March 24, 2018

Makin' The Loop

muley-in-velvetIn an effort to help you find some of the places of beauty here in Island Park, we continue our Makin’ The Loop series. This week’s loop has spectacular views and somewhat less dirt road than last week’s installment.

For lack of a better name, I’m going to call this loop the Black Canyon Loop. Start at Macks Inn and travel east on the south Big Springs Loop road. Go about 3 miles east (past the old railroad bed about 1/2 a mile) to the sign that says Black Canyon. Take the Black Canyon road to the south and stay on it (don’t be confused by the fish creek loop which turns off to the right. Stay on Black Canyon.)

The Black Canyon road will climb more than a thousand feet above Island Park giving you spectacular views of the surrounding area. Eventually the road will turn to the south and follow the ridge southward. Within a few miles, pavement magically appears and you will be on a paved road all the way to Warm River (about 40 – 45 miles.)

Cross Warm River and turn northward up past Bear Gulch, Mesa Falls, Etc. That’s old highway 191 and will eventually connect to highway 20 which will lead you northward back to Macks Inn. The whole trip is about 100 – 120 miles and probably 80 of those miles are paved.

Very few people travel the Black Canyon portion of the loop, and it’s a shame. Because some of the best views of Island Park are to be found on this loop. Go in the evening and you will be rewarded by the best sunset views anywhere in Island Park. The Black Canyon portion is remote, so have a good spare tire, water, food and plenty of gas. Also, you’re going to want your camera.

See you out there makin’ the loop!


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