Itinerary - Northern Rockies Adventure
Day 0) Arrive in Spokane, Washington and overnight. (Hotel not included)
Day 1) Today’s bike ride is on the Washington/Idaho Centennial Trail that goes from the west of Spokane all the way to eight miles east of Coeur d'Alene. From the hotel in Spokane, we make a short transfer to the start of the trail at Riverside State Park and start our ride through a forest of pines and firs. We stop at various historic and scenic points including the dramatic Bowl & Pitcher rapid where ancient lava flows formed a spectacular setting of huge boulders of basalt. We ride through downtown Spokane past the Spokane River falls, continuing east on a trail that is mostly level. Along the river we pass under willows and may stop for a quick dip as we ride to the Idaho/Washington border. Throughout the day you’ll learn about the area’s natural and cultural history from your
ROW Adventures guide. We load our van at the border for a short transfer into the lakeside town of Coeur d’Alene, where ROW Adventures is headquartered. Anyone so inclined may ride along Lake Coeur d’Alene another eight miles to the end of the trail east of town, then return. On each day of the tour our van and guide/driver is available to shuttle little ones and keep them happy with special activities such as swim stops, games and more. Usually this happens just before or after lunch and then we bring the entire group back together for the last few miles of the day.
Accommodations: Coeur d'Alene Resort or similar
(37-mile bike ride with optional additional 16 miles).
Day 2) Trading pedals for paddles we jump into touring kayaks for a three-hour paddle on the blue waters of Lake Coeur d’Alene. You paddle through an active osprey breeding area where we watch these birds fish and tend their nests. We may also see bald eagles, herons, comorants and other waterfowl. Your guides’ knowledge will help deepen your appreciation of the wildlife as well as the natural history of the lake. Then we transfer south about 30 minutes to the western starting point of the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes, a 70-mile trail through the heart of North Idaho. We ride from the trailhead downhill through forests and meadows on the old Union Pacific Railroad line. Our day ends with a final ride across the lake on a lovely historic bridge, then along the east side of Lake Coeur d’Alene to the hamlet of Harrison.
Accommodations: Local Harrison hotel.
(7-mile kayak; 8 to 16-mile bike ride.)
Day 3) We ride about 35 miles today at a leisurely pace through marshes and along the Coeur d’Alene Chain lakes and river while learning about the mining legacy of the area. A special visit to the historic Cataldo Mission, Idaho’s oldest building, is a highlight. Built by two Jesuit priests and some 300 members of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, this is an astounding building. We stop for a snack or meal at the historic Enaville Snake Pit, a colorful eating and drinking establishment, then transfer or ride to our evening’s accommodation.
Accommodations: Wallace Inn or similar.
(35-mile bike ride with optional 10-20 miles. Support van available at several points.)
Day 4) This morning we load up for an 1 ½ hour drive across Lookout Pass to go rafting on the Clark Fork River in Montana, an intermediate whitewater trip with paddle in hand.. The trip is suitable for anyone age five and up. Those seeking more excitement may opt to paddle their own inflatable kayak! The 14-mile paddle travels through a dramatic canyon of fine western scenery and deep gorges. We enjoy a bountiful riverside smorgasbord lunch on a sandy beach perfect for swimming.
Accommodations: Wallace Inn or similar.
Day 5) A short drive back to the Idaho/Montana border gets us to the historic and spectacular Hiawatha Trail. We start at the East Portal trailhead and immediately enter the two-mile long Taft Tunnel. Before the morning is over we go through another six tunnels and cross a number of breath-taking trestles that span deep and forested canyons of the Bitterroot Mountains. This is one of the most spectacular, if not the most spectacular, rails-to-trails trail in the United States. It is well maintained and the gravel route and gentle grade make it easy for the whole family to ride together. Being on a railroad grade, this portion of the trail follows a very easy 1.7% downhill grade from 4160 ft. at the West Portal to 3175 ft. at Pearson, for a total drop of a little less than 1000 ft. in a distance of 15 miles. After a trailside lunch, we finish our ride, and then load up for a two hour drive back to Spokane where we began our adventure five days earlier.
Accommodations: Overnight in Spokane, Washington (hotel not included).
(15-mile bike ride).
Optional Extension to River Dance Lodge:
Day 6) Orientation of the week's activities will be held. Appetizers are served as guests are introduced and encouraged to get acquainted with each other. Choose the following day's activities at the ranch resort.7:00 pm – Dinner in the ranch resort's Syringa Cafe. After dinner, guests can opt to enjoy the campfire and mingle with other guests or retire in their respective cabins.
Day 7) 9:00 am – Breakfast in the restaurant10:00 am – Start of the day's activities. Adjoin at the ROW Adventures outpost building located just besidethe restaurant.
Enjoy a hiking trip on various trails nearby. Every week, destinations will vary, largely depending on weather and trail conditions. Each group at the ranch resort can choose from dozens of trails that we tailored to meet specific interests, as some trails can be more challenging than others. One of our remarkable trails is an easy and refreshing walk up Canyon Creek to visit a historic site that was once a Japanese Internment camp back in WWII. The next destination is the Lochsa Historical Ranger Station where guests can learn about the history of the Forest Service and their significant role they played in influencing the West.
Day 8) 9:00 am – Breakfast in the ranch resort restaurant.10:00 am – Adjoin at the ROW Adventures outpost building for the day's activities.
The day's activities will include a drive up to the nearby mountains and walk to a fire watchtower that offers breathtaking views of the Bitterroot Mountains. You will then learn of the "big burn" that happened in 1910, an important historical event that shaped the West. You can have a taste of delicious huckleberries that grow in the mountains during August.
A Dutch oven cooking class will be held for guests who are interested in learning how to cook using a Dutch oven.7:00 pm – Dinner in the Syringa Cafe. Enjoy the campfire or a peaceful night in your cabin.
Day 9) Breakfast and then scenic drive back to Spokane.