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Twin Bridges to Lake Basin Ridge
(Herd Creek Highlands-Jerry Peak Region)
Part I "The Scout", June 29, 2001


There are 10 photos in the slideshow at right. Download times vary from 2-3 seconds for high-speed connections, and 2-3 minutes for dial-up. Enjoy the whole show (which will load and play automatically) OR use the quick links at right to view and print individual slides (just use the BACK button on your web browser to return to this page when you are done with each slide).

Twin Bridges-Lake Basin Lakes

*Slide 1: Start in Twin Bridges
*Slide 2
: Vast Sagebrush Steppe
*Slide 3
: Mule Deer Antlers
*Slide 4
: Pink Bitterroot
*Slide 5
: Lunch Break
*Slide 6
: Up Out of Twin Bridges
*Slide 7
: Atop Lake Basin Ridge
*Slide 8
: Sweet Blue Lupine
*Slide 9
: East Fork Herd Creek
*Slide 10
: Hidden Lake Basin Lakes

We scheduled a hike to this remote eastern White Cloud area for July.

Although I’ve been to Lake Basin several times, I was hoping to find an easier route for the group trip. So, in late June, five of us left Pat Beattie’s Twin Bridges cabin, and climbed steadily up a ridge, gaining 2,000 feet in two miles. Pink bitterroot flowers colored the dry Challis Volcanic soil and outcrops.

My fellow scouts galloped up the mountain: Alex and Marilynn Ridland, Ginger Harmon and Ted Angle. We saw a couple hundred elk in the high reaches of Herd Creek and Twin Bridges. We did not find an "easy" route.

Atop the ridge, two watersheds divide: Herd Creek flows into the East Fork Salmon River, and Twin Bridges Creek flows into the Big Lost River.

Twin Bridges to Lake Basin Ridge
(Herd Creek Highlands-Jerry Peak Region)
Part II "The Hike", July 11, 2001

14 hikers showed up for the Lake Basin Ridge adventure. We left Twin Bridges and headed up. Almost immediately the blue skies darkened. With a constant eye to the dark, noisy clouds, we gained the 9,000 ridge and soaked in extraordinary views of Sheep Mountain and Bowery Peak to the west; 11,815’ Castle Peak further west; plus Jerry Peak (north); Pioneers (south); and Lost River Range (east).

Several hikers kept asking, "Where are the lakes"? Indeed, lakes in this high sagebrush steppe with deep canyons surrounding us seemed unlikely. But, we hiked on to a view of Lake Basin lakes, a rare landform, inhabited by large herds of elk and antelope, and migrating and resident waterfowl. This wildlife-rich, high sagebrush steppe is a key part of our proposed White Clouds Wilderness.

Note: Lower Twin Bridges is private property with a locked gate. We had permission to start our hike here. Other accesses to Lake Basin are via Herd Creek or trails leading off the North Fork Big Lost River canyon.

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