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Foist
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PostSun Dec 17, 2017 2:58 pm 
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I have basically only driven through a small section of Idaho.  Otherwise, totally, Idaho-ignorant.  But we're thinking of going there for a family vacation next summer.  We'd probably get a vacation rental house near great hiking.  Having some other activities around would be nice, but hiking would be the main thing.  Can someone recommend a good locale/area to focus on?   8 hour drive max from Seattle. 

Western Montana near Idaho near I-90 would be fine too.  Also would consider something in far eastern Oregon like Eagle Cap Wilderness.  Basically, somewhere roughly on the way to Salt Lake City.

(I'd rather stay away from the super-crowded places like Yellowstone and Glacier NP, because this will be prime tourist season.)
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yukon222
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PostSun Dec 17, 2017 4:29 pm 
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I've only hiked once in Idaho; up North in the Sawtooths near Redfish Lake (Stanley, ID).  6 day backpack although it looks so varied and wide open, plenty of day hiking options.  Encountered very few people too.

Trip pics here - https://www.flickr.com/photos/8246712@N03/albums/72157627686014863
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RichP
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PostSun Dec 17, 2017 4:39 pm 
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Elk City is out in the middle of the hinterland and has some good hiking around. I'm not sure of what kind of accomodations exist but it might be worth checking into. There's an old fashioned hot springs resort in the area too.

http://redriverhs.wixsite.com/redriverhotsprings/about_us

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awilsondc
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awilsondc
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PostSun Dec 17, 2017 5:44 pm 
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I grew up in Idaho and the best stuff is central Idaho. The Sawtooths, White Cloud Mountains, Pioneer Range... but it's a bit further than your max 8 hour drive from Seattle, closer to 10 hours I'd guess.  You might want to bite the bullet though if you're going for a week.  There are bound to be some good vacation rentals around Sun Valley and Ketchum (10 hour drive) and you can access all sorts of great hikes from that location within 15-120 minutes drive time.  If you want closer I'd suggest your eastern Oregon idea.  Eagle Cap Wilderness (Oregon) and Seven Devils (Idaho) are both great and much closer than the good stuff in Idaho.  If you're gonna go for the extra drive time I can offer suggestions, but if you want to stay closer go for the Seven Devils and Eagle Cap areas are probably the best.
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Schroder
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PostSun Dec 17, 2017 5:49 pm 
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There's lots of stuff around Priest Lake & Sand Point. Here are a couple of hikes
Lookout Mountain, Selkirks, Idaho
Roman Nose Lakes, Selkirks, Idaho
The lake would be a great place to take kids.

If you're in the south, a stop at City of Rocks offer some interesting hiking, though not a vast area.
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MyFootHurts
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PostSun Dec 17, 2017 6:17 pm 
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Craters of the Moon is a good one, especially if you've never been to a volcanic landscape.
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Pyrites
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PostSun Dec 17, 2017 7:17 pm 
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And Sandpoint is a good place to spend a day. Some shopping, pubs and cafes.

Swimming in Pend Oreille at the City Beach is so nice it gets traffic from Alberta. Not for beginners.

Best.

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the Zachster
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PostSun Dec 17, 2017 10:37 pm 
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We've based camped in Ketchum for two weeks (twice) and found the hiking/backpacking opportunities to be OUTSTANDING. Like awilsondc said, so many mountain ranges to choose from and most trailheads are about an hour or less from town.  We used VRBO both times (BTW, last year we were running out of good options by late Jan/Feb...fills up fast). The drive was about 10 hours.

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Foist
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PostThu Dec 21, 2017 4:21 pm 
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Thanks for the recommendations!  There has been a change of plans for this summer but I'll file this away.
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Foist
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PostTue Dec 26, 2017 12:52 pm 
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Considering this again... What about the Bitterroot Valley (and Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness)?  Not as spectacular as the Sawtooth Wilderness?
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostTue Dec 26, 2017 1:10 pm 
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Foist wrote:
Considering this again... What about the Bitterroot Valley (and Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness)?  Not as spectacular as the Sawtooth Wilderness?

I've poked around the Montana side of the Bitterroots (south of Missoula).  Enjoyed it, would not hesitate to recommend it.  Maybe not quite as spectacular as the Sawtooths, but very worth checking out still.  Looked like a lot of potential for exploring.

I haven't gotten around to it yet, but I have a hiking guide that mentions the Selway Crags in Idaho.  Sounds like a long, bumpy drive to the trailhead but I'm intrigued to check out that area eventually.
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostTue Dec 26, 2017 1:13 pm 
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One area I haven't seen mentioned yet.  If you do decide to go for a bit more driving and hit the Sawtooths, the Bighorn Crags section of the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness is sorta in the same vicinity.  That area is really cool.  Really long drive on dirt roads to get to the trailhead though (about 60 miles from the nearest pavement).
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kiliki
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PostWed Jan 17, 2018 9:54 am 
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awilsondc wrote:
The Sawtooths, White Cloud Mountains, Pioneer Range... but it's a bit further than your max 8 hour drive from Seattle, closer to 10 hours I'd guess.  You might want to bite the bullet though if you're going for a week.  There are bound to be some good vacation rentals around Sun Valley and Ketchum (10 hour drive) and you can access all sorts of great hikes from that location within 15-120 minutes drive time. 

+1. If you limit your drive to 8 hours, you'll be fairly close but not close enough to the good stuff. Ketchum is a fantastic base--it's a great little town (better known as Sun Valley), tons to see and do right around there, good groceries and restaurants, but it's surrounded by 5 mountain ranges. The Sawtooths look like the Tetons, but only a fraction of the people go there. If you want to splurge a bit, consider a few days at Idaho Rocky Mt Ranch.
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Schenk
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PostWed Jan 17, 2018 11:41 am 
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olderthanIusedtobe wrote:
Foist wrote:
Considering this again... What about the Bitterroot Valley (and Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness)?  Not as spectacular as the Sawtooth Wilderness?

I've poked around the Montana side of the Bitterroots (south of Missoula). 

The Montana side of the Bitterroot is really beautiful, dramatic too, in spots. Blodgett Canyon, Mill, Kootenai, Bear, in fact, nearly all the canyons into the Bitterroots accessed off hwy 93 are cool, and have trails. There are options from Missoula to Lost trail Pass, and beyond.
Trapper peak is beautiful and there are some nice lakes to hike into. It also makes a great BC ski destination.
If you are a rock climber, Blodgett Canyon will make you drool and babble incoherently.
Just do an internet search for images and you will be hooked.

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markweth
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PostWed Jan 17, 2018 12:46 pm 
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Schenk wrote:
olderthanIusedtobe wrote:
Foist wrote:
Considering this again... What about the Bitterroot Valley (and Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness)?  Not as spectacular as the Sawtooth Wilderness?

I've poked around the Montana side of the Bitterroots (south of Missoula). 

The Montana side of the Bitterroot is really beautiful, dramatic too, in spots. Blodgett Canyon, Mill, Kootenai, Bear, in fact, nearly all the canyons into the Bitterroots accessed off hwy 93 are cool, and have trails. There are options from Missoula to Lost trail Pass, and beyond.
Trapper peak is beautiful and there are some nice lakes to hike into. It also makes a great BC ski destination.
If you are a rock climber, Blodgett Canyon will make you drool and babble incoherently.
Just do an internet search for images and you will be hooked.

The Bitterroots have some great hiking and backpacking (I live ten minutes from Blodgett Canyon Trailhead) and rarely feel crowded. The Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness also has some great hiking and is nearby.

You could rent a house in/near Hamilton or Darby, MT and have dozens of trailheads within a half-hour drive. Both towns have decent restaurants, breweries, etc.
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