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Moose Creek

Pilot Getaways Sample Article - Summer 1999


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Nestled deep within the remote and rugged mountains of Idaho's Selway Bitterroot Wilderness lies a little slice of paradise.

Moose Creek is snuggled tight against the foot of Trout Peak on one of the precious few parcels of level ground in this largely vertical backcountry.

Cradled between the pristine waters of the Selway River and Moose Creek is the historic Moose Creek Ranger Station and Airfield.

The nearest road is 25 miles downstream at Selway Falls. For the aviator, however, there exists a much easier and faster way to reach this Shangri La besides the biped or quadruped locomotion required by ground. 105 miles east of Lewiston and 65 miles south-southwest of Missoula, Montana, Moose Creek Airfield offers the flying outdoorsman a chance to experience a vast wilderness not conveniently accessible by any other means.

Of hotels and restaurants, there are none. Of golf courses and swimming pools, likewise. But, if your interest is trout fishing along sparkling mountain streams, or airplane camping far removed from the crowd of car-borne vacationers, Moose Creek is a place you won't want to leave. Whether you enjoy hiking and backpacking along the network of Forest Service trails or just relaxing by the campfire watching evening shadows climb the mountains and deer feeding in the clearing, you will never be satisfied with just one trip to Moose Creek.

Top Left: Solitude and Scenery at Moose Creek

Above: Moose Creek's Runway 15

The Selway Bitterroot Wilderness is one of the areas established by the Wilderness Act of 1964. No motorized machinery is allowed inside its boundaries. The one exception is aircraft operating on previously existent airfields. These landing strips were grandfathered in to allow the Forest Service to fulfill its mission of managing the wilderness, but they still accommodate the outdoor, recreation-minded pilot. Some of these airstrips have ranger stations and some have basic camping facilities. Moose Creek has both. Its advantage is a lower elevation than other backcountry strips, which makes it suitable for landing when the spring thaw elsewhere is just getting under way. Moose Creek offers Idaho pilots the opportunity to camp in the shadow of their aircraft and enjoy the quiet solitude of nature deep in the wilderness.


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Feature Article: Moose Creek, Idaho

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