Camping the North Fork of the St. Joe River

The picture you see above is of the Slate Creek drainage near Avery, Idaho. This country is littered with small mining claims, like Avery, that are still hanging in there with each having their own little quirks and gems. I want to share with you a few stories and thoughts from my latest adventure camping in Northern Idaho!

We left Coeur d'Alene, headed toward Montana for Moon Pass. The road to the pass can be found driving through the town of Wallace, Idaho. You'll take Placer Creek Rd. and connect with Moon Pass Rd. You'll end up on the North Fork St Joe River Rd (NF-456) and cross the bridge back to the west (300A) just before it turns back into Moon Pass Rd and begins to gain elevation again. The most amazing part about traveling this road for the first time, was traveling at night! We decided to head out a day early for our trip, and were ready to roll at sunset. Needless to say, I know why it's called Moon Pass!

We were camped near Pearson, Idaho. 

This was the campground we had. Exact Location here.

The campground was near perfection. A large common area with several spots for tents/RVs. A centralized campfire. And even some beach access to the North Fork of the St Joe River just steps away from camp. I chose a covered area for the tent due to the weather forecasting some showers. I use a Mountain Hardwear Optic™ 3.5 Tent. This worked WONDERS! You can see, it kept me dry all day and all night. With plenty of room in there for 1 person, I was living the dream. I also use an REI Campbed 3.5 slef-inflating sleeping pad... Sort of Glamping.

On the first day, I rode the Hiawatha Trail with my mother-in-law on our mountain bikes. WE HAD A BLAST! If you've ever thought about making this trip, it's worth it. There is amazing history behind the trail and even a 1.7 mile long tunnel! (It was very cold and wet; take your jacket!)

 I found this bad-boy CHEAP at an REI Garage Sale.

The next day I spent riding in the backseat of a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon driving the Slate Creek road. We stopped along the way and found a great fishing hole near the beginning of the Bad Tom trailhead. This is where I caught my first trout on a fly! I think I'm addicted! 

The rain subsided on the third day, and we were able to get out on the dirtbikes. We took the Long Liz trail up to the peak of Shefoot Mountain. Once we summited, we hopped on over to the other side and took trail 185 down through Bear Creek. The trails hadn't been cleared from the winter deadfall, but we took care of that! A few chainsaws and some helping hands made the Bear Creek Trail ready for action. Now go ride it! 

Overall, I had a great time. With some amazing food, good company, and great experiences, I would do it again! I used my Canon 5D MK III and my Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM, and my Canon 24-105mm f/4  L-series lenses for the photographs of this trip. And of course some photography with my iPhone

If you haven't seen this side of Idaho, or even thought about Idaho... like ever. Just take a look at some if these views! I couldn't believe my eyes the first time I saw Idaho mountains. You won't be sorry.