Get ready to head north for 1250 miles through the best backcountry Idaho has to offer on the motorcycle adventure of a lifetime! The IDBDR is a must for any adventure riding enthusiast.
Your Idaho motorcycle adventure will begin in the historic mining town of Jarbidge. The tiny town of Jarbidge might be the most isolated of Nevada’s well-known mining towns, but it’s also the most stunning.
Just a few miles north of Jarbidge you’ll cross the Nevada state line into Idaho and your motorcycle adventure will really get underway! The only way of knowing you’re crossing the state line is from your GPS!
Imagine riding on easy gravel tracks alongside crystal clear creeks before meeting up with the desert of southern Idaho. This is what adventure motorcycle riding is all about!
BEGINNING YOUR IDAHO MOTORCYCLE ADVENTURE
The beginning of the IDBDR will not disappoint as you ride towards Glenn’s Ferry. Although it is a fairly uneventful journey with long straight gravel roads you might just spot a pair of A10 ‘flying tanks’ training over Saylon Creek Air Force Range East of the route.
As you continue north of Glenn’s Ferry through low alpine terrain, the scenery and roads become much more interesting as you climb into the Mount Bennett Hills, and on to Anderson Ranch Reservoir.
Riding around the lake is something any ADV rider will enjoy and if you’re not aiming for Trinity Lake, the reservoir has great camping options just as you hit Pine. Don’t leave Pine without fueling up as it’s the only place to get gas until you get to Lowman.
If you make it to Trinity Lake, the campground there is the perfect spot to rest after the long ride from Jarbidge. I’ll never forget the time we once found a moose bathing in Trinity Lake!
The ascent up to Trinity lookout on the IDBDR is definitely an advanced or expert section for bigger bikes. The toughest sections are in the first 500 meters so a quick walk to check the track might be worthwhile if you’re unsure.
Following this short technical section, you’ll reach Trinity Lookout at a staggering 9,500 ft, the highest drivable point in Idaho. The view of southern Idaho from Trinity Lookout is absolutely unbelievable!
As you continue your adventure motorcycle expedition north on the Idaho BDR to Lowman, you’ll find yourself blown away by the miles of incredible river canyons.
THE IDAHO MOTORCYCLE ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME
The ride to Lowman and Yellow Pine might be scenic but it can be strenuous with it’s winding gravel roads which require you to stay focused at all times.
The village of Yellow Pine will be a highlight of your Idaho motorcycle adventure. If you’re passing through during the first week of August, you’ll get to witness the Yellow Pine Harmonica Festival.
Most of the year, Yellow Pine is occupied by others eager to explore the remote and beautiful area of Idaho.
When we reached Yellow Pine during one expedition, we found ourselves on a camp spot recommended by the town tavern…Which just so happened to be on the golf course!
The ride out of Yellow Pine quickly climbs to Elk Summit Pass for the start of a great day’s riding through Payette National Forest. We’re now deep in the heart of Idaho’s stunning backcountry.
Along this section of your Idaho motorcycle expedition, you’ll find Elk Creek cemetery right on the side of the route so worth stopping to check it out.
The general store in the small mining town of Warren is a great lunch stop unless you’re aiming for Burgdorf Hot springs for a well-earned rest. The hot pools and cabins here are open all year round and add an element of luxury to your adventure riding experience.
As you head out of Burgorf be sure to keep an eye out for the old abandoned school bus… That’s been shot up! What else are you to do with an abandoned school bus?!
Up next on this epic motorcycle adventure through Idaho you’ll ride down the switchback road of French Creek Grade to the Salmon River which is an absolutely incredible experience in itself!
A ONCE IN A LIFETIME BACKCOUNTRY MOTORCYCLE EXPEDITION
Once you’ve crossed the historic Manning Bridge traverse a mix of pavement and dirt roads to the small town of Elk City.
Once you reach Elk City we highly recommend bedding down for the night at Riders Rest, a great place to camp if you need a shower and laundry facilities… Plus it’s walking distance to the Saloon!
The shelters at Riders Rest are perfect for hanging your hammock and luckily, keep the rain out during even the heaviest of thunderstorms.
When you wake from a restful night, you’ll be sure to be greeted by a fantastic Idaho sun rising through the mist on the road out of Elk City as you head to the start of the Magruder Corridor. Get ready to experience the Idaho you’ve been dreaming of.
The views of Nez Perce & Bitterroot National Forests on top of Burnt Knob Fire Lookout are incredible. If you’re thinking of riding this trail, be aware the mile-long cutoff to the lookout is quite technical in places with large loose rocks on the road.
From one of our amazing campsite along the Idaho BDR, you could make out the corridor trail cutting across the mountain the background. This particular campsite was located at the viewpoint south of Sabe Saddle and West of Sabe Mountain.
The Magruder Crossing is 3 miles from the sight of the Massacre the Corridor is famed for.
AN UNFORGETTABLE IDAHO MOTORCYCLE EXPEDITION
On your Idaho motorcycle expedition, you’ll find yourself crossing the border between Idaho and Montana at the Nez Perce Pass. You’ll head towards the 93 for a short road section north to link up with the Lolo Motorway and head back west into Idaho again.
The Lolo Motorway is definitely worth the detour. It’s not too technical but a fantastic ride with lots of history to consume along the way. Heading west and retracing Lewis and Clark’s footsteps on the IDBDR is an unforgettable adventure riding experience.
Another noteworthy landmark on your Idaho motorcycle adventure is the ‘Indian Post Office’ is a along the Motorway.
Be sure to make a short stop in Pierce for gas, refreshments, and supplies before heading onwards through Idaho to Grandad.
On one Idaho motorcycle expedition, we found ourselves camping near the Dworshak Reservoir along the shore at Grandad campground as the sun began to set. It wasn’t our first choice location, but it’s a good location you’re out of time to reach Blue Heaven Cabin on route to Avery before sunset.
Blue Haven Cabin is a small cabin that is open to the public on a first come first serve basis. No reservations or keys are necessary but please leave it in a better state than you found it in and leave a note in the guest book. You can also read through the entries of the ADV riders who have come before you.
If you do find yourself camping along the shore at Grandad campground on your Idaho motorcycle expedition, an early morning view over the Clearwater Mountains north of Dworshak Reservoir is a breathtaking way to start your 200 miles journey to Clark Fork.
IDAHO ADVENTURE MOTORCYCLE TOUR
As you pass through Avery on your Idaho backcountry motorcycle adventure, Scheffy’s General Store is a good place to stop for lunch and refreshments.
You have two choices leaving Avery. You can take the track east of the river or opt for the west side of the river which will take you along the old railway line with tunnels.
As you head to Clark Fork, be sure to make a brief stop in the historic town of Wallace, the Silver Capital of the World, for gas and food.
Be warned, this is Grizzly Bear country so make sure you camp accordingly.
Unfortunately, during one of our Idaho motorcycle expeditions, the unusually high summer temperatures caused a large number of wildfires.
Along the Idaho BDR, Lunch Peak Lookout is a great location that can be booked out through Idaho Panhandle National Forest at Recreation.gov. The views from up here are spectacular and cannot be missed on your Idaho motorcycle adventure.
The final stretch of your backcountry motorcycle adventure will take you through northern Idaho’s farmland on your way to the US & Canadian border.
The Idaho BDR is an epic backcountry motorcycle adventure with fantastic trails and so much remote wilderness. You’ll want to plan 7-8 days minimum to take your time and enjoy this once in a lifetime motorcycle adventure.