We got up early, dropped the top and headed into Ennis, MT to fuel up and grab a big breakfast at Yesterday’s Café. This was preparation for our drive along the Gravelly Range Road in the Gravelly Range. The road is gravel and in places dirt with spectacular views. The Gravelly Range Road (MT 290) is approximately 60 miles and another 10-15 miles on the Centennial Divide Road (MT 100). The GRR runs through US Forest Service Lands before dropping into the Centennial Valley which becomes Bureau of Land Management. At the Southern most point, after making a jog around the Lima Reservoir, the road runs into Red Rock Pass Road (MT 509). Taking Red Rock Pass Road East for approximately 35 miles, we crossed the Red Rock Pass at the Idaho/Montana border (7,152’ ele.). There were several lakes and the road crossed through Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. Approximately 10 miles North of Eureka Basin is MT 1012 (Cottonwood Road). On September 17th two (2) pairs of bow hunters were attacked by a grizzly bear. The first attack took place in the draw along the Ruby River off MT 100 and near Cottonwood Campground around 7:30 a.m.. Both were injured with bites and claw marks. They both used bear spray and the bear made three (3) charges before leaving. The second attack was around 6:30 p.m. with one of the two hunters being injured. Both hunters used bear spray and fired several rounds wounding the bear. Officials couldn’t locate the bear, but found evidence the bear was wounded. USFS closed Cottonwood Road and posted signs along the Gravelly Range Road. Three days later approximately 10 miles South near Eureka Basin, another hunter was severly wounded.
Gravelly Range Road
We drove around the West and North ends of Henry’s Lake to Hwy 287 and drove South to Highway 20 and Island Park, ID where we would camp for the next couple of days. Our planned campground was closed for road improvements. We stopped at the local fly shop and were told of a place for dispersed camping along the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River. It was a beautiful place with a short walk to the river. I got some fly fishing in and watched trout rise all around me. They were way too smart for me, as I didn't get one strike.
Mesa Falls (Upper Falls)
Mesa Falls (Lower Falls)
Sunrise and fog over the Henry's Fork
Henry's Fork of the Snake River
Sarah posing for Holy Pictures
Sunset over the Henry's Fork