the Degree Confluence Project

United States : Idaho

9.8 miles (15.8 km) E of Clarkia, Shoshone, ID, USA
Approx. altitude: 1302 m (4271 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest OpenStreetMap topo aerial ConfluenceNavigator)
Antipode: 47°S 64°E

Quality: good

Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: Clearwater Mountains #3: View to the Southeast from 47N 116W #4: A flower seen while hiking #5: Queen's Cup in bloom at 47N 116W

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  47°N 116°W  

#1: View to the North from 47N 116W

(visited by Matt Goff)

08-Jul-2000 -- After 3 desert confluences and one in the middle of snow covered rolling fields, this confluence offered a big change from the wide open views which I had seen before when visiting confluence points. The forested ridges east of Clarkia are called the Clearwater Mountains and are a part of the St. Joe National Forest. There are many forest roads which have been put in both for logging and recreational purposes. I had been in this area a couple of times before to go hiking and so I had a pretty good idea about how to get as close to the confluence point as the roads would take me.

Freezeout Saddle is a little over 8 miles from Clarkia on Forest Road 301. It's not much further to Freezeout Ridge where you can get on another forest road which gets just under 1 mile (as the crow flies) from the confluence point. The snow was gone from the road between Clarkia and Freezeout Ridge, though there was still enough snow to make the road impassable not too far beyond Freezeout Ridge. The roads are pretty rough in places, though a high clearance vehicle is not required. It would be a bad idea to take an especially low clearance vehichle, however.

A clearcut on a saddle along Freezeout Ridge marks the closest approach of any roads to the confluence point. From here I was faced with about a mile of bushwhacking down and across steep slopes to get to the confluence point which was about 900 feet lower than where I parked. Armed with only my GPS and digital camera, I started out. One thing about walking in the woods is that it is hard to go in a straight line. From looking at the map, I knew that if I followed the valley I was in down, it would eventually meet with another valley not too far from the confluence point. I made my way down trying to parallel the stream at the bottom as much as possible while using game trails (where I could find them going where I wanted to go) when I could and otherwise just making my way through the timber and brush.

After about 45 minutes of trying to follow the direction the GPS indicated I should be going I managed to find the confluence point on the side of a steep hill covered in trees and a fair amount of brush. As it turned out, there was an old stump right at the confluence point where I could walk out a little bit and take a couple of pictures where you could see something besides the immediately surrounding trees.

Except for the fact that there was 900 feet of elevation gain between the confluence and the pickup, the trip back was much easier. Since I was not tied to following the GPS, I was able to follow game trails most of the way back and avoid the worst of the steep slopes and brush. Since the views at the confluence point were so restricted, I included one that I took from the road on the way back out. It gives a fair idea of what the Clearwater Mountains look like; 6000-7000 foot tall ridges with the bottom of the steep sided valleys lying 1500 or more feet below the ridgetops.

 All pictures
#1: View to the North from 47N 116W
#2: Clearwater Mountains
#3: View to the Southeast from 47N 116W
#4: A flower seen while hiking
#5: Queen's Cup in bloom at 47N 116W
#6: GPS at 47N 116W
ALL: All pictures on one page