Put the Magruder Corridor on Your List of Mont. Summer Adventures
Over the holiday weekend, I drove through one of the most scenic places I've ever seen in my life.
Here's a description from the United States Department of Agriculture:
"The historic, 101-mile, single-lane, mostly-unimproved Magruder Corridor Road winds through a vast undeveloped area, offering solitude and pristine beauty as well as expansive mountain views. The corridor was created in 1980 leaving a unique road that enables a traveler to drive between two wildernesses: the 1.2 million-acre Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness to the north, and the 2.3-million-acre Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness to the South. The road itself has changed little since its construction by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s."
On Thursday, July 4, I drove to Elk City, Idaho to meet up with my brother and his family. We camped in Elk City Thursday night. At the time, we were uncertain that we would be able to drive the Magruder Corridor. We had constantly been in contact with the Elk City Ranger Station, and the last we heard, the Magruder was impassible due to snow and fallen trees.
On Friday morning, we stopped at the local gas station to fill up and get any information we could regarding the status of the Magruder Corridor. The gas station attendant informed us that a group of people had made it all the way through the day before on quads and that they had taken chainsaws to clear the trees from the road.
We decided we'd give it a try knowing that there was a possibility that we would have to turn around at some point. Fortunately for us, that wasn't the case. We took the chance and it definitely paid off.
Loaded up and ready for the road:
Red River, Idaho.
The fun begins...
Throughout the Magruder Corridor you will see effects of natural fire, some from very large fires and some from small fires.
The entire drive takes roughly 7-8 hours, We weren't in a hurry by any means, so we took our time.
One popular stop along the Magruder Corridor is Burnt Knob Lookout. Unfortunately, due to a 3-foot snow drift, we weren't able to make it up the road.
Lakes below Burnt Knob Lookout.
Burnt Knob Lookout.
A good laugh towards the top: "Beware of Bigfoot and Clowns"
72 miles to Darby, Montana.
Snow at the top.
After a long day of driving, we made it over the top and found the ranger station.
We camped at Deep Creek, which is one of the few designated campgrounds along the Magruder Corridor.
We finally made it to Darby, Montana.
If you are interested in driving the Magruder Corridor, you can find all of the information you will need here.