and forests.

Thursday we didn't do much but stay around the Mothership and relax. Tomorrow we head for St. Regis, MT for a one-week stay.

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