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  1. #1
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    The 500-Mile Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route

    A preview of some bikepacking goodness in Central Idaho:

    Bike Touring Special: The 500-Mile Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route | adventure journal

    Maps will be available this autumn.
    Casey Greene - President, Board of Directors - Bikepacking Roots
    bikepackingroots.org

  2. #2
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    Now this looks good!

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    Casey I enjoy reading your blog have been watching it for more info after your recon trip. Really liked the fire lookout tours as well. Keep posting, always a good read.

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    This route really excited me last year and I've been waiting for ACA to issue the maps. I've checked their web site and there's no new information on it. Does anyone have any beta on when the maps/final route info will be available? Some discussions made it appear that everything was finalized and they just need to print the maps.

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    Casey has been posting on bike packing.net. Sounds like the maps should be out real soon. There is a map on bikepacking., but it is not detailed. I will be riding it in late July with friends. Since we are both in New England, you could drive out with me if you are interested. I will also be on my Fargo. Harry

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harryonaspot View Post
    Casey has been posting on bike packing.net. Sounds like the maps should be out real soon. There is a map on bikepacking., but it is not detailed. I will be riding it in late July with friends. Since we are both in New England, you could drive out with me if you are interested. I will also be on my Fargo. Harry
    Thanx's for the update on the maps and also the offer for riding. My schedule would be to ride in in early Sept, but thanx's for the ride offer. Hopefully you'll post back after your ride and let us know how awesome the route is.

  7. #7
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    I've been waiting for maps to come out for a while. Looks great. I've been looking for a route like this to get my GF into longer tours with some payoff along the way. I can't think of a better reward than a hotspring.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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    I'll post that map here too.

    We've been having some issues with our printer - nothing big, just trying to make everything perfect - that has cause the latest round of delays. We should have the maps sent off within the next week. Which means we should have them on shelves by late-feb, at the dead latest. The webpage should be up around the same time.

    Thanks everyone for your patience.

    Here's some more info on the route, including when to plan a trip for: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route Q&A | Adventure Cycling Association

    ps. Vik, I'm about an inch away from getting a Krampus. You still diggin' yours for loaded trips?

    The 500-Mile Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route-backcover_idhsmbr_1.jpg
    Casey Greene - President, Board of Directors - Bikepacking Roots
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    Quote Originally Posted by flumphboy View Post
    ps. Vik, I'm about an inch away from getting a Krampus. You still diggin' yours for loaded trips?
    Thanks for the map Casey.

    Ya love the Krampus. Got it pretty much dialled in for touring. No regrets buying one last year. It's great for exploring.

    Since you can run a "normal" 2.4" 29er tire on it you really aren't into anything too specialized if you want to skip the Knards for a particular trip.
    Last edited by vikb; 01-24-2014 at 08:50 AM.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  10. #10
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    The maps have been sent to the printer. We will have them on-shelves in roughly 3 weeks.

    If you are super eager to have them in your hands, please purchase them as soon as they are available. I have a slight feeling that the-powers-that-be did not order enough, and we will run out of stock fast. I'll post here right when we get them in.

    (ps. Thanks, Vik!)
    Casey Greene - President, Board of Directors - Bikepacking Roots
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    Thanx's for the heads up. I'll be watching everyday, multiple times a day. I agree with you, this route will be a hot item.

    Attaboy's to everyone involved, but especially you Casey,

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    The 500-Mile Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route

    This is now added to my bucket list...

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    Quote Originally Posted by flumphboy View Post
    The maps have been sent to the printer. We will have them on-shelves in roughly 3 weeks.

    If you are super eager to have them in your hands, please purchase them as soon as they are available. I have a slight feeling that the-powers-that-be did not order enough, and we will run out of stock fast. I'll post here right when we get them in.

    (ps. Thanks, Vik!)
    Tick for updates on this thread.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by flumphboy View Post
    The maps have been sent to the printer. We will have them on-shelves in roughly 3 weeks.

    If you are super eager to have them in your hands, please purchase them as soon as they are available. I have a slight feeling that the-powers-that-be did not order enough, and we will run out of stock fast. I'll post here right when we get them in.

    (ps. Thanks, Vik!)
    Casey lets say you could only get the time to ride 250miles and you wanted to hit the best singletrack and hot-springs on the route....what would your recommendation be?
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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    ACA just sent me their spring Cyclosource catalog yesterday, and the Hot Spring map sets are listed in the catalog. However, I checked again and they are not on the WEB site. So I just called to order the map set, but the call center person said that they can not take any orders for the mapset until Feb 25.

    So mark your calendars!

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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    Casey lets say you could only get the time to ride 250miles and you wanted to hit the best singletrack and hot-springs on the route....what would your recommendation be?
    If your looking for a loop, I would suggest - to you Vik, and any other experienced bikepacker - the one a few of us have been discussing on the bikepacking.net thread (ACA's Next Dirt Route).

    The only problem with doing Ketchum > White Cloud Option > Stanley > Alturas Lake > Willow Creek Option > Ketchum, is the section between Alturas Lake and Willow Creek is not part of our routing, and no one can find beta on it. I think the trails will be fine through the Ross Fork Basin, but they could suck. Its probably 15ish miles worth of trails, and a few more on dirt roads.

    If those trails go, I think this loop will be exactly what you are looking for.
    Casey Greene - President, Board of Directors - Bikepacking Roots
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    Quote Originally Posted by VTFargo View Post
    ACA just sent me their spring Cyclosource catalog yesterday, and the Hot Spring map sets are listed in the catalog. However, I checked again and they are not on the WEB site. So I just called to order the map set, but the call center person said that they can not take any orders for the mapset until Feb 25.

    So mark your calendars!
    True that. Our big rollout - press releases, blog posts, yada ya - will be on the 25th. I hope the maps will get here in time...

    Like I said, I'll post - in this thread - the second they arrive.
    Casey Greene - President, Board of Directors - Bikepacking Roots
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    Quote Originally Posted by VTFargo View Post
    ACA just sent me their spring Cyclosource catalog yesterday, and the Hot Spring map sets are listed in the catalog. However, I checked again and they are not on the WEB site. So I just called to order the map set, but the call center person said that they can not take any orders for the mapset until Feb 25.

    So mark your calendars!
    Just to confirm this, I just talked to our sales folks and we are not taking orders until the 25th. Even if the maps come in early, we are still not taking orders until the 25th. If the maps come in late, we will be taking pre-orders on the 25th.
    Casey Greene - President, Board of Directors - Bikepacking Roots
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  19. #19
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    We have the maps in house. You can order them starting tomorrow morning.
    Casey Greene - President, Board of Directors - Bikepacking Roots
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  20. #20
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    Available to purchase now in the Mountain time zone; I'm buying mine right now! Stoked!!

    Edit: Spoke too soon--site crashed

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    I called up and ordered mine!!!!! They are on the way to my house, well after the snow clears today :-)

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    Got my maps ordered and already have a couple people interested.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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    Plane tickets booked - check
    Bike packing bike - check
    Bike packing gear - check

    The maps went on sale this morning. I got the first phone ordered set at 8.01 Mountain Time Zone.

    I don't have enough fingers and toes to count the sleeps before departure, but its safe to say I'm looking forward to this.

    We don't have hot springs in Scotland so this will be a treat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mcmoonter View Post
    Plane tickets booked - check
    Bike packing bike - check
    Bike packing gear - check

    The maps went on sale this morning. I got the first phone ordered set at 8.01 Mountain Time Zone.

    I don't have enough fingers and toes to count the sleeps before departure, but its safe to say I'm looking forward to this.

    We don't have hot springs in Scotland so this will be a treat.
    What time of year are you going?
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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    Ordered a set via the website. Flawless experience.

    Love this part of Idaho, looking forward to exploring it by bike via this route. Get a membership and support the ACA (you'll also get discount on the maps!).

  26. #26
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    September.

  27. #27
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    Hey everyone. Our friends in Ketchum need help, now:

    While we are all celebrating the launch of this new route, there are good people in a meeting in Ketchum fighting so that we all can all ride it. Please support these local efforts by sending an email to the Blaine County Commissioners saying that you would like to preserve the historic bicycle access to the Boulder White-Cloud Mountains if it were to recieve National Monument designation: jlovell (at) co.blaine.id.us. It really does help.

    Here is some more information from the Wood River Bike Coalition Public Meeting Tuesday re: Boulder-White Clouds - Wood River Bike Coalition

    It would be great if the commissioners got back from the meeting with a flood of emails!
    Casey Greene - President, Board of Directors - Bikepacking Roots
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  28. #28
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    I purchased my maps last night at about 10:45EST.

    Flumphboy-I just sent an email to the Commissioners!

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    Casey Greene - President, Board of Directors - Bikepacking Roots
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    JYB, thank you so much for doing that.
    Casey Greene - President, Board of Directors - Bikepacking Roots
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by JYB View Post
    I purchased my maps last night at about 10:45EST.

    Flumphboy-I just sent an email to the Commissioners!
    +1 - email sent as well.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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    I will be riding this route in mid July. With 4 others. An old fart tour at a fairly easy pace. If anyone is interested in joining us, just pm me. I will be driving out from the east coast with a half empty car, if that makes it easier. Let me know, harry

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    The 500-Mile Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route

    I definitely want to do this route!


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    I'm looking at this route, and the reaction to the new maps on the Adventure Cycling page. Lots of pent-up demand. Looks like there will be traffic jams on the route this summer.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by the other Anne View Post
    I'm looking at this route, and the reaction to the new maps on the Adventure Cycling page. Lots of pent-up demand. Looks like there will be traffic jams on the route this summer.
    That's why I am waiting until 2015. Let all the hot springs flush out the dirty bikepacker grime from the first season!
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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    I can see that waiting to 2015 might mean things are quieter. But it would be fun to be in the first people/groups doing the tour, too. Also, word of mouth is a thing. If the route is as good as it sounds, maybe in year 2, even more people will do the route because they hear about it from their friends.

    Either 2014 or 2015 would be way fun.

  37. #37
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    Last thing I want to do on a dirt tour is see people I didn't come with [unless they are generous and carrying ice cold beer!]. But it's easy enough to choose dates on the edge of the prime season to avoid any peak crowds.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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    I also have my flight booked and now mappes ordered.

    Flying in from UK on 21st June and plan to start route on 23rd.

    Not sure yet how much of the single track sections I will ride - waiting to study the maps.
    .

  39. #39
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    Really looking forward to riding a couple sections of it this coming season with my wife. Nice work Casey and ACA !

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    For Casey or anyone that gets 'er done this year I'm interested in which section would be the best [particularly considering singletrack] if you can only do one of the top or bottom loops?
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  41. #41
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    Not that the top is bad - because it's not - but between the two, bottom, hands down.
    Casey Greene - President, Board of Directors - Bikepacking Roots
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    Quote Originally Posted by nwmtb View Post
    Really looking forward to riding a couple sections of it this coming season with my wife. Nice work Casey and ACA !
    Thanks Chad. I almost stopped by last weekend, but the driving was slow, and we had to get to the trailhead, and up the trail to Goldbug before dark. Ill swing by next time.

    Have fun in Island Park this weekend!
    Casey Greene - President, Board of Directors - Bikepacking Roots
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    Quote Originally Posted by flumphboy View Post
    Not that the top is bad - because it's not - but between the two, bottom, hands down.
    Thanks. Just want to have options depending on time available and group that's going.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  44. #44
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    I agree the bottom ones are the best for singletrack with the Whitecloud option being hands down the best. For those wanting even more singletrack there are defiantly more options along the route to include more sections. Idaho is truly the backcountry single track state.
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  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilycook View Post
    I agree the bottom ones are the best for singletrack with the Whitecloud option being hands down the best. For those wanting even more singletrack there are defiantly more options along the route to include more sections. Idaho is truly the backcountry single track state.
    If anyone wants to GPS other singletrack options I'd be willing to curate and compile and "unofficial" set of GPS tracks.

    For someone like me who has to drive 1 day+ each way and ride with a group I can't really "explore" the way somebody more local can.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  46. #46
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    Vik, All the GPS tracks are done. All you need to do is go to: Idaho Trails

    From this site you can export gpx tracks and import them into google earth or other programs. Then you can always post in the Idaho forum for specific trail conditions and direction of travel. I am planning a two day ride from featherville to Sawtooth City and back which includes about 60 miles of singletrack without the need to carry as much gear since you just stay at sawtooth city, which is the half way point. So this would be a good option for people looking for a shorter adventure.
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  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilycook View Post
    Vik, All the GPS tracks are done. All you need to do is go to: Idaho Trails

    From this site you can export gpx tracks and import them into google earth or other programs. Then you can always post in the Idaho forum for specific trail conditions and direction of travel. I am planning a two day ride from featherville to Sawtooth City and back which includes about 60 miles of singletrack without the need to carry as much gear since you just stay at sawtooth city, which is the half way point. So this would be a good option for people looking for a shorter adventure.
    Thanks. That's a great resource.

    If folks ride high quality single-track sections that play nice with the rest of the route I'd love to hear about them and get GPS tracks.

    I'm working on an end to end b-packing route on Vancouver Island and getting feedback from the saddle is critical to understanding which route options are worth pursing and which ones are duds.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  48. #48
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    We (ACA) will have route tracks, and waypoint for the services and hot springs, ready to go by the end of April.

    Personally, I use the "Idaho Topo" base data, with the "Northwest Trails" overlaid on top of it. Both datasets can be found for free here: GPSFileDepot - Idaho Garmin Compatible Maps
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  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilycook View Post
    For those wanting even more singletrack there are defiantly more options along the route to include more sections. Idaho is truly the backcountry single track state.
    Yes! this is exactly what I hoped people would do. Get in there and create their own trip. To save our ass, we have to suggest people do not use the maps for off-route travel, but I tried to do a thorough job of putting all the trails and roads on there. So, people can at least see that they exist, and do further research. Although as we both know, not all trails exist, like through Ants Basin...

    Basically I tried to create the map that I would want to use.
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    Just received my map set today!! There is just sooo much information its going to take me some time to go thru it all. This is just so awesome and a great way to spend yet another week of below freezing temps, though riding my fat bike is also fun!

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    Ants Basin is the worst rail ever! Hey these maps look great, I will order some and see you all out there!

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    I have a trip planned to Stanley (east coaster as well) this summer already...this new option can make things interesting! Just ordered maps-just have to figure out how to manage the pooch

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    Got my maps today, they look awesome! Very nice job, Casey, of including some things not on previous maps (like the names/numbers of roads that are not on the route). That always drove me crazy about the GDMBR maps.

    Several of us in Salt Lake are likely planning trips -- a variety of paces in different groups -- but many of us are talking about it through the SLC Bike Touring / Bikepacking meet-up group. A loaded touring group with 160 members! We are very excited.

  54. #54
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    I've got my maps, now I just need to figure out the getting the time to go and someone to go with. I lived in Idaho for 7 summers and liked it a lot. I only started biking at the end of that but I really liked riding the gravel roads of the Palouse and Camas prairies. I was around a lot of this route on a kayaking trip many years ago, it is spectacular country.

  55. #55
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    I got my maps last night and they look great. I have ridden or driven on 90% of the route so it is fun to see it all put together!

    For those bike packers using BOB trailers the Whitecloud option can be made more BOB friendly by going down the east fork of the Salmon to the Little-Boulder or Big Boulder trailheads and then heading to Chamberlin Basin from there.I have taken my BOB trailer in this area so I am sure it is doable.
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  56. #56
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    I'm living in Costa Rica and I was wondering how early in the year this trip might be doable? I know it depends on mother nature but what do you Idahoans think?

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    Got my maps - thanks ACA and Casey! Too busy working and riding to really study them yet, but we won't be riding the route until Sept 2015 so no rush at this point.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammockman View Post
    I'm living in Costa Rica and I was wondering how early in the year this trip might be doable? I know it depends on mother nature but what do you Idahoans think?
    Late June is probably safe.
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    if you are driving to the route, where is the best place near-ish boise to leave a car?

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    Ordered my maps! Don't know if I'll be using them this year or next though. It's my new dream route.

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    We are starting in Ketchum. I have several leads on parking . I just call bike shops and ask for advice?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harryonaspot View Post
    We are starting in Ketchum. I have several leads on parking . I just call bike shops and ask for advice?
    if you have leads, i would just try to contact the lead. i'm going to guess that the bike shop is only going to give you more leads.

    leaving a car randomly in downtown ketchum for several days probably won't work. since you're not far from the highway for that section, i would try the SNRA (Sawtooth National Recreation) Visitor Center just north of ketchum first. galena lodge further north may be an option, this might cost some $. and thirdly, depending on time of year, you might be able to keep your car in the parking area at river run lodge, may cost money as well. ketchum is a great town and full of very friendly people, i'm sure within a couple of phone calls you'll have a solid place sorted out.

    my favorite two bike shops in ketchum are backwoods mountain sports and the elephant's perch. don't forget a cup of coffee at java on fourth before you leave. monkey fries and a burger at lefty's or a schooner of beer and a burger at grumpys are great options at the end of your ride.

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    In addition to the above suggestions - which are preferred - you may have better luck parking in Hailey, then Ketchum. Ask the folks at Powerhouse.

    There is a bike path that connects the two towns.
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    thanks for the tips!

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    I'm interested in this route. With my two friends we have almost completed the Arizona Trail from Mexico to Utah bikepacking the sections we can and backpacking the other sections due to being in the wilderness areas. We only have about 1/3 left. What I would like to know and after to help see if feasible for a trip and time is mileage from point to point sections? This would allow me to calculate our time to be able to complete the whole loop. We would start in Ketchum and end in Ketchum. Appreciate the info you can share.

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    Could you clarify this sentence?

    Quote Originally Posted by crashlongjohns View Post
    What I would like to know and after to help see if feasible for a trip and time is mileage from point to point sections?
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    Flumphboy - sorry if that did not make sense. What I am referring to is something like the following example from the AZT website as follows: ATA - Passages that can be viewed. This way I know from each segment the distance between landmarks. Example Ketchum to Atlanta to Idaho City to Crouch to McCall via Eagle's Nest Option then North Shore Lodge via Secesh Option, North Shore to Stanley then to Ketchum via White Cloud Option. Appreciate the assist on the information.

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    We do not have that info online right now, but it is accessible on the maps.

    Here are the lengths of each singletrack section:
    White Clouds: 66.9
    Secesh: 75.2
    Eagle's Nest: 48.4
    Willow Creek: 37.0

    If you would ride the whole main route + all of the singletrack options, the milage would be just under 639.
    Last edited by flumphboy; 04-17-2014 at 09:04 AM. Reason: spelllin
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    Quote Originally Posted by flumphboy View Post
    In addition to the above suggestions - which are preferred - you may have better luck parking in Hailey, then Ketchum. Ask the folks at Powerhouse.

    There is a bike path that connects the two towns.
    There is park and ride near the YMCA in Ketchum, across from the Big Wood Pres. Church. Park in the area furthest away from the Y. Probably could find a spot there. Easy access out Warm Springs road that way. Down in Hailey, there are not many public lots, at least near The Powerhouse. SNRA would work too, but is a ways out. River Run dirt lot (upper level) at the River Run entrance to the ski area, does not cost anything during touring months either, at least at this time. that would be a good option as well. Again, easy cycling access along the bike path out Warm Springs.

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    Going to try a little piece of this overall trail this weekend, accessing near Fairfield and starting at Worswick Hot Springs and working west to Featherville then out. Car supported family trip. We are focusing on springs NOT in the river due to it obviously being runoff season.

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    How did it go?
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    Quote Originally Posted by flumphboy View Post
    How did it go?
    Great! I will do a report tonight. The maps were a great help in planning out a trip that suited our family needs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flumphboy View Post
    How did it go?
    So this worked out great for us to do a small section of the overall trail as a car supported family trip. We drove in from Fairfield over Couch Summit, then headed out to Worswick Hot Springs. We were going to drop cyclists and bike in from the top of Couch but got a late start and were worried about finding camping. No worries. Worked out great!

    The Worswick Springs were in good shape, and there was plenty of camping nearby.

    Next day we cycled about 10 miles west along the So. fork of the Boise River to Canyon Transfer camp, and set up camp there. The stronger cyclists then mountain biked in a burly single track, with some scree sloughs, to Skillern Hot Springs.this was not a beginner mountain bike, so care was needed. It is approximately 3.1 miles in one way. Some exposure on some scree and rock crossings. Skillern is a very nice spring, with a waterfall falling into the basin we used. Nice temp. But could use some work on the basin. Was a bit shallow. If we had brought a tarp or liner we could have helped it out. Still a very nice and picturesque soak. There was another spring right in the river, but that was impacted at this time by runoff. The campground was great, and only had one other couple using it.

    The next day we had planned on cycling about 18 miles to Baumgartner Hot Spring and campground, but that area is closed right now due to last year's fire, and a destabilized steep hillside that has thrown a boulder down into the campground and could shed burned timber. The rangers say they may open later this season, but are not sure. Too bad, as we were thinking a nice group soak in an improved spring, along with a shower and etc. would be nice.

    Instead we went on to the Willow Creek area, still further west along the So. Fork Boise. We found a good, unimproved campsite, and found the springs. Could be a nice spring (about a mile out a single track) but also needs some work to make it a better soak. Still worth it.

    Last day, we cycled out toward Featherville and turned that way, instead of continuing the route up toward Rocky Bar and Atlanta. Too early to get there yet due to snow. But we found springs at the Elk Flats campground, also known as Bridge Hot Springs, to soak our feet on our way out. From there, we drove back home to Hailey. Very enjoyable, and your map helped me plan a trip that was attainable for us, with cyclists ranging from 11 through adult. You can find some pics here if anyone is interested:

    (Click on the pics and you will get a "story" of pics to view on Photobucket)

    <a href="http://s174.photobucket.com/user/sunvalleylaw/story/77341" target="_blank"><img src="http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w92/sunvalleylaw/story/77341/thumb/large.png" border="0" alt="Idaho Hot Spring Tour 2014"/></a>

    We had heard about this trip (overall route) years ago but had never done it due to kids' ages. Your map really helped us pull it together. We plan on knocking off other sections of the route as time allows. Thanks again!
    Last edited by sunvalleylaw; 05-28-2014 at 01:40 PM.

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    Awesome! Nice trip and photos.
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    Great trip!
    Last edited by the other Anne; 05-28-2014 at 01:15 PM. Reason: wrong forum

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    Anyone intending ride this loop in the next few weeks?

    The recommended time window is shortly upon us (late June to late July per the ACA website) so I'm considering making the drive over from Seattle and riding the loop in the next few weeks. Curious if others are planning similar timelines.

    Also curious if any locals can confirm the full loop is snow-free and/or cleared of downfall (on singletrack sections).

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    my freinds and I are starting in Ketchum on 7/18. pm me if you want to talk
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    The willow creek trail as a singletrack option still has about 8-10 down trees and patches of snow as of Saturday. Other than the down trees the trail was in great shape and a blast. I just did the trail as an out and back. I think all the trees should be cut out by July 4th by the dirt bikers.
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    Some of our friends are out at the moment, they did run into some closed roads but that was to motorized. If you are on Facebook - go to Southwest Idaho Bike Camping - group page and you can see Dylan's posts

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    My wife and I are headed out for a week long trip starting next Monday. Planning to do a loop using the northern part of the main route with the Lowman cutoff. Hope to see some folks out there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by flumphboy View Post
    GPS data is here:
    Awesome, thanks Casey! Just in the nick of time.

    Nice timing . . . I just got my maps in the mail this morning. Can't wait to go hit the trail.

    Looks like lots of potential for singletrack diversions during the ride (stashing bags and grabbing a quick, liberating baggage-free loop ride). The obvious one to me was to hit the Fisher Creek / Williams Creek loop. Any other suggestions in this regard? Obviously IMBA and mtbproject.com can lead the way, but first-person suggestions are always welcome.

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    If you can make the logistics work, Little Boulder Creek Trail is a must.
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    Quote Originally Posted by flumphboy View Post
    If you can make the logistics work, Little Boulder Creek Trail is a must.
    Thanks! How do I best connect to it, over Castle Divide? Loop back via Germain Creek?

    Also, any idea how rideable is the ~ 2 mile section of Williams/104 that lies north of the Fisher/332 trail junction, and south of Warm Springs trail (point R on the singletrack narrative)?? I'm considering a lollipop loop from point R. I rode Fisher/Williams many years ago, and liked it, but did it as a loop, so didn't ride the section I'm inquiring about.
    EDIT: answered my own question . . . per mtbproject this is called Pig Trail and it rides both ways no problem. So the lollipop should be straightforward.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smilycook View Post
    The willow creek trail as a singletrack option still has about 8-10 down trees and patches of snow as of Saturday. Other than the down trees the trail was in great shape and a blast. I just did the trail as an out and back. I think all the trees should be cut out by July 4th by the dirt bikers.
    The snow patches were presumably around Decker Creek Summit?

    That's some of the highest elevation on the whole loop, so if that was passable recently, I'm guessing/hoping that the even higher passes midway on the White Cloud option should be passable in 2 weeks when I expect to be riding them?

    Now that I've got the maps in my hands, I'm getting a terrible case of pre-trip excitement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by InertiaMan View Post
    Thanks! How do I best connect to it, over Castle Divide? Loop back via Germain Creek?
    Castle Divide or you could go over Gladiator and down the east fork and then do a big boulder to little boulder loop.

    Germania Creek is steep near the East Fork and there is a fair amount of loose rocks near the east fork. The trail only gets better and is really good above where Chamberlain creek comes in.
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    Quote Originally Posted by InertiaMan View Post
    The snow patches were presumably around Decker Creek Summit?

    That's some of the highest elevation on the whole loop, so if that was passable recently, I'm guessing/hoping that the even higher passes midway on the White Cloud option should be passable in 2 weeks when I expect to be riding them?

    Now that I've got the maps in my hands, I'm getting a terrible case of pre-trip excitement.
    The higher passes will certainly be passable in 2 weeks. There might be some small snow banks to climb over. I will be in the area July 12/13 for a loop from Featherville to Smiley Creek Lodge and back.
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilycook View Post
    I will be in the area July 12/13 for a loop from Featherville to Smiley Creek Lodge and back.
    Are you heading through Ross Fork Basin?
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilycook View Post
    The higher passes will certainly be passable in 2 weeks. There might be some small snow banks to climb over. I will be in the area July 12/13 for a loop from Featherville to Smiley Creek Lodge and back.
    I'll be trying to ride/push that section too. We're riding the whole loop CC starting in Idaho City on the 18th and will be riding the Ross Fork basin to Alturas Lake to cut the total mileage a little shorter.

    Like this: Idaho Hot Spings MTB Route - Ross Fork Basin Shortcut - Camas, ID

    Do you you (or anyone else) know if that goes through? It appears to, at least from a careful google earth flyover.

    Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by flumphboy View Post
    Are you heading through Ross Fork Basin?
    We are considering it. If we do we will ride up the east fork of skeleton creek and then drop into Ross Fork Basin.

    We may also just go up and over on paradise creek and then emma creek and descend west fork of big smokey.

    I am waiting to hear which trails got cleared before making a final decision.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gabrielamadeus View Post
    I'll be trying to ride/push that section too. We're riding the whole loop CC starting in Idaho City on the 18th and will be riding the Ross Fork basin to Alturas Lake to cut the total mileage a little shorter.

    Like this: Idaho Hot Spings MTB Route - Ross Fork Basin Shortcut - Camas, ID

    Do you you (or anyone else) know if that goes through? It appears to, at least from a careful google earth flyover.

    Thanks!
    Ross Fork Basin is generally in good shape and connects. Parts of the trail burned about 2 years ago. Lots of options in that area. There is also Vienna and Emma Creeks.
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    If you want a good topo on the trails in the Smokey Mountains stop by Moto 1 in Boise. They have maps from a guy named Bill Dart, who puts difficulty and trail condition on his maps.

    If the trail crews go through the smokey's I will post up the info.
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilycook View Post
    Ross Fork Basin is generally in good shape and connects. Parts of the trail burned about 2 years ago. Lots of options in that area. There is also Vienna and Emma Creeks.
    Cheers, thanks for the beta!

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    Not sure where I even got this track from, but does anyone have any beta on this singletrack shortcut between Idaho City and the N Fork of the Boise R?

    Idaho City to Arrowrock reservoir - A bike ride in Idaho City, ID

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    This is a very doable route from Idaho City to Arrowrock. The dirt road is in excellent shape and is of moderate grades. Looks like you are going to descend Haga Creek which is a good trail, but does have some serious exposure starting about halfway down. There are also a lot of steep switchbacks all of which are rideable depending on your ability level. Another option is go down cottonwood creek, but this will dump you on further west.

    If you want more beta you can always catch me in Boise on your way out. I can give you the low down on most trails in southern idaho.

    Quote Originally Posted by gabrielamadeus View Post
    Not sure where I even got this track from, but does anyone have any beta on this singletrack shortcut between Idaho City and the N Fork of the Boise R?

    Idaho City to Arrowrock reservoir - A bike ride in Idaho City, ID
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilycook View Post
    Castle Divide or you could go over Gladiator and down the east fork and then do a big boulder to little boulder loop.

    Germania Creek is steep near the East Fork and there is a fair amount of loose rocks near the east fork. The trail only gets better and is really good above where Chamberlain creek comes in.
    Thanks smilycook.

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    Nice find Gabriel, that Haga Creek "short cut" sounds interesting. Perhaps Casey planned the main route moving further west here to help provide the spur to Boise, and to keep the main route off trail. And its too short to justify full "singletrack option" treatment on the maps. But for those of us not connecting to Boise, and planning to ride singletrack, is this short-cut a preferable option? It saves ~23 miles (7 vs. 30) and adds singletrack . . . that sounds good to me.

    Smilycook, if you were doing this, what would you do?

    Casey, any reasons not to consider this option?
    (you must be rolling your eyes, seeing how barely anyone has ridden your loop yet, and we're already tweaking it! )

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    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. I don't have my maps in front of me, but will look at them tonight and offer some suggestions. The key to enjoying any of these singletrack sections is to keep your bike as light as possible.

    How much singletrack do you want? There are many options along the way.

    If it was me I would go down Cottonwood or Hungarian Ridge over Haga Creek. Cottonwood is along the route while Hungarian would require going further east of the main route.

    I am riding Big Smokey Creek this weekend and would consider that another amazing detour, just depends on how crazy you want to get and how much time you have.

    My suggestion is to PM me when you are headed through town and I can go over the maps with you. If you go off route you will also need a Sawtooth, Boise, and Payette National Forest maps set.
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    Thanks for all the beta. Unfortunately I doubt we'll have time to stop in Boise before the trip. Thus the Haga and Ross Basin shortcuts. We'll be on a more relaxed schedule past stanley though and hope to add in more stuff up there. I grabbed the McCall and Sawtooth/WC Adventure trail maps, if we have time where's the best place to grab FS maps in Boise?

    I'm Gabe (503-381-4456), send me your number and I'll get in touch if we squeeze out some extra time on the way out there! PS: my friend & really rad dude Ryan King just moved to Boise. He's a solid rider and bike builder if you ever need an adventure buddy.

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    Smile Tim's ride of the Main Loop and a bit of Singletrack.

    Completed main Loop last Tuesday and returned to the UK today.

    I was riding a rigid Salsa Fargo with panniers.

    my track is here - https://share.delorme.com/timfield

    Will be publsihed extended story on crazyguyonabike.com in due course with photos.

    My maps are with my baggage which missed a connection so some names my be wrong.

    This is how my trip panned out

    DAY 1 Monday 23rd June.

    Left my Warm showers hosts in Boise about 8.00 and followed Boise Greenbelt cycle route up to Sandy Point rec areas where I joined Boise Spur route.

    Reached Neinmiyer camp-site - warm spring pool under water - about 18:00

    Day 2 Tuesday

    Cycled up to Atlanta and got their about lunchtime. Had cheeseburger and apple pie at the Beaver lodge bar. Both very good particularly the apple pie. Went to hot spring and camped at riverside camp-site. Bar lady at Beaver lodge is also forrest services camp-site person and has good info on which hot spring and which camp-site to use.

    * Atlanta well worth a visit *

    Day 3 Wednesday.

    Started Willowcreek singletrack about 8.00. climb up past mine is steep but ridable apart from soft area where mine is working on road. Mine guys told me that I would be doing a lot of pushing later.....

    Singletrack section starts well a lot ridable for me but had to get off for looser and /or steper bits.

    A lot of trees down and not trivial to get bike over.

    But the top section was epic, lots of steep snow patches, I had to kick steps with my feet and carry bike and panniers separately.

    Reached Decker Creek summit about 18:00.

    Trail down was covered with snow so took me about an hour and a half to get down to ridable section.

    Reached Willow creek camp ground about 23.45 by Petzl headtorch light. Trail got more ridable for me the futher I got down.

    * Too early in season to make this section anything but an epic due to combination of snow and downed trees from lack of tyre marks in snow think I was first across this year *

    Day 4 Thursday

    Only go going about 9:00 because of late finish.

    original plan had been to back track to Featherville to get some more food. But due to late start decided not to but instead stop and cook some pasta at lunchtime.

    Was tired from the previous day so found climb to Dollarhide summit hard compounded by altitude. Was going so slowly on final mile and stopping so much that ended up getting off and pushing bike at a steady 3 mph.

    Descent need attention because road was in poor condition.

    Reached Ketchum about 21:00 tired and hungry and went straight to supermarket for Bagels, cookies, orange juice and a yoghurt, which al tasted great.

    Chatted to a guy who suggested Lift tower lodge Motel

    Room was about $99 and was fine.


    Day 5 Friday

    In morning went to Laundrette and to supermarket to get more food.

    Laundrette is attached to Grumpies bar on route in to town. Opens about 9:00. Bar can give change for machines.

    There are 2 in town both upmarket and expensive.

    Started to rain about 11:00 so sat on porch until rain stopped about 13:00. Just out of town started raining heavily again so took shelter.

    Stopped at Sawtooth Park visitor centrer and got Harrison & Galena trail map and black wide mountain bike trail guide.

    Got board of the Harrison Trail a bit before Galena Lodge so joined main highway for a a few miles.

    Convinced my self that something was wrong with bike front end so adjusted headset tension, and cleaned dirt from behind front axel bearing dust covers to get rid of squeak.

    I was sceptical that I was in the right place when starting the old tol road trail section, but it is exactly as described in the route narrative.

    Camped wild on trail on 'old toll road' section.

    *** Old toll road section is not to be missed ******

    Day 6 Saturday

    Day started cold but with no rain (and it was not to rain again during trip)

    When old toll road trail reached the highway I decided to complete climb on the highway, not much traffic at that time and description indicated trail was rough.

    Met some roadies on summit and put on warm gloves for descent down old toll road trail.

    Excellent descent.

    Followed trail through to Stanley, a great days riding, but getting hot towards end of day.

    Signs indicated redfish lake camper grounds were full, but fanced a shower and bed so took a room at Mountain Village Motel at Stanley. ( I asked about camping at their RV park but they do not do that. Room was about $90

    So liked Stanley that I decided to stay a 2nd night

    So on Sunday cycled out with out my luggage up to Redfish lake.

    At visitor centre there looked at a mountain biking guide book and learnt about a MTB trail around the lake and decided to do it. A nice technical trail just right for my rigid Salsa Fargo. Climbs out rigid on one side of lake then descents to far end (where I had a dip in the lake) and then climbs by switchbacks up the ridge on the other side. Trail just touches boundary of wilderness area. It was great and back at Redfish lodge a band was playing on the grass, so I sat in the shade and listened to them for a couple of hours. Then back to Stanley for a shower and Pizza. Did not have time to sort out a dip in the motel's private hot spring.

    * Supermarket at Mouintain Village is very well stocked and reasonably priced *

    Day 8 Monday

    As I was leaving met a group of 4 guys rising the main loop accompanied by 2 of their wives driving their gear in a 4X4. They were having to get a wheel fixed, but exchanged plans for the day and said we might all meet at Bear Valley campground.

    Ride was very good, good dirt roads with no significant traffic. At lunchtime met the 4 guys who had got wheel fixed and then had taken highway to make up time, but where then waiting for their wives to arrive with lunch. So beat them to Bear valley camp-ground. Camp-ground was almost full as lot of native tribe people camping. It was good to chat with the seniors of the tribe and them to show their spear fishing techniques.

    The river was good to swim in (away from where people were fishing.

    The 4 guys rolled in about a hour later than me and then Mike who was doing the main loop in the opposite direction arrived.

    The 4 guys group kindly invited me and Mike to a very goof meal of chicken and rice. It was good to sit around the fire after the meal and chat about our shared lover of the outdoors and rest of our lives.

    Day 9 Tuesday

    Got going well before the 4 guys and had a good day with a few climbs and descents, reached Warm Lake in early afternoon. The final descent was on tarmac and great fun, like being on a alpine descent. Pleased oh how well I count corner on the 2.1 Smart Sam tyres.

    Was warm so after a cold drink and ice cream from lodge retreated to the shade of the picnic ground 'no car' campsite (just past lodge).

    About 6:00 went for a wonderful swim from the rocks below camp-site.
    Lake was nice temperature (but not warm)

    Had good meal from Lodge and chatted with a group of young cycle tourist doing their own Idaho loop with more tarmac and less dirt.

    ** Store at lodge only has non perisahable supplies - tins, pasta etc.****

    Day 10 Wednesday

    said goodbye to the 4 guys as they were taking the highway to Cascade due to lack of time.

    Descended down Salmon river, on tarmac, (though with some climbs ) lots of fisherman. Had a dip in 16 mile hot spring. (look for it soon after 15 mile post - I did not look until I got to 16 and had to go back)

    Then back on dirt road and started climbing again. Here I had my only flat tire of the trip, which I quickly patched. Did not find anything in tyre, so guess it was a sharp road chip.

    Stopped at Ponderoser Pines campground at 13:30. It was very hot even in the shade. It was too quiet after being with people for the last few nights as no one else was camping. My small radio could not get a signal at all. Very pleased when it got cool enough again to cook and read.

    ***camp has water pump***

    Day 11 Thursday

    Continued up Lick Creek Climb and got to summit 11ish to decided to ride the last bit of Sech single track section in the opposite direction to the guide and then take the highway to McCall.

    The initial climb up to Duck Lake was very good, rideable with out downed trees blocking the trail, so it looked good for the descent down the other side. I had told my self that if I found a problem with this bit I would turn around. The descent started well, but then I came to lots of downed trees which were high above the trail, it was hard to get bike over them even after removing panniers. A 2nd person would have made it so much easier. It was joy to hear trail bikers (on motorbikes) coming the other way which meant no more trees across the trail.

    Very good to get down to the lake and filter some more water and take highway to McCall. The idea of taking a Motel room was in my mind as a struggles with the trees but getting to McCall I realised that being ththe 4th July holiday weekend everywhere would be full. So camped at RV park and campaground beyond airport.

    I expecteded a noisy night and I was right so did nor hurry to bed until past midnight.

    *** two very goof supermarkets in McCall, good value with good selection. one near airport sells campstove 'european' butane /propane mix light weight cartridges and dried backpacking meals at resonable prices ***

    Guy invited me to stay for 4th July party in the afternoon but I wanted to get on and avoid another noisy night.

    Day 12 Friday 4th July.

    Route leaves town for the dirt roads of the Long Valley past the finish farmsteads.

    I reached the historic town of Rosebery about 12:00, it was very hot and the Museum did not open until latter, so headed off route to town of Donnely for a cool drink and a ice cream, then down to Lake Cascade for some shade and a rest. Found a good shady spot in the picnic shelter by the boat launch. The Latino group having a picnic party their offered me food and cool water and I read and had a swim. When it was cooler at 4.00 I got back on my bike and headed back to Rosebery. On the way a guy out in front of his house with his family and friends who I had chatted with earlier waived me down to stop and meet his friends - and he got me to have a go at badminton - which i failed to master - last time I tried was about 35 years ago. he ivited me to camp in his garden but I had not gone far that day son continued.

    The museum town at Rosebery was very good - the town 'died' when the railway missed town by a mile and a new down was build by teh railway.

    Abut 5:00 I got going again and camped wild on Gold Fork river. Lower down it is private land but higher up land is public and there are lots of camping spots by the river.

    Day 13 Saturday 5th July

    Day started with climb to Eagle Nest where single Track section starts.

    At first I did not spot start of trail even though it was right in front of my eyes. So ended up deciding I was in wrong place and continuing on main route. Realised I had been in correct place and went back.

    The route description says trail starts with a short climb. At first I could ride it but then I got too tired and the trail too steep and so I ended up pushing. Took about 1 hour to get to top of trail, but trail free of trees across trail ;-).

    Descent was great, but hard of body on rigid bike, so when I go to road crossing I choose to follow dirt road the rest of the way particularly as the single track had another section of climb. Perhaps I should have missed the top section and ridden the lower section?

    ** watch out for the cool water spring on the main route after joining warm lake road ***

    I got to cascade about 14:00 and had a rest in the shade in the park for a hours or so.

    **** Cascade has a good supermarket and a 'Family Dollar' store which is very good value - I was able to replace broken sunglasses for $8.00 - I also go fig roles and dried fruit ***

    I continued past Cascade lake to Clear Creek Station RV park

    Good value at $7.00 for camping with showers.

    They had a very good blues/rock band playing for a 5th July party. The band played from 6:00 to 10:00 so no problem with late noise. A very good evening.

    **** have very small small store selling basic stuff ****

    Day 15 Sunday 6th July.

    Climbed up and over to Boiling Point Campground where I stopped for a long lunchbreak spent in the shade sitting on a tree root with my feet in the river.

    Then another climb over to Silver Creek plunge pool camp ground.

    The hot springs feed a swimming pool ($8.00 admission after 8:00 $10.00 all day) this pool was very welcome as it relieved something in my arm that I had hurt somehow on the descent. I am glad I did not stop at the 1st campground after the descent.

    Day 16 Monday 7th July

    Climbed over to Crouch and arrived at midday , very hot buy hung out in air conditioned seating area at supermarket for a few hours reading.

    **** supermarket has good selection and is good value ****

    Then moved on to Library which is on way out of town, coold with good internet connection - Wi-fi and computers.

    Left library about 5:00. Reached Placeville at five past seven just as shop had closed, and soda can vending machine outside was out of order.

    ***** Placeville shiop looked like it had good selection of food even though it is a general store *****

    Reached Idaho City about 21.00 and took room in Idaho City Lodge Hotel $65.00 a night mid week.

    ****Owner of Lodge can sort out car parking whilst on route.****

    **** 2 small supermarkets in town - one open to 22:00 ***

    Cooked on stove in car park as all earing paces closd by time I had showered.

    Day 17 Tuesday 8th July

    Hanged out in Holel until Museum opened at 11:00, then extended lunch at 'Donnas place' and then hang out at library.

    Got going when it was cooler at 16:00.

    3000 feet of climbing.

    reached highpoint at dusk, and then climbed futher to lookoout.

    amazing sunset - red sky.

    met shepherd with flock of sheep.

    very scenic ride along ridge before dececending to cottonwood creek.

    Ride to complete route at Cottonwood campsite completed by moonlight (almost full moon) and petzl headtorch.

    *** Cottonwood campsite is unsigned and on opprosite side of creek from dirtroad. ***

    Day 18 Wednesday 9th June.

    Main loop now completed.

    Followed Boise spur along Arrowrock resevoir to Sandypoint rec area where I swam in the lake - nice temperature of water, then followe dBosie Green Belt cycle path back to Boise (rather that ACA route to airport)

    Any questions happy top answer.

    Big thanks to Casey, Adventure Cycling, everyone I met, and my hosts in Boise from warmshowers.org.

    Tim

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