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Begins: Jun 4, 2013
Date: Sat, Jul 20th, 2013
Trip Distance: 526.6
Entry Visits: 3,566
Journal Visits: 13,535
Guestbook Views: 993
Guestbook Entrys: 12
Well, the ICT....what to say?
The Bruneau desert south of the snake river has one water source at Clover Crk. There were two tanks for cattle between Nevada and Clover creek. This is a 90 mile stretch to Hammett. Hammett has a cafe and small conv. store. The desert is prettier closer to the border but the heat can be a dealbreaker if its over 100. This is almost all on dirt roads.
From Hammett to hunter transfer camp (Sawtooth NF) the trail is on dirt roads the entire way except for 2-3 miles on Bennett Mtn. There is a nice spring just after the paved road on the edge of the Camas prairie. There is very little/no water otherwise.
In retrospect, this was the highlight of the trip. Most trails are well maintained between Willow Creek and Sawtooth? Lake. (It might be Stanley Lake, I can't remember at the moment). There are good views and plenty of water. In fact, my feet were soaked the entire time. Dozens of creek crossings from ankle to crotch deep.
Trails along creeks and rivers are mainly ok. Going overland is where the problems are. My advice would be to call ahead to the individual ranger districts and find out what has been cleared recently (if anything), and be prepared to alter your route accordingly. The rivers are spectacular and always offer the best hiking.
The Clearwater NF and Selway-Bitteroot--
This is where it really gets ugly. Definitely do your homework here as you WILL be taking alternate routes. From the Magruder corridor to Hwy 12 is a disaster. This is due to neglect by the Forest Circus, not necessarily fires. In some places fires helped, in others it exacerbated the problems.
I cannot comment on the 80-90 miles north of Hwy 12 as I have not done it yet.
The Stateline/Panhandle-(from 2012)
There is a 50 mile stretch of dirt road along the Stateline south of Mullan (Int.90-I think).
North of Mullan, there are actually some decent trails mixed in with a lot of dirt roads. Clark Fork and Naples are the resupply options.
Last year I looked and found NO TRAIL from dodge peak to mcarthur lake. I took Roman nose road directly to Naples via Highline Flats rd. I would recommend this route instead of the 12 mile road walk along the Pack river and highway 2.
OVERALL- I would say that for all the climbing, there are very few views...most of the ridges are thick with trees throughout the entire length of this hike...it also seems that the GPS and map routes have definitely not been ground checked in most places, don't trust them.
This trail looks great on paper, but I'm not sure it lives up to its billing. Maybe the 100 miles I have left are the best miles though!
Be sure to call and see what has been worked on lately, it's your only hope of thru-hiking this trail.
Lastly (for now), I think it's a shame that the ICT after 23 years as Idahos state trail, remains an idea more than an actual trail. It certainly has a lot of potential, but alas, the forest is reclaiming it faster than it is being maintained and I think it will be gone soon unless something major is done.
I will be sending letters to the SBFC foundation, Idaho parks and rec and the USFS When I am done at the end of the summer.
The Idaho Centennial Trail is an 890 mile trail from the Nevada border to Canada. Created by Syd Tate and Roger Williams, a 'lasting legacy' trail was dedicated on Idaho's Centennial in 1990. This is a multi-use trail and has official alternates around protected areas. It passes through 2 of the 3 largest wilderness areas in the lower 48. A 450 mile stretch with only one paved road crossing, hot springs, Wild and Scenic Rivers, old-growth cedars and a whole lot of quiet are only some of the highlights of this trail. Visit http://www.parksandrecreation.idaho.gov/activities/hiking for more info.
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