Magruder Road Corridor

Photo of people, rafts and the river.

[Larger version of map]

The historic, 101-mile, single-lane, mostly-unimproved Magruder Corridor Road winds through a vast undeveloped area, offering solitude and pristine beauty as well as expansive mountain views. The corridor was created in 1980 leaving a unique road that enables a traveler to drive between two wildernesses: the 1.2 million-acre Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness to the north, and the 2.3-million-acre Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness to the South. The road itself has changed little since its construction by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s.

Travel time varies, but it takes six to eight hours to travel from Red River to Darby without rest stops, at an average speed of 12-15 miles per hour. A two-day trip is ideal with an overnight stay at one of the dispersed or primitive campsite locations. The corridor was named for Elk City merchant Lloyd Magruder who, in 1863, along with four companions, was murdered near mile 44.2 westbound (near the Selway River). The murderers were pursued and brought back to Lewiston, Idaho, where they were tried, found guilty, and hanged; the first legal hanging in the Idaho territory.

Learn more about this corridor

Road and trail status report

At a Glance

Restrictions: Not recommended for low-clearance vehicles, motor homes or vehicles towing trailers. Travel by motorized or mechanized equipment or vehicles is not permitted in a designated wilderness - stay on the road. To help safeguard the natural-ness of wilderness, practice "leave no trace" techniques to ensure the country you came to enjoy will remain intact for future generations. All forage or mulch used on national forest lands in Idaho and Montana must be noxious weed-seed-free. Camp 200 feet from trails and water. Use existing fire grates and fire rings. Bury human waste. Leave campfires dead out. Pack out all trash.
Closest Towns: Elk City, Idaho and Darby, Montana
Water: Developed spring in the summer at Granite Springs, otherwise surface only - must treat before drinki
Information Center: Red River Ranger District, 208-842-2245

General Information

Directions: From Grangeville, Idaho follow State Highway 14 toward Elk City. Turn right on Red River Road #222 toward the old Red River Ranger Station (65 miles east of Grangeville). The west end of the Magruder Corridor (FR 468) intersects Forest Road #222, 0.3 mile south of the Ranger Station. The east end is 0.8 mile south of West Fork Ranger Station (18 miles southwest of Darby, Montana). From State Highway 14, turn south onto Red River-Dixie Road #222. The Magruder Road is also known as Nezperce Trail Road, Montana Road, Elk City to Darby Road and the Parker Trail. This primitive road is rough, steep and winding, with a few turnouts for passing oncoming vehicles. It is suitable for high clearance vehicles, pickup trucks, motorcycles and mountain bikes.


Campground Camping

Areas for Campground Camping at Magruder Road Corridor

Dispersed Camping

Areas for Dispersed Camping at Magruder Road Corridor

River and Stream Fishing

Areas for River and Stream Fishing at Magruder Road Corridor

Horse Camping

Areas for Horse Camping at Magruder Road Corridor

Horse Riding

Areas for Horse Riding at Magruder Road Corridor

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
101 miles

  Elevation : 
3067 feet - 7920 feet