600 miles in Northern Idaho

Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
My oldest son, a couple of buddies, and I just spent a week covering a bit over 600 miles of backroads in northern Idaho. We started at the Canadian border and worked our way south to Elk City, Idaho. We camped every night but one - we rented a cabin and got much appreciated showers that night. I thought you guys 'n gals might enjoy some of the photos I took along the way.

Oh - YES - this thread belongs on a hunting/shooting forum! Since we were going to be in remote, grizzly country, in the Selkirk and Bitterroot Mountains - I took my 45/70 Marlin 1895! It's scoped with a little 2.5x Leupold, and my ammo is handloaded with the 350 grain Hornady RNSP. Potent bear medicine I'd think. We also had bear spray and a variety of handguns. Our group are all seasoned backcountry travelers and campers. Three of us are military veterans. I'm the only hunter in the bunch.

In my opinion, my pard's 1989 Chevy is the best of our rigs. He's got it very well set up for this sort of backcountry travel. It's an old four-door, one-ton Chevy, with the TBI 454, automatic, Dana 60 front axle, and he transplanted an Eaton rear axle into it, with 4.10 gears and a Detroit Locker in the diff. It's got a Warn 8274 in the front and another 8000 pound Warn winch in the rear bumper. Dual batteries. Solar panels on the hood. 200 psi onboard air. Extra fuel & water. Built in tool chests and a "roof top tent." Wow - so much more too... I'm impressed with all the work he's done on it and how very well it performs in rough conditions:


Another fellow used his orange TJ, with the 4.0 inline six, a manual transmission, Detroit Locker in the rear diff, and 35x12.50 Coopers:

My son used his 1998 Cherokee with the 4.0 motor, auto trans, 4.56:1 gears, air-activated Ox Lockers front & rear, a 5" long-arm suspension, etc... Very well set up for this sort of thing too:

And I had little Stubbs the Jeep with my trailer. Both performed well. The 2012 Jeep has the 3.6 "Pentastar" V6, a six speed manual transmission, 4.10 gears, aftermarket air lockers in the front and rear differentials. I have a fridge in the back for trips like these. Didn't need the trailer, but it let me bring more food (my son designated me the camp cook!) and more emergency gear.

It was bow season for elk in Idaho. We saw quite a few hunters. One truck that passed by had a large bull elk with ivory tipped antlers! Congrats guys! Weather was cool, often rainy. A huge snowstorm is on the way. Glad that my son and I are out of those mountains and home now.

Scenery... Better than my photos reveal:



Care must be used when driving. Most of the roads weren't terribly difficult, I tooled along in 2wd most of the time. BUT... A mistake could be final:

Good trip with good folks through good country. I'm going back for some fly fishing! :)



Nov 8, 2006
Excellent photo journalism, Guy. Great description of some fine back country vehicles. Beautiful photos of the mountains, as always.


Nov 23, 2013
Great story and photos Guy.. Thanks for sharing. It serves to add significantly to my itch to head to south western Montana for my elk and mule deer hunt next month.. Good luck with the fly fishing. Rol