Spanning 296 miles, the Idaho Wilderness Trail runs from the southernmost end of the Sawtooth Wilderness, across the length of the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, all the way to the northernmost tip of Idaho’s Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. These three Wilderness areas amount to nearly 4 million acres of wilderness, making the Idaho Wilderness Trail one of the most remote and wild long-distance trails in the Lower 48. From the pristine blue lakes of the Sawtooths to the jagged peaks of the Bighorn Crags, from the winding corners of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River to the lonely, deep forests along the Selway River, the Idaho Wilderness Trail offers the sort of adventure that captivates the imagination. 

That’s not to mention the allure of earnest challenge; the Idaho Wilderness Trail’s remote nature poses a host of logistical hurdles that other thru-hikes, such as the Pacific Crest Trail or the Appalachian Trail, do not feature. Tasks like resupplying, negotiating the weather, and shuttling from end location to start location are all made dramatically more difficult by the ruggedness and remoteness of the surrounding wilderness areas. A successful journey takes not only courage and savvy, but extreme adaptability.

Father-son duo Tom and Will Gattiker shared their experience on this ICL webinar, “The Wildest Path,” with stories of both adventure and misadventure: from planning around wildfires to cohabitating with rattlesnakes and bears. Learn all about the challenges of hitch-hiking between stretches of trail, resupplying without towns, and making sense of unreliable fire information. To watch this webinar, visit our Vimeo page!