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FR487 Squaw Creek Rd - Seven Devils Rd

The Seven Devils Road is a one way climb to a high lookout over the Hell's Canyon area. It starts almost at the same point as the road following the Salmon River into its maze of canyons, that once confused Lewis and Clark. The Salmon River Road receives many visitors, but they have a large area to get lost in. In a neighborhood of such scenic prominence this Lookout is often overlooked.

But these pages are organized primarily by two way summits. Two bikable forest routes can be used as alternatives for the lower part of the Seven Devils Road. These two alternatives form a two way summit and are shown in the first profile. The one way climb is below that.

1.(00.0m,1800ft)START-END EAST -1: low point just south of Riggins
2.(00.9m,1920ft)profile turns up Squaw Creek Rd on right
3.(02.6m,2440ft)jct with Papoose Creek Rd
4.(13.5m,6240ft)TOP and jct with Seven Devils Rd
5.(15.2m,5700ft)jct with FR2109 which dead ends
6.(22.7m,2440ft)START-END EAST-2: same as point 2


From East-1:
Just south of Higgins, a signed turnoff hints at great hiking at the end of an access road to the Hell's Canyon area: the Seven Devil's Road. The profile goes up this steep paved road. A few houses, still belonging to the outskirts of Higgins, quickly end, and the road already has quite an incline, just to keep up with the bottom of this grassy canyon.

At point 2 the Seven Devils Rd makes a 90 degree left turn. But the profile just keeps going straight, and is now on FR487 the Squaw Creek Rd. On a climb to the one way summit, this option bypasses all of the heavy gravel on the intermediate part of the Seven Devils Rd, and is much more bike friendly. After a good workout the road enters National Forest land and passes a gate which closes the road to motorized traffic. The grassy canyon sides carved by the Little Salmon River appear as backdrop between wildflowers and dense trees. This is a very bikable road with an extremely smooth surface. After many switchbacks the road crests in the forest.

SLIDESHOW1: bottom to Windy Saddle

cLiCk on image , arrows , or thumbnails to advance slideshow

From East-2. And from here you can already see the FR487 joining the Seven Devils Rd again. The profile turns left and rolls back down, to meet the first FR487 junction, this time with more gravel than on the East-1 approach.

Sidetrip to Seven Devils Lookout: The real attraction of this climb is this out and back climb to a Lookout Point over the Hell's Canyon area, from where you can make out geographical features belonging to four states.

Uphill from this junction the road surface is remarkably smooth again, much better than going down from here on the Seven Devils Rd. The road quickly reaches a few scree slopes, that open up great views on the mountains to the east. During my July 4th 2017 ride, remnants of snow outlined a few rounded peaks above treeline in the distance.

The route reaches what at first looks like a pass because of the change of viewsheds. The devil theme figures prominently in the naming of surrounding land features. But the road continues to climb after the change in viewsheds. A named pass comes a little later: Windy Saddle. The other side of the saddle has a trail approach. But it reaches into the wilderness area and does not descend 500ft before climbing again.

From here a short spectacular spur leads through a stick forest of dead trees, that make infinitely many photo foregrounds possible. It only lasts .7 miles and ends at a parking lot below an old fire lookout. The last .2 miles are reserved for foot travel. Pictures from this last section on foot are included in the slide show. The walk only takes 10 minutes.

1.(00.0m,1800ft)START EAST: low point just south of Riggins
2.(00.9m,1920ft)profile turns up Squaw Creek Rd on right
3.(03.0m,2440ft)profile turns left up Papoose Creek Rd
4.(10.5m,5580ft)jct with FR210 which dead ends
5.(12.0m,6220ft)FR 487 Squaw Creek Rd - Seven Devils Rd(sh)
6.(17.8m,7600ft)Windy Saddle
7.(19.5m,8160ft)END WEST:end of road at FR487 Squaw Creek Rd -ow, with short trail to viewpoint

Dayride with this point as highest summit:


( < Banner Summit | FR2028 Skookumchuck Rd(sh) > )
FR487 Squaw Creek - Seven Devils Rd , additional out and back : FR487 Squaw Creek Rd, before gated area > up FR487 > FR487 Squaw Creek Rd - Seven Devils Rd s(u( <> out and back to top of Seven Devils Rd Lookout <> additional out and back to Seven Devils Campground > down Seven Devils Rd > Riggins << back up Seven Devils Rd > back up FR487 Squaw Creek Rd to starting point: 42.0miles with 6470ft of climbing in 5:37hrs (garmin etrex30: m5:17.7.4)
Notes: wonderfully quiet 4th of July ride; The hardest part was the extreme heat coming back up from Riggins at the end. Nice temperatures at the top - only very short paved part.

 SLIDESHOW 2: from Windy Saddle to Devil's Lookout

cLiCk on image , arrows , or thumbnails to advance slideshow