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Moscow, Idaho — July 30-31, 2004

An event loosely organized by: HMarc and Warchild

Elk City

315 miles, approximately 6.5 hours

Don't confuse this with the much shorter Elk River ride. The last bit of this ride, ID-14, is the whole point of going to Elk City. It's a bit hard to get to, but a very memorable motorcycle road. I documented a similar ride I did in '99 leaving from, and returning to Spokane. That page has a few photos to help you decide if this ride is for you.
  1. Head east out of Moscow on ID-8 towards Troy.
  2. At Troy, turn right on ID-99 and head toward Kendrick. This is a great bit of road that you can let your bike stretch its legs on.
  3. At Kendrick, turn north on ID-3 and go through town. At the north end of town, the road has a few turns and then heads up a long grade. Just before the grade starts, turn right along the Potlatch river on County Road P1. After about 1/8th of a mile, turn right over the river and head up a narrow, twisty (and kinda bumpy) canyon.
  4. This is one of HMarc's favorite roads, and it offers a little bit of everything, including a few "surprise" turns. Awhile after passing through Cavendish (look quick or you'll miss it) you'll come to the top of the Ahsahka Grade, with its spectacular view up the Clearwater canyon leading to Lolo Pass. Unfortunately, there isn't really anywhere good to stop to take in the view.
  5. Local FJR rider David Tucker recommends the Woodlot for lunch, along side the road in Ahsahka.
  6. At the town of Orofino, at the stop sign, the burger place across the street isn't bad, if you're hungry. You might want to fuel up here, or not.
  7. Turn right (south) at the burger place and cross the Clearwater river, then turn left on US-12 (aka the Lolo Pass Highway). Head towards Kamiah, ID.
  8. About 3-4 miles past Kamiah, turn south at Kooskia onto ID-13 and follow it to Harpster.
  9. A couple miles or less past Harpster, you'll come to ID-14 which branches off to the left. Take it.
  10. Stay on 14 all the way to Elk City, where you can refuel and grab some lunch. Not much traffic on this road, and nada for cell phone coverage, so be extra careful as you are a long way from mechanical and medical assistance.
  11. You might want to retrace your route on the return trip, which will make this a 300 mile ride. But it probably won't get you back to Moscow any quicker.
  12. Or you could follow the route on the map above, and head west when you get back to ID-13 and turn at Grangeville onto US-95 north. Then follow US-95 back to Moscow.
  13. For a twisty little side road, take the left into the tiny village of Winchester and stop somewhere and ask how to get to the "old Winchester grade". It's the old road, from the 20's, but with modern pavement. It will put you back on US-95 near the town of Culdesac.
  14. For another twisty little side road, try the "Spiral Highway" just north of Lewiston on Hwy 128.

On this route reliable fuel may be found at Orofino, Kamiah, Grangeville and Lewiston. There will probably be fuel at other places as well, but this is rural country, and a lot of small towns don't have fuel at all, particularly at night and on Sundays.

Copyright © 2004, by H. Marc Lewis. All rights reserved.