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[cdt-l] Chief Joseph Pass



Hi Karl:

93 certainly gets more traffic than 43. Wisdom is the conventional CDT stop
but not particularly easy because there seems to be no body there who is
willing to help you consistently. No surprise, you just don't get a lot of
hiker traffic there and folks are still pretty confused about the concept of
long distance hiking. However, Wisdom has its advantages in that during the
peak of summer, it is a fly fishing mecca with the Big Hole River and there
is actually a fair amount of traffic on 43 between Salmon and Wisdom and
between Hamilton (MT) and Wisdom...so fear not for a hitch in June July or
August. Especially during late June, which is the peak of the Salmonfly
hatch on the Big Hole and you'd think you walked off the trail and entered
an LLBean fashion show or Disneyland instead of Wisdom, MT. Sorry, couldn't
resist :). I've come off of CJ Pass and hitched to Wisdom an a few occasions
with no problems during the summers. Couldn't tell you about mail drops
there, though, as it was either the terminus of my hike or I had my water
gear and boat stored there at a fly fishing outfitter and simply loaded up,
dropped into the Big Hole, and floated my way down to the Missouri River. I
don't think Wisdom has a PO there any more though, so you'll have to find
someone else to take your drop.

Salmon is riskier for sure due to its distance, but hitching a ride on 93 to
Salmon was pretty easy (I was off trail by noon) and to be quite honest,
most of the traffic on the road is going to go to or through Salmon and not
bat an eye at Gibbonsville, no offense to Gibbonsville of course :), as
there is not a lot at Gibbonsville (but I do think there is a PO there...?
but not sure). At any rate, 93 is a popular scenic drive in the summers so
it gets a fair share of traffic. Salmon has full amenities. When I got off
the trail and went to Salmon, I didn't bother to send a drop there, just
shopped in town. I spent the night at Salmon in a motel. This was 1989, but
as you'll find out, not a lot changes real fast in this area of the country.

Good Luck,
Ryan Jordan