Hiking the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness
by Scott Steinberg (Falcon Guides)
© Scott Steinberg/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
I along with a group of four others camped at White Sand Lake for 2 nights. We started the hike from the west on a trail that bagan at Colt Creek Cabin in Idaho and followed it along White Sand Creek to the fork for White Sand Lake. This section before the fork was quite easy to follow and was not very steep. Also, this area is prime black bear country. We were constantly noting bear scat and tracks until I finally saw a sow and two cubs on the uphill side of the trail @ 50 yards away. The mother saw me and calmly turned uphill and disappeared into the trees.
While the hike to the fork was easy, the hike from the fork to the lake was not. First, the fork itself was difficult to find. It was unmarked and obscured by thick brush. Once we hiked the first 50 yards or so, the trail was much easier to follow. Second, the trail was quite steep and included many switchbacks. The trail climbs @1000 feet in a very short time. Exhausted, we reached the lake and were greeted with a beautiful lake surrounded by low ridges. The next day we easily climbed to the top of a ridge and were rewarded by wonderful views of the Idaho side of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. One other note, we were under siege by mosquitos the entire time. Actually, it was the single buggiest place I have ever visited. I could hear their buzz even while sitting in my tent.
In summary, the pluses of this trip include:
Great Scenery, Wildlife, Solitude (We didn't see anyone)
Minuses: Strenuous hike from fork to lake, Bugs
I rated it four stars because I value the pluses and don't mind a little sweat and bugs.
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