47 days wandering the West


I use the Morpholio app on my iPad to document our camping and explorations. I will start from Day one and continue until done uploading. I also started using Avenza app Benchmark maps for tracking then did a screenshot. I used the smaller maps from their foldable state maps but next time will use the larger more, more detailed landscape maps for each state. If there is any interest, I will begin adding those for our Spring 2020 adventure.
Our transportation is in my signature. We have travelled roughly 75,000 miles since we began in October, 2012. We are also accompanied by two pups, Toller, Pudelpointer and Blitzen, a Standard Poodle. They are the best traveling companions. We usually boondock on public lands whenever possible.
Stats for the trip:
5,000 miles
47 days
$140 camping fees
1 tire replaced
states visited: Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, Oregon
interests: photography, rockhounding, ghost towns, local history, short hikes, waterfalls, wildlife, geology

edited to add: my first post and trip report with photos so bear with me on my learning curve. Thanks.

Recommended books for Overlanding


What a fine report and a totally cool format! Thanks for sharing and hoping to see more sometime soon!


Itching. And Scratching
terrific format! Really a joy to read. Also - That bridge into Northport reminds me - in the lighting and weather and angle of view - of the bridge from First Blood, where John was initially hassled.


Here is a synopsis of what we saw, where we camped, where we drove:
Some musings about our recent epic camping/exploration adventure. It was definitely in the realm of overlanding or vehicle supported travel.
Fauna: 8 golden eagles, several bald eagles, many hawks and magpies, 11 elk, a wild horse herd, several burros, 2 foxes, 3 or more coyotes, 100+ antelope, many mule and white tail deer, 1 rattlesnake, 2 gopher snakes, 1000s of cows, sheep, goats, etc. The most exciting for us was seeing 5 golden eagles at one time in Nevada along 305 and 100+ antelope along the road to Castle Gardens, WY.

Flora: MT: Montana’s largest Ponderosa Pine tree, Ross Creek Cedars, UT: Pando Aspen Grove (most massive living organism), lots of rabbit brush, sage brush, junipers, pines, other species found in the Inter-mountain, Colorado Plateau and Great Basin areas

Ghost towns: WA: Nighthawk, Ruby, MT: Granite, Garnet, WY: Atlantic City, South Pass City, UT: Frisco and NV: Osceola, Daveytown. Granite, Garnet, and Frisco were abandoned but still had remains. The others were either gone or were interspersed with RVs and vacation homes. Garnet was the best preserved; Granite was the most difficult to access.

Rock Art: Nine Mile Canyon (richest amount of native rock art in US), Buckhorn Wash panel, unnamed site in Buckhorn Draw, Rochester panel, Old RR Grade sites, Moore Road Cutoff sites, and Pictograph Cave state park in Wyoming. All but the last one were in Utah. All were easy to access, but you had to hunt for a number of them once given the location. They weren’t always obvious. And, we found others in the same area by further exploration. The Rochester panel is a moderate 1 mile in and out trail. Buckhorn Wash and the snakes along Moore Road Cutoff were drive-in sites. The others were short hikes from parking areas off paved, gravel or single track roads.

Waterfalls: WA: Crystal Falls, MT: Char Falls, Lost Creek Falls, Skalkaho Falls, Bridge Falls, WY: Gibbon Falls, Rustic Falls

Canyons: WA: Similkameen Canyon, MT: Blackfoot Canyon, WY: Bighorn, Flaming Gorge, Wind River, Red Canyon, UT: Flaming Gorge, Buckhorn Draw, The Wedge Overlook, Nine Mile

Rivers: WA: Skagit, Kettle, Columbia, Pend Oreille, Methow, Chewuch, ID: Pend Oreille, MT: Blackfoot, Missouri headwaters: Jefferson, Madison + Gallatin rivers, Yellowstone, Clark Fork, Bitterroot, WY: Bighorn, Green, Shoshone, Wind, UT: Green, Fremont, NV: Quinn, OR: Donner and Blitzen, John Day

Scenic Drives: WA: North Cascades Highway, Loomis to Oroville Road, MT: Skalkaho Highway, WY: Red Canyon backcountry scenic byway, Wind River Canyon Scenic Byway, Blue Rim, UT: Flaming Gorge-Green River Basin scenic byway, OR: High Desert Discovery Scenic Byway

National Parks+Monuments+Recreation Areas: Yellowstone, Flaming Gorge NRA, Pompey’s Pillar, Bighorn NRA

Campgrounds: WA: Klipchuck, Palmer Lake, Lost Lake, Snag Cove, Starvation Lake, Pioneer Park, MT: Bull River, Cascade, Lolo Creek, Stuart Mill Bay FAS, Lost Creek state park, Moose Creek, Missouri Headwaters state park, Palisades, Carbella, Otter Creek, Itch-kep-pe, Bundy Bridge FAS, Far West FAS, WY: Deaver Lake, Lower Wind River, Atlantic City Gulch, UT: Wedge Overlook, OR: Page Springs, WA: Vernita Bridge, Klipchuck. These do not add up to 47 nights as we boondocked or dispersed camped in many places. Our total expenses for camping was around $150. Lost Creek state park was the most expensive as we were non-residents in Montana. The cheapest was free at dispersed sites on public land: BLM, USFS, Montana FAS or Washington Fish and Game.

Cities and towns: we tend to avoid these by driving backroads. But, we needed to stop for fuel and food so we stopped at the following: WA: Oroville, Colville, IDPriest River, MT: St. Regis, Hamilton*, Anaconda, Drummond, Helena*, Ennis, Livingston, Columbus, Forsyth, WY: Greybull, Riverton*, UT: Roosevelt, Wellington, Huntington*,, Emery, Richfield*, NV: Ely, Tonopah, Battle Mountain, OR: Burns*, Umatilla, WA: Ephrata
* groceries

Hairy roads: MT: Skalkaho Highway, the road to Granite ghost town. The first began from near Hamilton, MT as a paved road. It remained paved but narrowed until it changed to gravel. Enroute to Skalkaho Falls, this part became rutted, rough and narrow with sheer drop offs. Although it continued to be rough after the falls a switchback section before the 7250’ pass, eventually it became wider and then paved as we neared Highway 1. The road to Granite ghost town was one of the toughest roads we have ever driven. Narrow, rutted, drop offs, blind curves, it had everything an access road can offer. We made it there and back but not without some tense moments.


What a fine report and a totally cool format! Thanks for sharing and hoping to see more sometime soon!
I have notes from your replies to folks exploring Wyoming. We plan to return next spring and fall so will refer to those later. Thanks. If our have any other suggestions, esp for rockhounding, waterfalls, ghost towns and rock art. I would love to hear them. I will also research further.