Interesting Article

LarryBoy

Hiker Trash
.
Joined
Jan 4, 2015
Messages
2,535
The ITA's done some awesome work digging up the original route. There's also a modern-day trail called the Three Blazes, but it follows a very different route - over toward Chamberlain Basin, well east of where the original Three Blazes went. And, unlike most of the trails in the Frank, it's decently-well maintained!

I'd also recommend Merciless Eden by Doug Tims, who (along with his wife Phyllis) own the Campbells Ferry homestead. It's also a great stop-in if you're running the Main Salmon - hike a hundred yards up the hill, ring the little bell, and they'll give you a fascinating tour of the place.
 

scatman

Member
.
Joined
Dec 23, 2013
Messages
1,833
The ITA's done some awesome work digging up the original route. There's also a modern-day trail called the Three Blazes, but it follows a very different route - over toward Chamberlain Basin, well east of where the original Three Blazes went. And, unlike most of the trails in the Frank, it's decently-well maintained!

I'd also recommend Merciless Eden by Doug Tims, who (along with his wife Phyllis) own the Campbells Ferry homestead. It's also a great stop-in if you're running the Main Salmon - hike a hundred yards up the hill, ring the little bell, and they'll give you a fascinating tour of the place.

I've attached a kmz of the trail off of their map - + or - 500 meters accuracy. So LarryBoy, is the trail on the 7.5 minute USGS maps, that parallels their trail, the same trail? Or is the one on the USGS maps a separate maintained trail?
 

Attachments

  • Three_Blaze_Trail.kmz
    5.9 KB · Views: 9

Parma

@parma26
.
Joined
Feb 12, 2014
Messages
722
This is cool.
I've had a wild plan to fly into the Chamberlain Basin Airfield from McCall with a packraft and hike to the Salmon River (Mackay Bar) and float out to Riggins. Not sure of the permits needed to float that section...but it's on my bucket list anyway.
 

LarryBoy

Hiker Trash
.
Joined
Jan 4, 2015
Messages
2,535
I've attached a kmz of the trail off of their map - + or - 500 meters accuracy. So LarryBoy, is the trail on the 7.5 minute USGS maps, that parallels their trail, the same trail? Or is the one on the USGS maps a separate maintained trail?
The general contours that you mapped are right - however the part I was referring to is that initial segment from Campbells Ferry up to Wet Meadows, where the modern trail takes a less-direct, easterly route. Idaho Trails Association has a recent webinar posted on their facebook page; check the 1:03:15 mark for the original route. The whole thing is worth the time if you've got an hour or so!
 

Outdoor_Fool

Member
.
Joined
Dec 11, 2015
Messages
1,803
This is cool.
I've had a wild plan to fly into the Chamberlain Basin Airfield from McCall with a packraft and hike to the Salmon River (Mackay Bar) and float out to Riggins. Not sure of the permits needed to float that section...but it's on my bucket list anyway.
Permits? we don't need no stinkin' permits. Well actually, we do.

From the FS website: Launch dates before (January 1st – June 19th) and after (September 8th – December 31st) the lottery control season can be reserved beginning October 1 at 8 am Mountain time.


The Middle Fork trip is on my list, hopefully within a couple years.
 

scatman

Member
.
Joined
Dec 23, 2013
Messages
1,833
The general contours that you mapped are right - however the part I was referring to is that initial segment from Campbells Ferry up to Wet Meadows, where the modern trail takes a less-direct, easterly route. Idaho Trails Association has a recent webinar posted on their facebook page; check the 1:03:15 mark for the original route. The whole thing is worth the time if you've got an hour or so!

I just finished the Zoom presentation on Facebook - very informative and enjoyable. Those folks are after my own heart. I've spent many a summer locating and hiking the old trails in Yellowstone and just loved it. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction @LarryBoy.

A couple of shots of hiking the old Plateau Trail between Mary Lake and Beach Lake in Yellowstone
01.jpg


02.jpg
 

Kmatjhwy

Wilderness Wanderer
Joined
Sep 23, 2016
Messages
557
Scatman, have been in country like your photos show where the downed timber is like pickup sticks. One rally has to watch themselves in that situation.

As for Idaho there is an excellent book out on Idaho hermits. People who took to the wilds to live. Great Book. It seems as years gone by, so many people were tough. And many people in today's world have become soft, soooo soft in my opinion.

Have visited Central Idaho but never truly hiked all over, but would love to sometime. But One thing is not many Grizzlies in Central Idaho which to myself is soooo unfortunate.
 

LarryBoy

Hiker Trash
.
Joined
Jan 4, 2015
Messages
2,535
Have visited Central Idaho but never truly hiked all over, but would love to sometime. But One thing is not many Grizzlies in Central Idaho which to myself is soooo unfortunate.

Here's my hottest of hot takes: While the Frank/Selway/Gospel Hump wilderness complex is awesome and a true treasure, I don't personally find it as wild as the Bob, Greater Yellowstone, or Escalante. When the Frank and Selway were created, a couple dozen airstrips were grandfathered in as part of the political compromise that allowed the bills to pass. I'm not crapping on anybody's efforts - the political landscape was what it was and compromise is necessary in a democracy - but hiking along a trail and having a bush plane buzzing overhead in a designated wilderness is a bit jarring. Also, the Middle Fork/Main Fork/Selway/Clearwater are amazing rivers. They also serve as thoroughfares for people, so the solitude wasn't quite as deep as I expected.

Worth visiting? Absolutely.
Wild and wonderful? For sure.
My personal favorite? Not really.
 

LarryBoy

Hiker Trash
.
Joined
Jan 4, 2015
Messages
2,535
I just finished the Zoom presentation on Facebook - very informative and enjoyable. Those folks are after my own heart. I've spent many a summer locating and hiking the old trails in Yellowstone and just loved it. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction @LarryBoy.

A couple of shots of hiking the old Plateau Trail between Mary Lake and Beach Lake in Yellowstone
View attachment 94611

View attachment 94612
Pickup sticks are the worst dude. It is funny just how many trails in Yellowstone are in terrible shape. Generally NPS land fares better than its surroundings, in terms of maintenance. But goodness gracious, Yellowstone could use some help. Hopefully the large pile of money Congress allocated this summer helps clear things a bit. Some of those trails obviously haven't been touched since the '88 fires.
 

Kmatjhwy

Wilderness Wanderer
Joined
Sep 23, 2016
Messages
557
LarryBoy, you are correct. Now the Central Idaho Wildernesses of both the Frank Church and the Selway have backcountry airstrips. Also there are airstrips in the backcountry of the Bob Marshall Complex in the Great Bear Wilderness. This what makes the Yellowstone's Thorofare so special .... No Airstrips.Years ago in the 30s people flew into the Thorofare and landed their planes. And even an airstrip was proposed onetime in the Thorofare, by no less the U.S. defense Dept. . But in around 1940, the YNP superintendent at that time, rejected the idea. So in today's world here in the west, the South Absarokanut Area in Wyoming lacks an airstrip which is unlike other large wilderness complexes in the western US.
 

LarryBoy

Hiker Trash
.
Joined
Jan 4, 2015
Messages
2,535
LarryBoy, you are correct. Now the Central Idaho Wildernesses of both the Frank Church and the Selway have backcountry airstrips. Also there are airstrips in the backcountry of the Bob Marshall Complex in the Great Bear Wilderness. This what makes the Yellowstone's Thorofare so special .... No Airstrips.Years ago in the 30s people flew into the Thorofare and landed their planes. And even an airstrip was proposed onetime in the Thorofare, by no less the U.S. defense Dept. . But in around 1940, the YNP superintendent at that time, rejected the idea. So in today's world here in the west, the South Absarokanut Area in Wyoming lacks an airstrip which is unlike other large wilderness complexes in the western US.
My understanding is that there's only one in-use airstrip inside the Bob complex itself. A few more just outside the edges of the designation (like Benchmark Ranch), where the boundaries were created specifically to exclude the airstrips. I think there was a bit of a kerfuffle a few years ago when Montana's governer asked USFS to re-open several strips inside the wilderness that had been long abandoned.
 

Kmatjhwy

Wilderness Wanderer
Joined
Sep 23, 2016
Messages
557
Years ago I hitched a plane ride out of the airstrip that is in the Great Bear Wilderness. I had been in there for several weeks. The view when flying out was Awesome!

Yes and the airstrip is located right next to a FS Service Area along the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. Yes have been to Benchmark also. But this airstrip is right on the edge of the Bob Marshall Wilderness.

How awful would it be if there was an airstrip in the Thorofare. It would take so much away from the luster of the area. An airstrip where the rich dudes could just fly in and fly out. No Thankyou!!!!
 

scatman

Member
.
Joined
Dec 23, 2013
Messages
1,833
Scatman, have been in country like your photos show where the downed timber is like pickup sticks. One rally has to watch themselves in that situation.

As for Idaho there is an excellent book out on Idaho hermits. People who took to the wilds to live. Great Book. It seems as years gone by, so many people were tough. And many people in today's world have become soft, soooo soft in my opinion.

Have visited Central Idaho but never truly hiked all over, but would love to sometime. But One thing is not many Grizzlies in Central Idaho which to myself is soooo unfortunate.

Is that book called Idaho Loners?

Yes, one does need to be careful when hiking through the pickup sticks. I don't do the long hikes through that kind of country anymore due to my waning stamina, balance and coordination. It is really a younger persons adventure. That being said, if it is only a mile or two, I might still give it a go. :thumbsup:

Here is a favorite picture of mine. This is on top of the Madison Plateau. Imagine 13 miles of these pickup sticks. :) I followed the old stagecoach road that ran from a couple miles east of the west entrance, up and over the Madison Plateau, and the down to Lower Geyser Basin. I did manage to faithfully stay on the old road for its entire length. I started at 5:00 am and finished at 10:00 pm, and then I had to ride my mountain bike back to Lower Geyser Basin to get the vehicle. I'd never be able to pull this one off today, which is a shame because there is a beautiful meadow up top called Marshall's Park that I wouldn't mind revisiting.

01.jpg

The Old Fountain Stagecoach Road
 

scatman

Member
.
Joined
Dec 23, 2013
Messages
1,833
Pickup sticks are the worst dude. It is funny just how many trails in Yellowstone are in terrible shape. Generally NPS land fares better than its surroundings, in terms of maintenance. But goodness gracious, Yellowstone could use some help. Hopefully the large pile of money Congress allocated this summer helps clear things a bit. Some of those trails obviously haven't been touched since the '88 fires

Most of the trails I seek out were abandoned long before the 1988 fires. The fires have made it more difficult to find, and stay on track though if the old trail crosses or originates in a burn area. I'm in total agreement though that Yellowstone needs help.
 

Kmatjhwy

Wilderness Wanderer
Joined
Sep 23, 2016
Messages
557
Scatman, yes I do think that is the title of the book. What a photo of that old road.

And Yes what happens as we get older.
 

scoags

Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2017
Messages
71
cool article and discussion, thanks @scatman

makes me think of the "mystery" of where the Nez Perce (another bunch of tough hombres) went on their way out of Yellowstone. There has been some controversy in the historical record about the exit from the Lamar to Clark's Fork. This article has some good discussion about how the record has been difficult to untangle.


Lang, W. L. (1990). Where did the Nez Perces go in Yellowstone in 1877?. Montana: The Magazine Of Western History, 40(1), 14-29.
 

Mike K

Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2012
Messages
826
Interesting thread you guys have going. :thumbsup: I've done some packrafting and river trips in some of the mentioned areas. Fun stuff.

@Kmatjhwy and @scatman - I'm interested in checking out the hermit book you two mentioned. Idaho Loaners you guys say? I think my wife would like that. She grew up in Idaho, spent a lot of summers in Warren, and remembers stories from her Dad about the hermits. I always wondered what that was all about so that book sounds intriguing. Thanks.
 

Similar threads

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Top