Trail of the week: Whangdoodle Loop

October 25, 2007 

Looking for a trail that doesn't get much use but sure has some super views?

Try the Whangdoodle Loop.

"At this point, the ride is a bit undiscovered," said Paul Willard, outdoor recreation planner for the U.S. Forest Service's Lowman Ranger District. "However, if folks get a chance to do the ride they should like it. Can't beat a soak in the hot springs after a long ride."

Willard supplied the Statesman's Idaho Outdoors staff with all the information for this trail.

"Better try it fast. Mountain biking on this loop, which includes the Kirkham Ridge Trail, may only last a few more weeks if we get some decent snow," he said.

Open to: Mountain bikers, hikers, horses (ATVs and motorcycles, April 15-Sept. 30).

Ideal for: Strong intermediate or advanced mountain bikers.

Trailhead elevation: 3,970 feet.

Destination elevation: 6,000 feet at the top of Lick Creek.

Length: 18.5 miles.

Difficulty: Strenuous.

Out and back or loop: Loop.

Wildlife you might see: Elk, deer, bear and grouse.

Notes/bathrooms: Start at the parking area in front of Kirkham Campground (restrooms) or the Kirkham Ridge Trailhead, located east of the campground on Idaho 21. Ride about 3 miles down the highway back to the Lowman Ranger Station and turn right on Forest Road 558. The long climb begins here as the road ascends the Lick Creek Drainage for 7.5 miles. Once you get on the dirt road, stay right at the first major intersection. At the top of the climb, ride around the gate where the trail sign is located. A short steep section leads to the Kirkham Ridge Trail. Go straight down the trail heading back to the highway — Paul Willard.

Information: Lowman Ranger Station at 259-3361.

Know a trail? Call David Parker at (208) 672-6731 or e-mail outdoors@idahostatesman.com.

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