Idaho Panhandle

Leaving Washington state, I continued my journey eastward across the Idaho panhandle and into Montana. Followed US-2 and US-93 mostly, with a couple of side routes included in order to camp at beautiful places.

River in front of mountains

Pend O’rielle River

(Nordman ID)
I arrived on Thursday at Priest Lake in the far northern panhandle of Idaho. And, just in time to get the last campsite at Idaho Panhandle NF-Reeder Bay Campground. A non-reservable site with a view of the lake and a short path to the beach. Plus 4G internet.

Lake and hills

Priest Lake

(nr Troy MT)
After going though Bonners Ferry, I was soon into Montana. The next camp was at Kootenai NF-Yaak River Campground. That campground was right where the Yaak River empties into the Kootenai River. My site backed up to the Yaak, with a path that took me to the confluence.

Light reflecting off river

Yaak River

River in the mountains

Kootenai River

A few miles further along brought me to Kootenai Falls scenic trail. I stopped and took the short hike. Wow! It was a spectacular set of waterfalls with several great viewpoints. I took lots of photos, but chose just two to share.

Wide waterfall foaming

Kootenai Falls – left side

Waterfall and rocks

Kootenai Falls – right side

(Libby to Eureka MT)
Next stop was in Libby to fill up on gas, post to the blog, and to re-check my planned route. A side trip north on MT-37 was taken to see Lake Koocanusa, a 90 mile long reservoir that goes all the way into Canada.

Pines, lake, mountains

Lake Koocanusa

An overnight boondock spot was found at McGuire Creek that was adjacent to the lake, and had great views of both. The wide paved pullout was easy to get level and was within the Kootenai NF. Road noise was minimal late at night.

Creek and pine trees

McGuire Creek

(nr Hungry Horse MT)
Spent a couple of nights at Flathead NF-Lid Creek Campground on the Hungry Horse Reservoir. A decent site with a view of the water through the trees. The scenery coming in was impressive, and I was welcomed by deer in the campground.

Lake in front of mountains

Hungry Horse Reservoir

Warnings about bears are common on the bulletin board. However, this one said ‘Grizzly bears are active in this campground’. Whoa, and just what are they actively doing? After a couple of days, I moved on.

(nr Essex MT)
Stopped at several spots along US-2 in the Flathead NF to take photos, and spent a few nights boondocking in that area. I really enjoyed Bear Creek.

Stream passing over rocks

Bear Creek

Pines and mountains

View from Skyland Road

It was an enjoyable time along US-2 while working my way toward the next big thing.

Camps: Idaho Panhandle NF, Kootenai NF, Flathead NF
Scene: Lakes, rivers, creeks, waterfalls, mountains

6 Responses to Idaho Panhandle

  1. J. RICHARD SECOR August 15, 2014 at 6:58 pm #

    Beautiful photos and some nice sounding stop overs

    • Pleinguy August 16, 2014 at 7:39 pm #

      It was nice route to take with some neat sights along the way.

  2. Dizzy-Dick August 15, 2014 at 7:34 pm #

    Watch out for those bears. Back in 1959 I came around the corner of an RV and almost tripped over a grizzly that was robbing a garbage can, the kind of cans sunk into the ground with a lever to step on to open the lid. The Grizzly had a great big paw on that lever with his head down in the garbage can. I can remember how wide his head was. I was lucky he was pre-occupied.

    • Pleinguy August 16, 2014 at 7:40 pm #

      Haven’t seen any griz, and don’t want to be that close to one.

  3. jonthebru August 16, 2014 at 12:32 am #

    Great post. You have a way with words and pictures. I didn’t realize you also have a BLOG! I thought this was a scouting trip for my visit to the NW!

    • Pleinguy August 16, 2014 at 7:42 pm #

      Thanks for the kind words. Hope my posts help you with the trip plans.

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