Backpacking Idaho by Douglas Lorain

By Douglas Lorain

An almost undiscovered backpacking paradise, Idaho has various barren region components of mind-boggling measurement. Backpackers can locate entire solitude, natural world, and a few of North America's most eminent surroundings. Idaho's mountains additionally boast nice weather—fewer thunderstorms than the primary Rockies, much less rain than Oregon and Washington, and cooler summer time temperatures than California. Backpacking Idaho takes you to what writer Doug Lorain calls a "Shangri-la" for backpackers. within the craggy Selkirk Mountains you'll locate lush forests, small cirque lakes, and jagged granite peaks. stay up for ospreys, river otters, and belted kingfishers within the fast Selway River. discover 1000s of miles of trails within the lightly rolling forested hills in north-central Idaho, or head to Hell's Canyon, the inner most gorge in North the USA, the place you'll locate either alpine tundra and cactus-studded desert.

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Thus, this remarkably diverse region provides great hiking for most of the year. WILD AREAS OF IDAHO 19 GOSPEL HUMP WILDERNESS Covering some 206,000 acres of rugged topography, Gospel Hump Wilderness protects a remarkably diverse territory along the lower Salmon River in west-central Idaho. The scenic terrain here ranges from the contorted, low-elevation landscape of the Salmon River Breaks in the south to the rolling, high-elevation mountains, meadows, and plateaus in the north. As you would expect, the changes in altitude and terrain create a wide range of climates and vegetation types.

The trail then curves to the right and makes a rather steep and rocky uphill traverse well above cascading Long Canyon Creek, which can be heard, but not seen, deep in the canyon on your left. Although this traverse stays above the best forests, it has the advantage of going past some excellent viewpoints of Long Canyon and densely forested Parker Ridge to the south. The trail levels briefly, then goes downhill at an irregular grade to a nice campsite beside rollicking Long Canyon Creek. Above this campsite, you travel across a forested hillside a little above the stream, maintaining a steady uphill grade that keeps pace with the cascading creek.

So, if you plan a trip to the high lakes from late August through October, you should enjoy blissful, bugfree evenings. LOST RIVER AND LEMHI RANGES The highest mountains in the state of Idaho are in the east-central part of the state, about as far from major population centers as you can get in the lower 48 United States. The Lost River and Lemhi ranges run parallel to each other, rising from the canyon country along the Salmon River near Challis and petering out in the sagebrush plains near Arco about 100 miles southeast.

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