St. Joe’s National Forest, Idaho

With the help of the rangers at the Avery ranger district in the St. Joe’s National Forest, we found an awesome boondocking spot off FR 456. It is only 4 miles up 456 after you turn left onto it from Avery. We had no problem getting to it in our 35 foot fifth wheel, even going through the one lane tunnels. This road used to be a portion of the Milwaukee Railroad.

When we finished setting up camp, we went on a bike ride up FR 456. There are multiple tunnels along this road that go through the mountains. They are really creepy to drive through, but even more so on foot or on bike. When you begin to go through, the tunnel is so short you can see the light from the other side. But as you get more in the middle, the pitch black darkness consumes you. Even though you can still see a little bit of light from the other side, it can be disorienting. The walls of the tunnel disappear along with everything physical about you. All you can do is focus ahead and quickly follow the light…While riding we found trail head 196 at the Telipah campground (called North Fork campground in the atlas). The next day we explored this trail that hiked to Big Dick Point (not kidding on the name). It was a difficult 11 mile hike with a 3,000 foot elevation gain and max grades of 34% and -32%. Bring your hiking poles, or find a good stick.

After boondocking a few days we went to a little town in Idaho called Wallace to do laundry, re-up on supplies and take a much needed hot shower (not that we can’t shower in the RV, just better to save water when boondocking). We stayed at the Wallace RV park for $25 a night, full hookups. There is a nice restaurant/brewery on the property. After a hot shower and a flight of beers with fish and chips, I was one happy camper.

One of the things to do around here in the summer time is biking the Hiawatha trail. This 15 mile path used to be part of the Milwaukee Railroad. It’s in St. Joe’s NF and northeast of where Tim and I rode bikes a couple days earlier. The trail is pretty fun, there are multiple trestles and tunnels to go through. In fact, the start of the trail is a dark, wet and coooold 2 mile tunnel! It was really creepy to go this seemingly endless tunnel. The price to ride the trail is 10 dollars a person and if you don’t have a helmet and light you have to rent them. You are supposed to wear this equipment at all times. However, at the halfway point I took my helmet off since I HATE helmets. My philosophy is if I ride off the cliff I’m dead anyways so I might as well feel the breeze…I digress…For the most part, the entire trail is at a 1.7% downhill grade, meaning you don’t have to pedal hardly at all. Then you can take the shuttle back (for an extra fee $9/pp). We opted to ride the bikes back since we were already annoyed they charged us to ride on a bike path in the first place lol. I will say- it is a really awesome bike path.

Soon we will be heading to West Yellowstone and hope to find a boondocking spot outside the park. Thanks for reading. 🙂

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Victoria

Hello, I'm Victoria. I was born and raised in Savannah, Ga. I am a traveling nurse that specializes in critical care. My husband Tim and I purchased a fifth wheel RV and live on it full time. In between jobs, we will adventure within and outside of the U.S. I hope you enjoy reading about our travels and hope our posts help people out with theirs.

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