Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Lost Rivers: July 22nd, 2016

West Fork of the Pahsimeroi
This was one of the greatest backpacking trips that I have ever had, it's going to be really hard to beat this one. I'm not sure how many people actually backpack through the Lost Rivers, the only ones that I have ever heard of are a few boy scout groups who do it over 4 to 6 days and get resupplied at a number of sites.

My idea of the trip was to go ultralight and extremely fast to cover a lot of ground. I wanted to stay at a few lakes and do a little bit of fishing along the way, depending on how well I was doing on the trip.

I started at the Southeast side of the Lost Rivers at the Trailhead that's adjacent to the Loristica campground and headed up the Wet Creek drainage to Nolan Lake. All of this hiking was pretty straight forward, the only downside was that there wasn't a trail. Once I reached Nolan Lake I went over the top and into the Long Lost Valley, that's filled with unbelievable waterfalls and pillars.

My original plan was to stay the first night at Swauger Lake but I had made such great time that I continued on down to Dry Creek. After resting and fishing for a bit at Swauger Lake I found a great place to stay the night in Dry Creek, allowing me a great head start on the next day, most likely the hardest day. From Dry Creek basin I dropped down into the East Fork of the Pahsimeroi. Instead of hiking around the mountains that separate the East Fork from the Right Fork I just climbed up and over to get to Pass Lake, where I stayed the final night.

Dry Creek Basin

The first day, from Loristica to Dry Creek basin, I traveled roughly 13 miles with 5,000ft of vertical as well as climbing over two passes at 11,000 feet and 10,000 feet. The second day consisted of the very same thing, going from Dry Creek basin to Pass Lake; 10 miles, 5,000 feet of vertical and two passes topping out at 10,000 feet. The third and final day was a pretty easy 6-mile walk from Pass Lake over Leatherman Pass (10,500ft) and down to Highway 93. The total trip mileage  was roughly 30 miles with 12,000 feet of vertical.

I've thought about this trip many times and I think about why it was so incredible. What it comes down to was a number of miles that I was able to do and the number of things that I was able to see in such a short period of time as well as the great fishing and lack of people that I saw, when it comes down to it I believe I saw more Bighorn Sheep then people.


  1. Hey Scott,

    Been reading your blog for some time now. I really enjoy your posts. I'm 3rd gen Idahoan, grew up in the Boise area and have been all over the state hiking and fishing so your posts really connect. I love to fish alpine lakes and seeing some of the fish you pull has me wanting to hit higher and more remote ones.
    I don't get up into the high country much so I really like to see your posts and photos as you get them out.

  2. Thanks, I really appreciate the feedback! I'm still about 8 months behind on my posts, I'm too busy going on trips but I guess that's not a bad thing to be complaining about. If you want anymore information on certain areas or places don't be afraid to ask, I would love to help you out