You are hereMcCall and Whitebird Challenge Sites.

McCall and Whitebird Challenge Sites.

By rockhopjohn - Posted on 07 June 2013

 Got a wild hair yesterday around noon to go up and hit all of the IAMC Challenge sites up north of McCall and around Whitebird.  So I packed up and hit the road. I didn't realize it until I started fiddling with my GPS along the way, but there was one site I hadn't been to right along the way, Paddy Flat Guard Station.

I headed up towards the guard station and eventually got to a fork in the road that indicated the guard station was 9 miles down the left hand fork, the problem was the GPS and the Benchmark maps said it was 2 miles down the right hand fork. Who's in a rush right? Maybe the right hand road doesn't go through, so I followed the sign.  Not problem getting there and the road was fun too.


I decided to try the other road to get back out to the highway, and sure enough, it was open and got me back out quick and easy, not sure who at the Forest Service was making signs that day, but I think they needed an extra cup of coffee.
So from here I had to make a decision, head straight north out of McCall and to hit Burgdork HS and Wind River Suspension Bridge, or head up towards Whitebird.  About 10 days ago there was still too much snow to get through French Creek, so I decided to leave that for the next day and head up towards Whitebird.
My first stop there was Sawpit Saddle Lookout. A guy I talked to in Riggins said that if I headed up Race Creek there was good camping up at Iron Phone Junction and I would be right where I needed to be to hit Sawpit Saddle, so I headed up and stopped at Iron Phone Junction to stake out my camp spot and lighten up the bike some, then headed out to Sawpit before it got dark.
Threw my tent up to claim the site, but on a Thrusday evening I wasn't too worried, I hadn't seen a single vehicle since leaving the highway.

Then off to Sawpit Saddle.  Great view from the road in.

Not much left of the Lookout, but it's always nice to have a toilet around.

So I headed on up to the top of the hill to check out the view.

It was getting later and given the condition of the road I didn't want to have to pick my way back out in the dark, so I hot footed it back to camp to relax and get a good night's sleep for the day ahead.
Sleeping under the stars, without having to worry about the bugs.

Relaxing by the fire.

So the next morning I was packed up and back on the trail by 7:30.  The morning light was great looking off to the west.
Looking down into Hell's Canyon from Cow Creek Saddle.

I had two options for heading to Pittsburg Landing from here, this one seemed the most appropriate, and turned out to be tons of fun. Reminded me why I love riding around here so much.

I finally wormed my way over to the road to Pittsburg Landing. The view before dropping down in the canyon wasn't too bad.

The landing was dead quiet at 8:30 AM on a Friday morning.

After I came out of Pittsburg Landing my next stop was the Whitebird Battlefield monument.  The coordinates I had placed it over on the old US 95; which was a hoot to ride, but not where the monument it located.  So I rode it all the way to the top where it dumps out onto new US 95, and then headed back down the hill to the actual monument.

Whitebird Battlefield.

From here I headed back down to the Hoot Cafe, had some breakfast, fueled up and headed towards Wind River Bridge on the Salmon.
The Salmon was especially lovely today, and I had the chance to pace a jet boat heading up river.  I'd get some pictures as the boat went by, then zoom ahead and get some more, which was lots of fun.



Now for the big question, was I going to be able to get over the top and into Burgdorf, or was going to have to back track out and take the long way around. The road was in rough shape with lots of loose rocks and trees down, but nothing I couldn't get through, and it did look like it'd had some traffic.  Lucky for me it appears that 10 days was enough to clear the snow, and I was able to make it over the top.
The hot springs looked very inviting when I got there and the lady running the place was putting on the hard sell, but alas I had to get back to Boise.


Another fun trip, and the first time camping off the Tiger, and first time camping off the bike in a couple of years.  As usual I got to see a bunch of new beautiful country.
Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)