October 31, 2010 in Outdoors

Two wild destinations beckon adventurers by motor or muscle power

Pete Zimowsky Idaho Statesman

Mountain ridges extend as far as you can see from Observation Point along the Magruder Road. The mountains in the distance are in Montana. The undeveloped landscape along the road looks much as it did when Native Americans and early explorers traveled there.
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The Magruder Road is a 101-mile primitive gravel and dirt route that traverses mountain spines between two large wilderness areas — the 2.3 million-acre Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness to the south and the 1.2 million-acre Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness to the north.

Those wilderness areas represent the largest unroaded block of land in the lower 48, nearly double the size of Delaware and Rhode Island.

The byway is the perfect adventure for people who want to enjoy solitude, watch wildlife, hike, fish at mountain lakes or absorb beautiful vistas from a pickup window.

However, fat-tire bicyclists say this is a great adventure for a multiday pedaling trip, and they can travel almost as fast as motor vehicles on portions of the rugged road.

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