top of page
  • Writer's picturefherbolsheimer

Section 7

Updated: Aug 20, 2021

Wilderness Gateway Campground to Mullan

Distance: 170 miles (40 mile ride)

Number of Days: 7 days

Day 34 - July 26

Shelby and Tony cooked us scrambled eggs and sausage and we snapped a picture while Tony was in the middle of eating. (See burrito)

I was nervous for this next section. I felt a little unprepared. We would be in the wilderness for 8 days and there were some parts of the trail that were closed because of the fires, we proceeded ahead hoping everything would work out. We began hiking up Sherman peak to Liz Butte. On our way I heard some noise in the bushes next to us so I tapped my treking poles together to alert whatever it was that we were there. Sure enough 3 black bear Cubs scrambled up trees and we each made eye contact with the mother bear no more than 15 feet from us. We backed away slowly and tried our best to leave the area. Next, we found our way to windy creek and found a place to camp about 2 miles in. That night we woke up to branches snapping and something running away... probably bigfoot.

Day 35 - July 27

I woke up to a crabby Steve after he had been sleeping on the bare ground after his blow up pad had popped. We had a few small creek crossings climbing to the windy ridge line. At one point we walked through an active fire that was slowly burning the understory of the forest. It was an erry feeling and I was unsure about what to do.

It seemed like it would be easy to put out a fire at this point before it gets large but I guess the forest service just lets it burn. We hiked down switchback hill and up to Scurvy Mountain Lookout on a very well maintained trail. The trail had been rerouted at one point and I thought we had to bushwhack about 4 miles. Steve convinced me to follow the maintained trail instead, I probably still owe him for that because we would probably still be out there. We make it to the lookout hoping someone is up there to tell us what we should do next.

We are disappointed that no one is there and the smoke takes the view. Who do you think got the twin bed? Not me.

Day 36 - July 28

We sleep in because why not, we were in a fire lookout. The smoke hasn’t cleared at all and we find water near the trail. We descended a quick 8 miles down to Kelly creek on gravel road. We took a break next to the trailhead and a truck pulls up and asks us if we are hiking the ICT we ask him if he has any idea about the fires on the state line. We agree that we should be safe to continue the next two days to Hoodoo pass. We hike along Kelly Creek for 10 miles taking a break in a miserable spot arguing about who knows what. Let’s just say Steve likes to hike in the heat of the afternoon and I do not. FYI Kelly creek is one of the top fly fishing rivers in idaho. We have decent luck each catching a few.

We camp at the base of the trail that we plan to hike the next day relieved that it is maintained.

Day 37 - July 29

We both woke up soaked. I guess it is not a smart idea to camp in a marshy area. We make our way up Bruin Hill eating our fair share of huckleberries along the way.

We are surprised to see three four wheelers parked at Fish lake when we arrive. I decided to rinse out my clothes in the clear water when another four wheeler pulls up with a couple of trail angels, Jay and Michelle. Jay offers us a cold beer, the best Coors Light I have ever had and Michelle offers us an extra sandwich.

We take a break in the shade with full stomachs and our one beer buzz. Later in the day as we are packing up to leave, we chat with Jay and Michelle again and explain a little more of our story and background. We are very thankful for meeting them. We leave Fish lake around 4:00 giving us enough time to hike the 9 miles to our destination for the evening, Goose Lake.

This section of the trail is one of the highlights of the Idaho Centennial Trail. The trail is very well maintained, the views are second to none, and we saw lots of wildlife along the way, we could even see a fire a couple miles from the trail.

We take tons of pictures and made it to Goose lake just as the sun was going down. As we lay in the tent we could hear something splashing in the water but both of us are too tired to get up and check it out so we fell asleep arguing who is more lazy.

Day 38 - July 30

We wake up and continue to hear the splashing in the water that we heard the night before. To our surprise a moose is playing in the water about 50 yards from us.

We were so focused on the moose that we did not even notice the herd of mountain goats that were staring at us. We continue on the State Line Trail #738 toward Hoodoo pass and Steve is having a hard time keeping up with me because his calf is hurting him. Usually it is the other way around. We stop at Heart lake where we are able to get service for the first time in 4 days. We called a couple of ranger stations and confirm that the trail is closed ahead and determined that the best route for us to take is through Superior, MT. We continue on our way to Hoodoo pass where we meet Bob who convinces us to hitch a ride with him rather than walking the dangerous road 20 miles to Superior. We were hesitant to take a ride because we wanted to walk the entire trail but we thought it was better to be safe than sorry. Bob drops us off at the Superior Ranger station and we walk to a restaurant to smash a cheeseburger and fries. Researching what our next steps are going to be we decided that we are going to hike the route of the Olympian that starts in St. Regis, MT and connect to the Nor Pac trail to Mullan. the name sounds cool but it is just a gravel road that follows the interstate, often taken by bikers and ATVs.

We hike about 4 miles on the gravel road before setting up camp for the night.

Day 39 - July 31

We continue to hike the route of the Olympian to the 50,000 Silver Dollar truck stop. Stopping for overpriced huckleberry milkshakes before eating lunch at the restaurant. We expected more at the restaurant with all of the billboard advertisements that we had seen on our hike there. We leave around noon to hike the Nor Pac trail as far as we can to make it to Mullan for church at 1:00 the next day.

Day 40 - August 1

We woke up early so we would have ample time to make it to church on time. Passing by Lookout Mountain we arrive to Mullan at 11:00 and decide to go to the bar and have a lunch before we head to mass. After mass we hike the trail of the Coeur d’Alenes to Wallace where we had sent our resupply box with the food for the next stretch of our hike. We here hoping that the RV park on the edge of town would have a place for us to pitch our tent for the night but instead they had a small cabin for $38 and a shower house. We were sold.

There was not much to the cabin but a couple of wooden bunk beds without a mattress and a plug-in to charge our batteries. We used the cabin mainly as a locker for our packs while we went out on the town. First we shopped at the local grocery store walking through the aisles feeling like our dad before having a beer served in a red solo cup from the 1313 club. Maybe they thought we weren’t classy enough for a glass I’m not sure. Next, we headed to the Metal bar where we met the bartender Dave and some of the locals. We enjoyed giving Dave a hard time for skipping a song that Steve had played on touch tunes. We danced the night away in the street listening to “Dance Yrself Clean” by LCD Soundsystem before going to bed in the hot cabin wishing that we were sleeping in the open air tent instead.


Recent Posts

See All

Section 5

Section 4


bottom of page