Swanholm Peak

Discussion in 'Rides' started by Obrianmcc, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. Last year my attempt to visit Swanholm Peak was thwarted by a locked gate .... this year I plan my visit a bit earlier in the season.


    Read part 1 here ....
  2. IIRC, there were a few different roads up to Swanholm. I'll check to see if there was another route. I never rode there myself, but I think it was an IAMC challenge location for 2014.

    edit: I can't access the info right now. I'll try again later, but I think there is only the one route available.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2015

  3. There is only one "two track" up to the peak ... this was the gated road that I found later to be seasonally closed. Horse Haven Trail is another way up ....
  4. turbolq4 likes this.
  5. I need to get out on these trails more next year. Thanks for the pictures and write up!
  6. turbolq4 likes this.
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  8. Would a Jeep Cherokee have made this trip up and back?

  9. This I don't know .... it was pretty narrow, steep, and loose.
  10. Sorry, more specific question: would a jeep cherokee fit through the brush? (Don't mind scraping the sides with leaves/branches, just want to know if it will physically fit).

  11. Yes, I think it would .... However I would advise a good working winch and a chainsaw!
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2015
  12. Thanks for the write-up and pictures. The lookout is on my short-list and I had hoped to do it last year but with the Danskins now open, we rode out there this fall and up to the lookout.
    It's good to know it's seasonally open. Is the road up there fairly direct and is the gate located at Swanholm rd.? I hope so since that would help give direction as there just seems to look like several routes to the lookout and they don't appear direct other than Horse Heaven trail. I know you avoided the trail since you were alone but how was it on your prior visit?
  13. Access from the road is pretty straight forward ... the gate is near the bottom. A bit further up you will intersect a Y intersection .. stay left and the trail up to the lookout is about a qtr mile down on the left. No signage other than the sun bleached service road sign.

    Horse Heaven wasn't anything too difficult ... our intial plan was to ride up Lodgepole Creek, but that was thwarted due to deadfall, so at the top of Horse Heaven we cut over and the trail pops you out right below the lookout. Again ... nothing too difficult, a bit of exposure, typical of Idaho back country. I've always avoided the backside trails such as West Warrior to Black Warrior as everyone I know who have ridden that section reported that it sucked due to endless switchbacks ...... ???
  14. I have rode up Black Warrior, also down West Warrior and down Black Warrior. Rode trails from Baumgartner, on a 100 plus mile loop.

    Both trails run through burn areas. Few ride these challenging trails. You need a chainsaw, or two, in your group. West Warrior has couple challenging switchbacks, as does Black Warrior. If one is not comfortable with some exposure, you should skip these trails. Not crazy exposure, experienced riders don't even notice it. But enough to get you in trouble. Black Warrior runs in/out of a rocky creek bed, as you head North, to the Atlanta Rd.

    I hope to ride these trails again, this summer.
  15. Thanks for direction and I look forward to planning that trip this year before the gate closes. I considered the possibility of returning down on the Warrior or Horse Heaven trails as an option but I don't want to run into blocked trails as you say may be the case. An ideal challenge for an enduro bike but sounds like a handful on a dual-sport.
  16. So it should be no problem for you. :cool: Are you making tracks? Really can't wait to get out off road riding again....but I'll wait for it to warm up a bit.
  17. Horse Heaven would be no problem on a 400 or smaller .... I have never seen any intel on Lodge Pole Creek .... it pops out at Johnson Creek just before the airstrip. There is quite the creek crossing for someone wanting to actually make the airstrip at Graham.

    IDPR does in fact clear out these trails ... if you were to ride following their clearing you could possibly make the loop without packing a saw .... maybe :cool:
  18. No problem indeed...haven't been there, haven't done that so we need to! It may not be until summer when the snowpack is gone from there and longer still until the trails are cleared but there's plenty to explore out that way.

    I can see the airstrip on Google Earth. That would be a nice destination to drop into but it does look like a wide creek crossing and of course, it may be quite a challenge. The flood plain looks quite wide north of the airstrip but I see a bridge and FS312. Coming in from the north on FS312 might make a nice ride.
  19. The bridge to the north over the North Fork ... is unusable. You have to cross the river along the down stream side. I've crossed once when the river was about 12-18" (there were two of us that day) ... attempted again about two yrs back and it was running a bit deeper .... decided against the attempt since I was alone and didn't feel it was worth the risk of watering out my bike.

    Here's the crossing at lower water .... later in the season is obviously going to be the best bet for lower water.