300k Bitterroot Loop – 4 Day Camping and Biking Tour
Day 1: Stay in St. Maries at the Pines Motel (208-245-2545). They will provide a shuttle to either Plummer or Heyburn State Park. This strategy avoids riding on narrow Highway 5 between St. Maries and Heyburn at the end of your journey. Leave Plummer or Heyburn early and ride to the Blue Anchor RV Park in Osburn (208-752-3443 ). This is either a 60 mile or 53 mile ride, depending on your starting point, but it is on a paved trail. The first 6 miles from Plummer are downhill, and then it is essentially flat.
Day 2: Ride eleven miles from Osburn to Mullan on the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes. Ride from Mullan to the Hiawatha on the NorPac Trail. Remember that passage along the world famous Route of the Hiawatha requires helmets, lights and a $10 use fee for everyone in your party. Friendly Trail Marshals will accept your cash and issue passes. Ride the Old Milwaukee Scenic/Alternate Route from the end of the Hiawatha to the Telichpa (aka North Fork) Campground. This is approximately 55 miles
Day 3: Continue following the Old Milwaukee Scenic/Alternate Route to Marble Creek. At Marble Creek, cross the St. Joe River, and then head west on Potlatch Road to Big Creek Road. Stay at the Big Creek Forest Service Camp-ground (fs.fed.us/ ipnf/rec/yourplace/cgguide/35.html). This is approximately 32 miles
Day 4: Return back to Potlatch Road and continue west on the Old Milwaukee right of way into St Maries and to your vehicle at the Pines Motel. This will be approximately 31 miles. Contact the St. Maries (208-245-2531) and Avery (208-245-4517) Forest Service offices about camping at their campgrounds and other places along the route. Contact the St. Maries Chamber of Commerce (208-245-3563) about the campgrounds in St. Maries.
Here are some other camping options:
a) Contact the By-the-Way Campground in Pinehurst (208-682-3311).
b) Contact Country Lane Resort on the North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River (877-670-5927). This full service resort includes tent camping, but is 6 easy miles from Enaville trailhead, so add 12 miles to your adventure.
c) Contact Wallace RV Park (208-753-7121). They have tent sites and a great restaurant.
d) Contact Lookout Pass Ski Area (208-744-1301) about camping in their parking lot or at the Hiawatha trailhead parking lots.
e) There are undeveloped campsites in the Loop Creek area after you leave the Route’s Pearson trailhead. Check with the Avery Forest Service (208-245-4517) about them.
f) You may also pitch a tent on the lawn at the Calder Store (208-245-5278).