Road Trip 2019, Week 3 Idaho

Grangeville, Idaho continued

We have arrived in our destination state for the summer (2019/07/16/road-trip-2019-week-2/), so it’s time to slow down and explore. We book a weekly rate and kick back for some sightseeing.

The “new” Highway 95

White Bird, Idaho

The first day of exploring is taking the “new” Hwy 95 south to White Bird Hill, past the Nez Perce Battlefield & trailhead, then to see “the most beautiful medium span, high clearance bridge, 1976”. After an amazing “lemonade slushie with raspberry” at Canyon House, we continue back up “old 95”—or White Bird Grade, “goat trail” or Spiral Highway—the first north/south highway in Idaho! It’s popular with cyclists but The Captain abstains.

You can watch a YouTube video of old 95 here (I didn’t listen to the audio & thank goodness we were going UP):

Learn more about the Nez Perce Battlefield here:

According to the plaque, this was “the most beautiful medium span, high clearance bridge, 1976”

Google Map view of “new” 95 and “old” 95.
The view driving down to the river at Pine Bar.

Pine Bar Recreation Area

Our next exploration was a possible boondocking location 28 miles outside Grangeville, ID. The BLM-managed Pine Bar Recreation Area has 6 gravel camping spots large enough for RV’s for $7/night, first-come-first-serve, 14 days max (vault toilets and drinking water on site). It’s a beautiful drive down a gorge on a well-paved road until you arrive at the Salmon River. Our special treat was seeing a family of turkey cross the road—2 adults and about 10 poults (baby turkeys)!

  • Cell coverage 0 bars
  • No one in the campground on a Monday after a holiday.
  • Several cars using the beach areas on the way in.
  • Lots of rafters on the river.
  • Found with the AllStays Camp & RV app.

More info from the Burea of Land Management: link

River access at Pine Bar

This would definitely be worth the effort if we could stay for a week!

A Google Maps satellite view

Tolo Lake

Upon arrival, we received a pamphlet explaining the significance of Tolo Lake. In 1994, as sediment was removed from the lake to improve fish habitat, they discovered a bone. An excavation the next year found over 400 bones. They estimate there are the remains of over 200 complete Mammoth skeletons!

It was also the site of the last taste of freedom for five bands of the Nez Perce Indians before entering the Nez Perce Reservation in 1877.

We took a short walk, but there didn’t appear to be much to see.

Here’s more about the Nez Perce at this location:

Nez Perce National Historic Park

Our time in Grangeville has quickly come to an end. On our 68 mile drive to the Lewiston, ID area, our lunch break is a another stop on the Nez Perce Trail Auto Tour. We walk a few trails and visit the museum.

Stop #10 Hells Canyon Resort. Clarkston, Washington

Technically, we are on the Washington state side of Lewiston, right on the Snake River—and the RV park has it’s own marina! I couldn’t resist.

And we’re feeling spoiled—a nice picnic table & our first concrete pad of the season. No gravel!

  • $221 weekly rate.
  • Elevation is 745 ft.
  • T-Mobile 2 bars and streaming.
  • Albertsons grocery and WalMart right down the street (boondocking friendly).

Stayed tuned as we continue to head north ahead of the summer temps!

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