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Pony Meadows-Bear Lake

ATV/High Clearance Vehicle Trip from Burgdorf, Idaho through Warren and Pony Meadows, to Bear Lake and return.
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 63 miles
Duration: Full day
Family Friendly

Overview :  This Guide starts where the pavement ends on the Warren Wagon Road from McCall, Idaho. Here, at the "Y", the graveled Warren Wagon... more »

Tips:  Depending on the seasons' snowfall, the trails are usually clear by July and open through September, sometimes a little longer. It... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Burgdorf "Y"

There is parking space for several trailer rigs on the south side of the "Y".

You go east on the Warren Wagon Road (FR 21).

It is 16 miles to Warren from here. The road is good all the way to Warren with only a few blind switchback curves.

2. Warren, Idaho

Warren is a "ghost" town even though 9 to 16 people winter here and the population swells to about 50 in the summer.

It is snowbound all the way from McCall, Idaho in the winter.

There are no services here. There is a restaurant, the Winter Inn, but it is only open on the weekends. There was a "Bed & Breakfast", but there is a "For Sale"... More

3. Junction FR 340 & FR 359

In good weather, the road from Burgdorf to this junction is OK for automobiles. FR 359 requires a high clearance vehicle. 4X4 is better, especially after Pony Meadows.

4. Unity GoldSilver Mine

This is private land and their signs indicate "No Trespassing". The mine entrance can be seen from the road.

5. Tough Nut Mine

There are several structures here and some old mining machinery.

6. Minnehaha Mine

There is some old mining equipment here. A burned down cabin is at the end of the road.

7. Keystone Meadows

Elevation: 7207'

This meadow is named after the old Keystone Mine which was located here.

Good wildlife viewing area.

8. Little Pony Meadows

Elevation: 7354

A good wildlife viewing area.

9. Pony Meadows

Elevation: 7295'

The road forks at this meadow. The road to the right (west) leads to Bear Lake. There was a bad spot in a wet area with downed trees in the road when we were here. A 4X4 is recommended from the fork.

The road straight ahead, turning to the east, is OK to the outfitter camp. After that it narrows.

This whole area has been... More

10. Junction Bear Lake & Steamboat Ridge Trails

Elevation: 7572'

The Bear Lake Trail is for foot/horse. The Steamboat Trail is for single track motorized.

They are signed and it is about a mile over a very rocky trail to Bear Lake.

It is a little over a mile to Steamboat Ridge. The last time I was on the Steamboat Ridge Trail, about 20 years ago, the trail kind of disappeared in a clearing... More

11. Bear Creek

A scenic creek crossing on the way to Bear Lake.

12. Bear Lake

Elevation: 7724'

Bear Lake is a popular name for lakes in the western U.S. I know of three within a 50 mile radius of here.

This one is pretty isolated and appears to be deep. It has brook trout and doesn't get a lot of fishing pressure. Just guessing, but the lake is probably around 40 acres in size.

The view has changed a lot since my first... More

13. Outfitter's Camp

This outfitter camp will be used in September through November, depending on the snowfall.

I would not recommend towing your travel trailer to this area, unless you really don't like it.

This camp was not in use in 2013.

14. Viewpoint near old Silver Eagle Mine

Elevation: 7520'

Great view of FR 340 winding down to the South Fork of the Salmon River and the river drainage.

15. End of Road

The end of the motorized road. A foot/horse trail continues for about another 8 miles.