SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Also on Backpacker.com


Enter Zip Code

Backpacker Magazine – BACKPACKER.com Online Exclusive

Nine Wilderness Hero Hikes

Nine hikes as big as the hearts of their namesake wilderness visionaries.

by: Jeff Rennicke


Frank Church--River Of No Return Wilderness, Idaho

Frank Church knew his way through the wilderness of Washington politics as well as any senator ever did. A renowned speaker on foreign relations, he also became a leader in wilderness legislation, acting as the floor leader for the 1964 Wilderness Act, writing the Wild And Scenic Rivers Act in 1968, and remaining a staunch advocate of many environmental issues until his retirement from the Senate in 1980. But even though most of his life centered around Washington's Beltway, he never forgot the value of sleeping under the stars. "I never knew a man who felt self-important in the morning after spending a night in the open on an Idaho mountainside." On April 7, 1984, just a few weeks before his death, Congress named the largest wilderness in the contiguous United States for the esteemed senator from Idaho, giving hikers 2.3 million acres of mountainside where they could hike, camp, and sleep under the stars.

On the trail: This wilderness is huge, containing parts of six national forests and more than 700 miles of maintained trails. The 43-mile (round-trip) Pistol Creek Trail will lead you through fields of wildflowers, past a succession of creeks (many bearing the names of guns such as Luger, Winchester, and Popgun), and to the banks of the Middle Fork of the Salmon, the fabled "River of No Return." Deep snow and swollen-creek crossings can be a problem, so call for conditions. Because of the rugged terrain there are surprisingly few options for loop trips in this wilderness, although the Pistol Creek Trail can be linked with the trails up Indian Creek to create a 64-mile loop.

Contact: Challis National Forest, Middle Fork District, Box 750, Challis, ID 83226; (208) 879-4101.

Trail guide: Trails of the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, by Margaret Fuller. Signpost Books, 8912 192nd St. SW, Edmonds, WA 98020; $14.95.




Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip:
Email (req):

Reader Rating: -

ADD A COMMENT

Your rating:
Your Name:

Comment:

My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

The Political Arena
Am I missing something here?
Posted On: Apr 16, 2014
Submitted By: Westhiker
The Political Arena
Another Example of the Big Brain Advantages
Posted On: Apr 16, 2014
Submitted By: Hungry Jack
Go
View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site MyRockyMountainPark.com.

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions