Thursday, Dec 23, 2021 @ 7:00 AM

WIEC Thunder Mountain Loop

Yellow Pine, ID 50 Miler, 25 Miler

This Event Took Place Thu. Dec 23, 2021

How To

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.

But Why?

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.

All profits from registration fees will be donated to wilderness conservation groups like the Idaho Trails Association and the Wallowa Mountains-Hells Canyon Trails Association.

Route Description

Monumental Creek Trail, Cougar Basin Trail, Big Creek Trail, and Lookout Mtn Ridge Trail. The trails are in surprisingly good shape the whole loop. 3 spots with deadfall landslides along Monumental Creek, several places with overgrowth along the creek but nothing too bad, and lots of blowdowns on the ridge section but nothing too difficult to get over or around. This is probably, mile for mile, the most scenic wilderness run I have done in Idaho so far.

50 miler, about 7,200 climbing (vast majority being in the last 20 miles)
This route starts and ends in the old Thunder Mountain mining area. This forgotten town was the site of a brief and mostly disappointing gold boom around the turn of the 20th century. You will see the remnants of many log buildings and even an old stamp mill to the right of the trail along Monumental Creek. The Monumental Creek Trail is easy to follow, but can be overgrown in spots. It crosses the creek many times, so your feet will get wet. Route includes about 5 miles of dirt road with the remaining 45 miles being 100% single track and one primitive section on Lookout Mountain Ridge Trail. The twenty miles between the Big Creek ford and the Lookout Mtn Trailhead are dry, so carry ample water for this section. There is a spring right on the trail less than a quarter mile from the trailhead. The vast majority of the climbing on this route is in the last twenty miles (if you go clockwise), so be prepared for that.

Shorter Option:
- ~25 miles, ~5,300 ft climbing
This route still gives you a great taste of the remoteness of the RONR wilderness, but you do miss the best part of the 50 mile route, which is the long Lookout Ridge section once you climb up after fording Big Creek. You do, however, avoid the Big Creek ford. You will still pass by the old Lookout Mountain Fire Lookout site.

Local time: 10:28 AM


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