The Best Horse Trails at Nez Perce National Forest
Nestled in the heart of Idaho, Nez Perce National Forest offers an incredible array of outdoor adventures, and one of the most popular activities is horseback riding. With its diverse landscapes, pristine lakes, and towering mountains, the forest provides horse enthusiasts with stunning trails and an unforgettable riding experience. Let's explore some of the best horse trails that Nez Perce National Forest has to offer.
1. Lolo Motor Way Trail:
Starting from the Bitterroot Valley in Montana, the Lolo Motor Way Trail stretches for 13 miles into Idaho's Nez Perce National Forest. This historic trail traces the old Nez Perce Indian route, used before the construction of Highway 12. As you ride along this trail, you'll marvel at breathtaking views of the Lolo Creek drainage as well as the surrounding forested mountains. Keep your eyes open for wildlife sightings, including elk, deer, and even black bears.
2. Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness:
For those seeking a more rugged adventure, the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness offers some of the most picturesque horse trails in the entire forest. Covering over 1.3 million acres, this wilderness area boasts untouched beauty and solitude that will leave you in awe. The trails wind through towering forests, open meadows, and crystal-clear streams. Explore the Magruder Corridor, a historic route between Montana and Idaho, or venture towards the isolated Paradise Ridge for a truly tranquil experience.
3. Gospel Hump Wilderness:
Located in central Idaho, the Gospel Hump Wilderness features remote and challenging trails that are perfect for experienced riders. Here, you'll discover vast expanses of untouched wilderness, jagged mountain peaks, and stunning alpine lakes. The Elk City to Wall Creek trail is a popular choice, providing panoramic views of the surrounding rugged mountain ranges. This trail is known for its challenging terrain, river crossings, and an abundance of wildlife, including the elusive mountain goat.
4. Palouse Divide Trail:
Nestled in the southern part of Nez Perce National Forest, the Palouse Divide Trail offers a variety of riding options suitable for riders of all skill levels. As you leisurely ride through this beautiful region, you'll witness diverse ecosystems, including dense forests, serene meadows, and picturesque creeks. Additionally, the trail features several campsites, making it an excellent choice for an overnight horseback riding adventure.
5. Slate Creek Basin Trail:
For majestic mountain views and pristine wilderness, the Slate Creek Basin Trail is an impressive choice. This trail takes you through the majestic Clearwater Mountains, with its deep canyons and rugged peaks. As you traverse this route, the breathtaking scenery will leave you inspired at every turn. Don't forget to pack your fishing gear, as Slate Creek Basin is famous for its abundant trout population.
Before embarking on any horseback riding adventure, it is essential to check local trail regulations, obtain any necessary permits, and review safety guidelines. Nez Perce National Forest is a treasure trove of exceptional riding opportunities, ensuring an unforgettable experience for both seasoned equestrians and those new to horseback riding.
In conclusion, Nez Perce National Forest is a haven for horse enthusiasts, providing an endless array of trails amidst breathtaking landscapes. Whether you're seeking scenic vistas, challenging routes, or tranquil escapes, the forest has something for every horse rider. Embark on an adventure at Nez Perce National Forest, and let the beauty of Idaho's wilderness unfold before your eyes as you create lasting memories on horseback.