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  1. #101
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    Nice writeup. Glad you had a good time.

    As a general rule the high passes are unrideable until July 4th or later. I ran into the trail crews this weekend in the willow creek area and they were working there way through the high trails.
    Last edited by smilycook; 07-15-2014 at 07:55 AM.
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  2. #102
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    Can anyone familiar with the lower singletrack (Willow Creek and White Cloud) segments comment on tire preferences? I'm heading out there with gabrielamadeus this Friday, and I have 2.2 Geax Saguaros mounted now.

    Considering going to 2.4 Ardents for comfort and loose stuff, since I'm riding a rigid 29er. Very appreciative to both Casey and the commenters for all the beta so far!

  3. #103
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    Great hearing about everyone's trip and planning thus far! I'm headed down to ride the route in early August and am PUMPED. Currently, I've got a BOB YAK trailer and am wondering if anyone has done the trip with one yet. I've done a good amount of riding/overnights with the BOB and feel confident with it in tow. I am a little apprehensive about the singletrack & BOB combo, however. Any thoughts or experience with a BOB on this route would be appreciated.

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  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by howrad View Post
    Can anyone familiar with the lower singletrack (Willow Creek and White Cloud) segments comment on tire preferences? I'm heading out there with gabrielamadeus this Friday, and I have 2.2 Geax Saguaros mounted now.

    Considering going to 2.4 Ardents for comfort and loose stuff, since I'm riding a rigid 29er. Very appreciative to both Casey and the commenters for all the beta so far!
    Well it is a tossup. The 2.2s will be nicer on the roads than the 2.4s, but with the bike being fully rigid then 2.4s might be a good choice to smooth things out. We generally ride 2.4 to 2.5 in the Smokey and Whitecloud area.
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  5. #105
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    You will be fine on the road with the BOB, but will need to modify the Whitecloud singletrack to make it BOB friendly. I would take the road at Bowery Guard Station and then go up little boulder.

    Quote Originally Posted by dsid View Post
    Great hearing about everyone's trip and planning thus far! I'm headed down to ride the route in early August and am PUMPED. Currently, I've got a BOB YAK trailer and am wondering if anyone has done the trip with one yet. I've done a good amount of riding/overnights with the BOB and feel confident with it in tow. I am a little apprehensive about the singletrack & BOB combo, however. Any thoughts or experience with a BOB on this route would be appreciated.

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  6. #106
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    Here is a short write up from a ride in the Smokeys to give you an idea of the area:
    Smiley Creek Loop
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  7. #107
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    Looks awesome, thanks!

  8. #108
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    07/16/2014 - 3 lightning caused wildfire which are being managed as the "Whiskey Complex" (see EDIT below) between Placerville and Garden Valley. It has also closed the Hot Springs Campground on the Lowman Cutoff. It is advised riders stay off the Lowman Cutoff west of Lowman as well.

    Current updated info here: InciWeb the Incident Information System: Whiskey Complex
    Closure area map as of 07/15/2014 here: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/photos/IDBOF...54.620-CDT.pdf
    Modify message

    EDIT: The Main Route is not closed, but all areas to the immediate east of the road are. This could change at any moment. So, please use caution on Alder Creek Rd.
    Last edited by flumphboy; 07-16-2014 at 12:59 PM. Reason: corrected info
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  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilycook View Post
    I think Casey just had some hard decisions since there is just endless variations of this route. His singletrack options just scratch the surface of the possibilities since there are so many ways to go on amazing trails.
    Nailed it, smily.

    And, the biggest constraint of the main route is that it has to be dirt roads/no singletrack to allow for folks doing heavy-touring-bob-trailer-pannier style. Also, if we would've used that option there would have been less hot springs on the main route, another constraint which I faced with the routing.

    In addition, I really wanted people to get out and create their own routes. So, far I have not read a trip report where someone did not take a deviation from my original routing. Which, is awesome. Both maps are a great place to start and have great routing, but there is so much opportunity to do whatever additional trails and roads that folks are up for.
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  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsid View Post
    I am a little apprehensive about the singletrack & BOB combo, however. Any thoughts or experience with a BOB on this route would be appreciated.
    As stated on the maps, I highly recommend not using a BOB for any of the singletrack sections
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  11. #111
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    Okay, more questions! White Clouds:

    We're thinking of extending our time up there with the Boulder Creeks and Frog Lk Loop. We'll spend a night in the Chamberlain Basin and then skirt the southern flank of Castle Peak to get to the trails. Is there another way to re-connect to the official route, or will we have to re-trace this trail? Everything farther north looks pretty mountain-y, but perhaps there's a northwest passage or a tunnel or something that I haven't found yet.

  12. #112
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    The passage is in the form of a couloir down to Born Lakes. It's steep, loose, and something Ive been wanting to do for awhile. There have been riders who have done it. Access it by heading up past Windy Devil out of the Boulder Chain Lakes. I saw Boy Scouts with pack goats going up it last year. Don't let that fool you though, heading downhill with a loaded bike it is truly a no-fall-zone. Very, very dangerous to those without mountaineering or climbing or backcountry skiing experience.

    The 500-Mile Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route-srm_406.jpg

    Also, if/when the National Monument passes the Boulder Chain Lakes will be shut down to bikes. So, get it while you can.

    Smily, you have any experience up there?
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  13. #113
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    The boulder chain lakes have very little riding and more hiking. Your first challenge at the top of the chain lakes is a switchbacking talas field. There is a trail, but you need to be carrying your bike to make it up the switchbacks. You then crest the windy devil pass and have to go down devil's slide as shown in the picture. I have slid down that couloir twice with a mountain bike on my shoulders and a small day pack. How heavy is your bike going to be? The consequences for error are basically a 800 ft tumbling fall onto talas. It is steep and loose the whole way down.


    My recommendation is descend the Grand Prize Trail to Bowery Guard Station and then take the East Fork Road to the big Boulder trail. Take the big boulder trail into frog lake and then from Frog lake use the Castle Divide Trail to go over and into the Chamberlin Basin. Then you are back on the main route.
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  14. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by flumphboy View Post
    The passage is in the form of a couloir down to Born Lakes. It's steep, loose, and something Ive been wanting to do for awhile. There have been riders who have done it. Access it by heading up past Windy Devil out of the Boulder Chain Lakes. I saw Boy Scouts with pack goats going up it last year. Don't let that fool you though, heading downhill with a loaded bike it is truly a no-fall-zone. Very, very dangerous to those without mountaineering or climbing or backcountry skiing experience.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Also, if/when the National Monument passes the Boulder Chain Lakes will be shut down to bikes. So, get it while you can.

    Smily, you have any experience up there?
    Quote Originally Posted by smilycook View Post
    The boulder chain lakes have very little riding and more hiking. Your first challenge at the top of the chain lakes is a switchbacking talas field. There is a trail, but you need to be carrying your bike to make it up the switchbacks. You then crest the windy devil pass and have to go down devil's slide as shown in the picture. I have slid down that couloir twice with a mountain bike on my shoulders and a small day pack. How heavy is your bike going to be? The consequences for error are basically a 800 ft tumbling fall onto talas. It is steep and loose the whole way down.


    My recommendation is descend the Grand Prize Trail to Bowery Guard Station and then take the East Fork Road to the big Boulder trail. Take the big boulder trail into frog lake and then from Frog lake use the Castle Divide Trail to go over and into the Chamberlin Basin. Then you are back on the main route.
    Yeah, that sounds a little ridiculous. Fun, but perhaps not for this trip!

    Your suggestion makes a lot more sense, but we'll just miss the Little Boulder descent. Ah well, can't do it all.

    Thanks for the quick replies!

  15. #115
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    We have the ACA maps here in Boise at Bike Touring News. Stop in and see us if you are beginning or ending in Boise!

  16. #116
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    Thanks everyone for the information on this route. Big thanks to casey for creating it!
    Nice write up Tim, you said you rode fully rigid, how was that?
    How technical are the single track options? Are they ridable fully rigid or would a hard tail be heaps better?
    I understand about compromises, just trying to get a feel for it from across the ocean in NZ. I have toured the GDMBR but there is bugger all single track on that.
    Any advice welcomed. Planning on touring IHS next year.
    Thanks, Scott

  17. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by lepetitbrevet View Post
    How technical are the single track options? Are they ridable fully rigid or would a hard tail be heaps better?
    The Whitecloud singletrack is the most technical and I can't imagine riding any of the singletrack options fully rigid. At a minimum you will want a hardtail for the singletrack options. As mentioned earlier you could include a lot more singletrack depending on your fitness and technical level.
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  18. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by lepetitbrevet View Post
    Nice write up Tim, you said you rode fully rigid, how was that?
    How technical are the single track options? Are they ridable fully rigid or would a hard tail be heaps better?
    Thanks, Scott
    I was only expecting to ride some of the Singletrack and planned my equipment accordingly.

    I do have a suspension fork for my Salsa fargo but the air seals failed after a few rides and it had to go back to be repaired, I got used to riding the singletrack around home with the Salsa steel fork the frame came with. Did not allow long enough to properly test the suspension fork when it came back. I think if I had not swoped it out I would probably have taken it.

    If I had intended to ride all the singletrack I would have taken the suspension fork.

    I found the Salsa much better than I expected with the rigid fork on the singletrack, with the On-One Midge dirt drops as they allow you to easily control the bike from hooks whilst holding them loosely. Going down hill it was good to sit off the back of the saddle and let the front just go over stuff. [ It was so much better than my first rigid mountain bike from the 90's which I rode again along a rocky trail here in the UK (Langdale in the Lakes) to get to the start of a walk in early June.]

    In Idaho when it was too rough I go t off and walked for a bit this would have been the case with a suspension fork because I was on my own and did not want to take risks but to a lesser extent.

    I could ride stuff with the rigid but I was slower and it tired out my body. For example on the way down from the high 'start' of Eagle Nest I rode more than 90% of the descent until I got to the road crossing. At the point I was tired and decided to ride the fireroad rather then the single track to the 2nd road crossing. In some ways this very fast descent of the fire road was more of an adrenalin rush that riding the single track slowly.

    For the singletrack I did most of it was perfectly ridable with out a suspension fork, but the bits where I had to get off, or unclip and go slowly, when I might not have had with a suspension fork spoilt the flow a bit.

    NB - I did not ride any of the Whitecloud single track.

    If you plan to ride all the single track I would take a suspension fork, if you are not going t ride all of it (for example due to lack of time) then you can stil have a good experience on a rigid.

    What I would take if I was going to ride all the single track is another person to make lifting bikes over trees over the trail so much easier. As I had panniers it was easy to dismount luggage and reduce bike weight, even then is was hard manoeuvring the bike over trees above knee hight with out luggage. It would have been so much easier with a 2nd person.
    Last edited by tim_f; 07-23-2014 at 04:48 PM.

  19. #119
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    Thanks for the replies Tim and smilycook.
    We will be touring in a bikepacking style rather than with panniers, so hope to do as much singletrack as possible.
    Sounds like forks are the go.
    Still keen to hear others input also.
    Thanks, Scott

  20. #120
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    Awesome trip reports and photos!

    Keep them coming. I am very interested in hearing what everyone likes and dislikes about the route.

    Also, I've been hearing that some riders are perhaps underestimating the language on the maps in regard to the singletrack sections. I cannot emphasize enough that all of the Singletrack Options are true bikepacking epics. This is real-deal backcountry singletrack mountain biking. These options can be extremely difficult if you are coming from a manicured-front-country singletrack background. Or, a dirt/paved road touring background. Riders absolutely need to plan for encountering obstacles such as downed trees, rutted out trails, long hike-a-bikes, and moving water crossings. If those situations are in any way unappealing, I recommend not attempting any of the Singletrack Options.

    If the appeal is still there, plan for being out there longer then expected. Which means packing more food as well.
    A conservative recommended allowance of time for each option:
    Willow Creek - 2 days
    White Clouds - 4 days
    Secesh - 4 days
    Eagles Nest - 2.5 days

    A little beta on the Secesh Option as of 07/29/14: The Twentymile Trail has been fully cleared in the past few day by moto riders and volunteers. Trail crews are working on Bear Pete right now.
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  21. #121
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    An unusual amount of precipitation in the past 48 hours have cause a number of landslides on FR 227 between Featherville and Ketchum.

    - There is one slide on the Featherville side (Fairfield Ranger District) between Skeleton Creek and Big Smoky Creek. If you are coming out of Featherville, the road is closed at at Skeleton Creek. Baumgartner Campground and it's hot spring pool are Open.
    - There area at least 2 slides on the Ketchum side (Ketchum Ranger District). The road is closed between Dollarhide Summit and Rooks Creek. The road is closed at Rooks Creek if you are coming out of Ketchum. Access to Frenchmans Bend and Wairfield is still available.

    There is no timeline to clear the slides. Depending on the severity, it could super fast, or it could take months. 2 examples in the region to illustrate this: 1) Last year there were numerous slides on the Salmon River Road between North Fork, ID and the put-in at Corn Creek. The road was cleared the following day. 2) The was a slide in May 2014 on the Skalkaho Hwy SR 37 between Hamilton, MT and Philipsburg, MT. The road is finally open, over two months later, as of today Aug 1st.

    We will have to wait and see the severity these slides caused.

    This is the current suggested reroute: http://goo.gl/maps/py3Z7. There is a bike path that runs between Hailey and Ketchum: BCRD Summer TraiLink - Wood River Trail. If you do take this reroute I suggest stopping in at Powerhouse in Hailey: Power House Pub & Bike Fit Studio — Burgers, Bikes, Beer - Built On Site. Motels are also cheeper in Hailey then Ketchum, and there is a full grocery and numerous restaurants. There is a convenience store, motel and restaurant on US 20 in Fairfield.
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  22. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by flumphboy View Post

    We will have to wait and see the severity these slides caused
    Wouldn't a road still be passable by a MTB with a little hike-a-bike?
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  23. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    Wouldn't a road still be passable by a MTB with a little hike-a-bike?
    The Forest Service has closed those stretches to everyone. For permission to travel through the area riders would need to touch base with both the Fairfield RD (208-764-3202) and the Ketchum RD (208-622-5371).

    Also Vik, it not quite like the HAB you guy did on the GDMBR in Canada last year. Or, this is not a secondary mining road that will probably never be repaired, it's a main road, and my gut feeling tells me they will try to clear it as quick as possible. So, heavy machinery will be running, and it would be respectful for riders to stay out of the way.
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  24. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by flumphboy View Post
    The Forest Service has closed those stretches to everyone. For permission to travel through the area riders would need to touch base with both the Fairfield RD (208-764-3202) and the Ketchum RD (208-622-5371).

    Also Vik, it not quite like the HAB you guy did on the GDMBR in Canada last year. Or, this is not a secondary mining road that will probably never be repaired, it's a main road, and my gut feeling tells me they will try to clear it as quick as possible. So, heavy machinery will be running, and it would be respectful for riders to stay out of the way.
    Got it. Thanks for the clarification.
    Safe riding,

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  25. #125
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    With 8 river launches a day at Corn Creek, the Salmon River Road is pretty important to keep open. And if the slides are above Cache Bar where the Middle Fork trips take out, then all those people ending their Middle Fork trips have to get out.

  26. #126
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    I'm planning on riding the route sans singletrack this month, and have a bike selection question for those familiar with the terrain:

    Which of the two bikes would you bring, not so much for speed but for making the route most fun. Either would be fitted with a couple of panniers:

    1. Kona Explosif (650b steel hardtail w/ 120mm fork)
    2. Specialized AWOL (29 x 2.1 Nanos)

  27. #127
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    I would take the AWOL, and then if you really like it come back and do the singletrack with the Explosif. You should match the bike to the terrain and I can't think of a bike that would be a closer fit than the AWOL.

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    Thx, I was hoping to hear that. So the descents aren't rough enough to merit full MTB?

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    Ether would work fine, but Id take the 29r. You'll be able to handle the descents in the drops with 2.1s. A few folks have ridden the main route with cross bikes and this is what they said:

    'Overall I thought that the main route was no problem on a cross bike and Christine agrees. She had previous experience on some 100+ gravel races but I literally only had 20 miles of gravel road biking in my life going into this trip. Also I've only used a mountain bike once in my life so all I will say is that if you already own a cross bike then it's not necessary to go buy a mountain bike just to use on the main route.

    I actually used my exact same bike set up from my 12 day Pacific Coast tour from Portland OR to San Jose CA back in May of this year: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/ADPC2014

    I stuck with my 32mm Continental Tour Ride Tires which I believe are the same ones that come stock on the Surly Long Haul trucker. Christine also had 32mm tires with similar tread.

    With my setup, I did not have to hike on any portions of the climbs but I definitely had to take rests. My rear tire would only start slipping on the real steep parts that were sandy. Christine had to hike with her bike on certain steep parts of the climbs when the dirt road became too crappy. A nice gentleman we met who had completed the Continental Divide last year was hiking in the real steep spots also.

    The sections that had the most washboard and sand were probably the most annoying parts of the ride and I assume that wider tires and shocks would provide a smoother ride.

    The downhills were probably the sketchest part for our bike setups especially when hitting sandy spots with decent speed. I could feel the front tire losing traction in the sand and wanting to slide left or right if I didn't hold my line straight. For the most part though, this was not an issue on most of the downhills and could easily be avoided by taking it slower on the descents. My arms were definitely tired after the real bumpy downhill parts and shocks would probably help eliminate some of that stress.

    Long story short.... We had no problems using our cross bikes with rear panniers and 32mm tires on the main route."
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    Quote Originally Posted by albeant View Post
    Thx, I was hoping to hear that. So the descents aren't rough enough to merit full MTB?
    I rode main route on a steel fork fargo with 2.1 smart sam tyres in late June / early july

    The main route descents are fine, need to pay attention on descents to look out for holes in surface so one can slow or pull up on front of bike (need to ride bike like mountain bike descending we weight well back) . Most iffy road was descent from Dollar summit towards Ketchum where last years burn has impacted road. Most of holes in road are flagged.

    Plenty of people were riding route on tyres less than 2.1, but I think wider tyres are better on washboard and allow you to avoid the worst washboard by riding on the softer bits of the road.

    The "Smart Sam" tyres were really good on main route and ok for most of the single track bits I did - I got off if was very lose on the single track.

    Tim.

  31. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by albeant View Post
    Thx, I was hoping to hear that. So the descents aren't rough enough to merit full MTB?
    I agree with the people who've responded so far that the main route is perfect for something like an AWOL or Fargo. My wife and I completed the route a couple of days ago. I used a rigid 26er with 2.4 Holy Rollers and my wife used a hardtail with 2.1 WTB Nanos. There were many sections where I wished I had the various hand positions available with drop bars, but I never wished I had a full suspension bike.

  32. #132
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    Thanks much to Welnic, Tim, nrj, and Casey for the detailed info. The AWOL it will be!

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    Quote Originally Posted by flumphboy View Post
    An unusual amount of precipitation in the past 48 hours have cause a number of landslides on FR 227 between Featherville and Ketchum.

    - There is one slide on the Featherville side (Fairfield Ranger District) between Skeleton Creek and Big Smoky Creek. If you are coming out of Featherville, the road is closed at at Skeleton Creek. Baumgartner Campground and it's hot spring pool are Open.
    - There area at least 2 slides on the Ketchum side (Ketchum Ranger District). The road is closed between Dollarhide Summit and Rooks Creek. The road is closed at Rooks Creek if you are coming out of Ketchum. Access to Frenchmans Bend and Wairfield is still available.

    There is no timeline to clear the slides. Depending on the severity, it could super fast, or it could take months. 2 examples in the region to illustrate this: 1) Last year there were numerous slides on the Salmon River Road between North Fork, ID and the put-in at Corn Creek. The road was cleared the following day. 2) The was a slide in May 2014 on the Skalkaho Hwy SR 37 between Hamilton, MT and Philipsburg, MT. The road is finally open, over two months later, as of today Aug 1st.

    We will have to wait and see the severity these slides caused.

    This is the current suggested reroute: http://goo.gl/maps/py3Z7. There is a bike path that runs between Hailey and Ketchum: BCRD Summer TraiLink - Wood River Trail. If you do take this reroute I suggest stopping in at Powerhouse in Hailey: Power House Pub & Bike Fit Studio — Burgers, Bikes, Beer - Built On Site. Motels are also cheeper in Hailey then Ketchum, and there is a full grocery and numerous restaurants. There is a convenience store, motel and restaurant on US 20 in Fairfield.
    I do not have anymore specific info to report on the Ketchum side, but on the Featherville side things are really bad. Apparently, the road slipped into the river and the river responded by re-routing onto the former road. It is about a 100 yd stretch. There is a local meeting tonight and more info should be available tomorrow.
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  34. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by flumphboy View Post
    An unusual amount of precipitation in the past 48 hours have cause a number of landslides on FR 227 between Featherville and Ketchum.

    - There is one slide on the Featherville side (Fairfield Ranger District) between Skeleton Creek and Big Smoky Creek. If you are coming out of Featherville, the road is closed at at Skeleton Creek. Baumgartner Campground and it's hot spring pool are Open.
    - There area at least 2 slides on the Ketchum side (Ketchum Ranger District). The road is closed between Dollarhide Summit and Rooks Creek. The road is closed at Rooks Creek if you are coming out of Ketchum. Access to Frenchmans Bend and Wairfield is still available.

    There is no timeline to clear the slides. Depending on the severity, it could super fast, or it could take months. 2 examples in the region to illustrate this: 1) Last year there were numerous slides on the Salmon River Road between North Fork, ID and the put-in at Corn Creek. The road was cleared the following day. 2) The was a slide in May 2014 on the Skalkaho Hwy SR 37 between Hamilton, MT and Philipsburg, MT. The road is finally open, over two months later, as of today Aug 1st.

    We will have to wait and see the severity these slides caused.

    This is the current suggested reroute: http://goo.gl/maps/py3Z7. There is a bike path that runs between Hailey and Ketchum: BCRD Summer TraiLink - Wood River Trail. If you do take this reroute I suggest stopping in at Powerhouse in Hailey: Power House Pub & Bike Fit Studio — Burgers, Bikes, Beer - Built On Site. Motels are also cheeper in Hailey then Ketchum, and there is a full grocery and numerous restaurants. There is a convenience store, motel and restaurant on US 20 in Fairfield.
    For folks riding the Willow Creek Option, consider using this routing to get to the Smiley Creek Lodge: Bikepacking Idaho’s Hot Spring and Cold Creeks | 2wheeltrails
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  35. #135
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    Nice writeup and great route. The signs on Willow Creek are old and should be ignored or taken down. I spoke with the FS about the signs on Willow Creek, but they did not know when they would get up there to remove them. Finally at the top of Bear Creek you can also go down the East Fork of Skeleton Creek this descent is top notch singletrack.
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    I'm planning on heading out to ride the main route towards the end of September (either the third or last week) - what are temperatures like? I'm assuming down into the mid-30s at night? I'll be attempting to sleep at lower elevations - just don't want to leave the winter bag at home if I should bring it.

    My plan is to bring the same gear setup I would for doing a trip around here (Oregon) if I was heading up into the Cascades between 4-6,000' in September. Plenty of warm clothes, rainjacket, pants, waterproof gloves, down jacket, wool knit cap, etc.

    I'll be coming in from Portland, plan to head into Boise, park, start riding Sunday, take ~6-7 days for main route, then drive back to Portland the following weekend.

    If anyone's interested in joining me with that timeframe in mind, let me know.

  37. #137
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    Just a heads up the middle fork of the boise road has been washed out.

    The affected area extends 15 miles from the junction at Slide Gulch upstream to the Neinmeyer Recreation Site.
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  38. #138
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    SurlyNate, The weather is very unpredictable that time of year. We have gotten snow storms of a couple inches at the end of September that melt off within a couple of days. I would bring the winter bag just in case you need it or get stranded waiting for snow to melt.
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    Thanks for the intel on the road closure and possibility of light snow.

    Besides following the forum chatter here and over at bikepacking.org and ACA forums, where could I find information regarding road closures of the route? Your comment was the first I had heard of the Middle Fork Road closure, and I'm unable to find either that road closure or the FR227 closure anywhere online?

    Am I not looking in the correct spots, or is it a matter of calling the local ranger district?

    Thanks!

  40. #140
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    Closures are slow to show up on the FS websites. I would check ktvb and idahostatesman a couple days before you leave they will have road closures posted.
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    Hey, do you mean the sign on the upper part of Willow Creek about "trail closed due to fire damage"? It certainly didn't look damaged, but we weren't sure what it'd be like later on & down the trail.

    Quote Originally Posted by smilycook View Post
    Nice writeup and great route. The signs on Willow Creek are old and should be ignored or taken down. I spoke with the FS about the signs on Willow Creek, but they did not know when they would get up there to remove them. Finally at the top of Bear Creek you can also go down the East Fork of Skeleton Creek this descent is top notch singletrack.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carbonguy View Post
    Hey, do you mean the sign on the upper part of Willow Creek about "trail closed due to fire damage"? It certainly didn't look damaged, but we weren't sure what it'd be like later on & down the trail.
    Does the sign say it is closed? From my memory it just warned of possible downed trees and washouts, but there was no mention of it being "officially closed".
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  44. #144
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    There are dedicated threads to the landslide/washouts over on the Road Closure section of ACA's forum:

    Temporary ACA Route Road Closures

    Basically everything is passable, but head over there for the info/directions.
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  45. #145
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    The sign says it is closed, but should be ignored.

    Quote Originally Posted by flumphboy View Post
    Does the sign say it is closed? From my memory it just warned of possible downed trees and washouts, but there was no mention of it being "officially closed".
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    A customer just finished the loop and did this write up on the Willow Creel Option.
    IHSMBR ? Willow Creek Option

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    Just finished the first part of our trip report and photos: Idaho City to Smiley Creek Lodge.

    Check it out: Limberlost ? Lost in Idaho ? Idaho City to Smiley Creek Lodge

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    Looks like some rough times on the singletrack options. Fully rigid old school mountain bikes with panniers are not going to cut it on the singletrack options. Hopefully Casey will add some extra warnings in the map for the next printing.

    I am going to recommend a deviation on the Whitecloud singletrack unless you really love pushing your bike.

    From Pole Creek road you take Grand Prize Trail to the Bowery Guard Station. The singletrack option then recommends going up the Bowery Trail. This is 100% hike-a-bike up and then 50% hike-a-bike down for bikepackers. Instead get on the East Fork Road and ride to Big Boulder Road. Turn left on Big Boulder Road and ride to the trailhead for the Big Boulder Trail. Take the Castle Divide trail to Frog lake then up and over the divide. There will be some hike-a-bike near the top of the divide. Then descend off the Divide and back onto the singletrack option. The Chamberlain Creek trail is about 70% hike-a-bike on the way up so use this option gives you a lot more riding.

    Also visit trails.idaho.gov for lots of intel. Plus all routes can be downloaded into Google Earth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilycook View Post
    I am going to recommend a deviation on the Whitecloud singletrack unless you really love pushing your bike.
    Different strokes for different folks, I guess. For my money, the descents into Germania and Ants Basin were highlights of my trip (White Cloud section). The scenery in both areas was stunning. I wasnt expecting the rowdy descents; so happening upon them was something out of a dream.

    The hike-a-bikes were epic, but so were the views, descents, wildlife, weather, etc. A very consistent experience

  50. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by henrychinaski View Post
    Different strokes for different folks, I guess. For my money, the descents into Germania and Ants Basin were highlights of my trip (White Cloud section). The scenery in both areas was stunning. I wasnt expecting the rowdy descents; so happening upon them was something out of a dream.

    The hike-a-bikes were epic, but so were the views, descents, wildlife, weather, etc. A very consistent experience
    I am still recommending the Ants Basin route, just skipping the first hike-a-bike since the majority of people will enjoy the detour better since there is a lot more riding fit into basically the same amount of time. The descent into Germania is very rowdy indeed and something few people can ride.
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