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Pasture Ridge - Idaho 24June2018

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Pasture Ridge is one of several SOTA summits near the Magruder Corridor.  This corridor-road divides some of the most wild-country in Idaho, the Selway Bitterroot and Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness areas. The trail access to the summit begins at the Historic Magruder Ranger Station.  The Ranger Station dates back into the 1920s and the Ranger’s Residence is now a US Forest Service Rental Cabin.

The Pasture Ridge trail is a steep but provides good access to near the summit where a short off-trail scramble completes the journey.  The summit has been burned over and has many large tree-snags and live trees for hanging wire antennas.  The forest floor will also be covered with numerous wildflowers in late spring/early summer.  Summit views include large wilderness landscapes of wildland fire where lightning fires function in a natural role.  Steep slopes into the Selway River are viewed along the entire trail route. 

This area is frequently open for bear hunting in the spring and fall season so dress appropriately to be seen.  The area has been burned by recent wildfire and numerous tree-snag hazards remain along the trail and on the summit.  Keep alert especially in windy conditions.  The trail is exposed and can be very warm on a typical summer day.  Carry plenty of water. 

Elevation gain:2200’

Trail Miles:  4.5 miles roundtrip

Off trail miles:  0.5 miles round trip

Water:  After leaving the Selway River, there is no water source above this point.       

Bear Pepper Spray:  Highly recommended in all North Idaho areas. 

Maps:  US Forest Service, Bitterroot National Forest, Selway Bitterroot Wilderness

Camping:  The nearest campground is Deep Creek with a vault toilet.  It is located 1.25 miles on the access road northeast of the Magruder Ranger Station. 

Directions: South of Darby, MT approximately 4 miles, leave highway #93 and travel up the West Fork Bitterroot Road for approximately 14 miles.  Turn right, west onto the Nez Perce Fork road #468.  Continue up that road for approximately 17 miles to Nez Perce Pass.  Continue over this paved pass traveling down the Deep Creek to the Selway River.  Here turn south for a quarter mile up the Selway River to the historic Magruder Ranger Station.  The junction is well signed.  The trailhead is near the barn to the south of the Ranger Station parking area.  The small somewhat hidden trail sign is beyond the large sign depicting many different destinations.