Unavoidable detours can catch you off guard. Early July 2020, there was a large rock slide closing down highway 95, south of Riggins. As the only north-south artery through the western part of Idaho, there was no alternative route other than to turn around. The road re-opening was unknown, so we decided to travel around it via Oregon and then head north from Weiser, ID back up the 95. Just the week before, we had the fortunate opportunity to stay with a Harvest Host Winery in Lewiston, ID. Since we were headed back that direction, we stopped again at Lindsay Creek Winery. After spending the afternoon doing laundry and a supply run, we were greeted by rainbows and threatening clouds.

The next morning we set off on our detour route!

Westward bound on Highwy 12
The smooth looking Snake River
Wind turbine soldiers dotting the landscape through Oregon

A long drive day landed us at Mann Creek Reservoir. I intended for us to camp in a dispersed, free, area. But once we arrived, we opted to get a shady spot at the campground.

This had to be the quietest developed campground we’ve ever been to. The sites were nicely spread out and surrounded by large grassy areas. Vault toilets, tables, and fire pits rounded out the amenities. The camp host stopped by to welcome us as well. The sites were about 75% occupied making it easy to drop in for the night.

  • GPS: 44.412130, -116.909293
  • Easy to locate: Yes; About 7 minutes off of Highway 95 and Google maps directed us right to it
  • Public Land: Yes; Bureau of Reclamation
  • Cell: None
  • Crowded: about 75% full the week after 7/4
  • Buggy: YES; mosquitos will get you
  • Clean: Very
  • Would we stay here again: probably not in July with the mosquitos out in force but otherwise yes

Where to next?

After this long detour and overnight on Mann Creek Reservoir, we had just a short drive north to our next camp area just before McCall, ID. The USFS campground up there is called Last Chance. I never did figure out why it was named Last Chance!

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