On a beautiful August morning, Tom and I decided to go check out an area to the southwest of McCall. The Frank Church Wilderness is a massive area in Central Idaho and it has taken me years to try and reach many of its remote areas.
This particular part of the Frank Church Wilderness can be accessed on Artillery Dome Road. This is a historic road which long ago accessed mine claims deep in the Idaho backcountry. When the wilderness was approved back in the 1970’s this road was “Flagged” into the wilderness…..meaning that the road itself is not wilderness and therefore can remain usable. Wilderness boundaries were established on both sides of the road and on a map it looks a bit like a flag pole.
Once we climbed to the ridge, we stayed at relatively high elevations the rest of the route, mostly above 8500 feet.
Along the way and not far off the route, Walkers Peak.
We dropped our bikes and headed over to the summit.
At 9094 feet of elevation, Walkers Peak is one of the highest mountains in the area and still has snow from last winter. Off in the distance and slightly left is Artillery Dome. We had hoped to get close enough to make an assault on it but at this point in our ride it was pretty clear we were going to run out of time and energy short of that goal. If you look very closely at the ridge on the right, you can just make out the ribbon of Artillery Dome Road draped across the image.
This area has obviously burned hard in the recent past but some live trees do exist in small pockets. In the wilderness areas, fires generally are allowed to burn uncontrolled as they would have pre-mankind.
We got close enough to Artillery Dome (on the left) to plan our future assault! We shall return!
We flipped it around and headed back. This road is pretty dang rough and we were happy to be on bikes.
You can see this road has been scratched into this long ridge. It rolls its way along the top all the way off the image to the left.
That is Walkers Peak in the distance and behind the old snag on the left.
On our return, we stopped one last time to photograph the flowies.