The good news? This route only has two big climbs. The bad news? They’re doozies. This is probably the most difficult route in the series, and it's mostly contained within the Mallard-Larkins Pioneer Area in the Clearwater Nat’l Forest. While it doesn’t have official Wilderness designation, the Pioneer Area is a roadless district and is still managed as such. This special area is at the southern end of the largest inland temperate rainforest in the world, and it's home to many species that don't exist anywhere else east of the Cascades. Worth the drive from anywhere, the landscape is characterized by steep mountains rising out of lush, green forests. This double lollipop route includes the Black Mountain Trail #396, a tag of the Black Mountain Lookout (one of the last staffed fire lookouts), Black Lake Trail #685, Nub Trail #399, Isabella Creek Trail #95, Elmer Creek Trail #96, Smith Ridge Trail #240, Hearts Pass Trail #65, and back to The Nub Trail #399 until you get down to North Fork Road 247. Turn right and finish with 2.75 miles on the road to get back to where you started.
Wild Idaho Endurance Challenge events are self/unsupported wilderness fun runs. No course markings, no aid stations, no set date or time. You can complete them by yourself at any time or with a friend or two. Routes must be completed on foot and in one push. The nice part is that there are no cutoffs, so if you find a lake where you want to take a dip or a special viewpoint that you want to sit and enjoy, there is no pressure! Please take photos and visit the Facebook or Instagram pages afterwards and share with us how it went with a short trip report! You can either self report your time on the honor system, or you can submit your Strava/Gaia/Garmin/Suunto etc track. Please visit the website for GPS/GPX tracks of your route. Finishers will have their time posted and will be given a small swag bag.
To get people out into the wonderful wilderness areas that we have here! Information isn't always readily available for these areas and maps can be scarce and not always reliable. That can intimidate some that aren't as experienced outdoors-people. The goal is to empower people to get out into these wilderness areas, to raise awareness of them, and hopefully to protect them into the future.
Local time: 4:22 PM
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