Best Hikes Ever: Gospel Hump Loop Trail, ID

Find private valleys, mountain passes, and riverside campsites.

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In Idaho, the holy trinity for backpackers is the Sawtooth Range, the Bob Marshall Wilderness, and the Snake River, which is why the surprisingly peak-packed Gospel Hump Wilderness has remained off the radar. Dayhikers head to the Oregon Butte Trail, but for quality alone-time, plan for a week on the 68-mile Gospel Hump Loop Trail. You’ll track across sandy beaches along the Salmon River, and gain views from 8,000-foot buttes.

Starting along FR 444 outside of Grangeville, spend six to eight days lunching along the Salmon; walking through meadows dusted with a confetti of wildflowers, shimmering lakes, and ponderosa pines; and camping next to gushing Salmon River tributaries. Your companions will be only kayakers, moose, rattlesnakes, and black bear. September is primo.

Map USGS quad Gospel Hump Wilderness

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