Anybody here live in/familiar with the Idaho Panhandle?

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Anybody here live in/familiar with the Idaho Panhandle?

Postby Oro » Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:27 am

Next week I am taking my two step kids (girl 10, boy 15) to the Panhandle for the week, for a little something different before school starts. I am looking for suggestions of things to do.

We are staying (at least some of the time) in a house in Craigmont, which is a little south off Rt. 12 about 1/2 way across or a little less. Just a modest home in the town, not a "destination" kind of cabin or anything. A friend has it and it's empty (bought their grandmother's old house). So It's a "base of operations" kind of thing. I've driven across 12 a few times, but don't know the area that much. They've never been past Spokane so it I want to show them a little taste of the west.

Winchester Lake SP (told was good fishing) is nearby, St. Gertrude's Abbey/monastery - figure a day at each. Great places to camp or things like that nearby? I had thought of trying to take them to Glacier or Yellowstone, but it just seems like a heck of a lot more driving from there. Maybe drive Rt. 12 to Lolo Pass one day; I recall that as one of the most amazing roads/scenery I've ever enjoyed. Maybe Hell's Canyon to the south? Are there any stunning parks or mountains to the north towards Canuckland?

If people have suggestions, I'm all ears. FYI, not taking the truck, a sedan instead, so can't access remote campsites or things like that.
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Re: Anybody here live in/familiar with the Idaho Panhandle?

Postby paulb208 » Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:38 pm

I live in SW Idaho, but my wife and I have done a bit of camping up in that area. Winchester Lake SP is one of our favorites for camping. There is also a wolf research center in Winchester. It's always closed when we go in the fall, so I don't know how good it is. St. Gertrudes is very cool. The grounds are beautiful, and the museum is quite extensive. If you drive south a ways to White Bird, which is a quaint little town on its own, you can head west and go to Pittsburgh Landing in Hell's Canyon. Just outside White Bird is a very nice BLM campground called Hammer Creek. Lolo Pass is a beautiful drive, but Rt. 11 to Weippe and Pierce is also pretty, and you meet up with the Lewis/Clark trail also. If you are looking for off-road adventure, you could take the Magruder Corridor from Elk City, ID to Darby, MT. It's 120 miles of off-grid forest service roads following old Native American trails and ridge lines. It is a 2-day minimum drive, and my daughter and I hope to overland across it next year. The Clearwater River canyon is gorgeous, with nice stopping spots in Kamiah, Kooskia and Orofino. There's also the Nez Perce National Historic Park in Spalding, with lots of exhibits and old buildings as well. You can also go jet-boating out of Lewiston on the Snake River. And this is just Central Idaho. Farther north, I would highly recommend Coeur d'Alene, Sandpoint, Lake Ponderay, Priest Lake, Farragut SP., Heyburn SP., and Wallace, where Dante's Peak was filmed and they have a great mining museum.

This isn't even HALF of what there is to see. I love Idaho. It is about 2/3 public lands. Fishing, hiking, hunting, forest service roads everywhere. I'll just shut up now so Y'all don't move here like all the Californians....
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Re: Anybody here live in/familiar with the Idaho Panhandle?

Postby Oro » Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:01 pm

Hey, thanks.

Some of that I will incorporate into our planning this coming week. I hope to get out of here later today and head that way.

For a few reasons I am going to take a car and not my Trooper so off-road is not going to happen, unfortunately. I know I will regret that once I am there. But it would be a few hundred$$ more in gas to take it, also my step-son is 15 and working on getting his license, and he is more confident and comfortable in the car vs. the Trooper so far. Makes it much easier for me to hand off 1/2 the driving to him that way! Also, the car is pretty comfy for long drives.

The Clearwater River canyon ...


Is that what people call Rt. 12 heading to Lolo? Not sure what to call that but have ridden it on motorcycles a few times, that is why I know it.

Your comments on parks and things are helpful and I will check them out. I also do want to get further North like to Sandpoint, CDA, etc.

I am getting fed up w/the CA people coming to WA, so ID may be in my future... (And I used to live in NYC, so you know it MUST be getting bad...)

EDIT:
3.5L 4x4 auto TOD w/ 4Hi Mod


Hey I just saw that in your sig line. I have been thinking about that since some off-roading last summer. I may pm you to ask what you think about it. I read a post at 4x4wire or something and it clearly wasn't that hard to do. I have had quattros in the past and liked the handling that way; curious if it makes a difference in the trooper.
1998 Acura SLX. OME 929s and front crank, KYB tubes. Retro'd Aisin manual front hubs.
Home rebuilt 4L30E doing great. Aux cooler and temp gauge. Big thanks on the rebuild to Buster28, Jerry (jlemond), CalG, and others.
Factory(US dealer) side steps and roof/ski rack (Yakima).
Oro
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