Best place to live for MTB in eastern Idaho?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Best place to live for MTB in eastern Idaho?

    My wife and I have been living in Colorado Springs for 20+ years, but we're contemplating a move because it's just getting too crowded....and too crowded no matter where you go in Colorado.

    Anyone have any thoughts about living in eastern idaho (good or bad)? We have a trip planned to have a look around, and have kind of zeroed in on Pocatello, but I want to make sure we're not overlooking anyplace else. How does Idaho Falls compare? We have family here in Colorado, and in Nebraska, so we don't really want to go any further west than eastern Idaho.

    Things we're looking for:
    -cheap houses
    -mountain bike trials I can ride from my doorstep
    -a town big enough to have a good number stores and restaurants.
    -a reasonably educated population
    -live and let live culture (not pushy with politics or religion)

    Neither of us are too picky about where we work, or very materialistic. We have no kids to support, and would be happy to just have regular jobs, and be able to go places without fighting traffic and/or being surrounded by mobs of people.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Idaho Falls is NOT your huckleberry.
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    And then we eat them."

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    I've been working in Pocatello all summer, plenty of riding to be found(hope you like climbing), I think it's a great city compared to Idaho falls(not a fan).
    Driggs/Victor area has a lot of great riding, but much smaller towns unless you go over to Jackson$$.

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    Pocatello probably is your best bet, but Driggs and Victor have the best restaurants in Eastern Idaho. Not much shopping though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    Idaho Falls is NOT your huckleberry.
    Just out of curiosity, why?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CKnapp1983 View Post
    Just out of curiosity, why?
    I only pass through there for work personally..... Just another city, nothing special, kinda grimy feeling vs many other places? Every time I've looked it didn't seem like there was decent riding anywhere to be found....(no mountains like the other areas).
    Go visit for a day...

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    I was in Poco for a ultra running race and the trail network right out of town was outstanding. Sounds like it ticks all your boxes. Driggs/Victor have amazing riding but are more expensive. I know I am ready to leave Bozeman when the kids finish school. We have had crazy growth here and the "newBo" people seem shocked to see bikes and dirty bikes out on the trails. We will be moving to Idaho, if my wife goes to PA school most likely Poco. Then north. Good luck with the move!
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by CKnapp1983 View Post
    Just out of curiosity, why?
    Kind of a dumpy agricultural / industrial city in the middle of a flat landscape. The Midwest, with mountains only an hour away. It's like a small Billings but without the downtown revival Billings has been experiencing.

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    Sounding good. Thanks for the replies so far.

    I'm not going to have a bike with me, or time to go for a worthwhile ride even if I did have a bike, but I would like to get a feel for the trails while I'm there by going a short run/hike. Any suggestions on a 2-5 mile trail close to town that I could hit in the morning while the wife is still sleeping? Something that will give me a taste of what the rest are like, and maybe some good views? I'm not averse to climbing at all, so no restrictions on difficulty.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shark View Post
    I only pass through there for work personally..... Just another city, nothing special, kinda grimy feeling vs many other places? Every time I've looked it didn't seem like there was decent riding anywhere to be found....(no mountains like the other areas).
    Go visit for a day...
    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    Kind of a dumpy agricultural / industrial city in the middle of a flat landscape. The Midwest, with mountains only an hour away. It's like a small Billings but without the downtown revival Billings has been experiencing.
    Ummmm no. Ive lived here for a couple years now, and its a lot less grimy then Pokey is for the most part. Sure the areas you see from I-15 and Hwy 20 aren't the nicest but what cities have their best areas right next to the major roadways. And there are mountains 20 minutes from downtown, and you're much closer to the Tetons here then you are in Pokey. We can go to targhee, ride teton pass, or anywhere in the bigholes easily in a half day. It would be much tougher to do that living in Pocatello. There is also some decent riding just east of town before the snow melts up high, and after it starts falling in the winter.

    For what its worth I was born and raised in Colorado, and moved here for the same reasons you are mentioning. I prefer the feel of Pocatello because it reminds me of a smaller Fort Collins, and there are some awesome trails down there, but not enough to stay entertained all year. Idaho Falls is the best compromise of close to riding, fishing, etc, low cost of living, and big enough to have everything you need. The one down side is that some of the Mormons can be really annoying, but most leave you alone once they figure out you're not a fellow cult member. We also have a decent mt bike scene that is getting better every year.

  11. #11
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    Fair enough, that's just the feel I got the few times I've stayed there.

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    Hey Cj,
    I am a Pocatello guy and I think it sounds right up your alley. The cost of living is low and you can pretty much ride to the City Creek area from 90% of town. City Creek is the start of a relatively extensive trail network. If you want to link it to other areas you'll need at least two hours. If you just want a good hour or so run, you can do a variety of loops in the City Creek area up to around 4 hours. You can bail out at multiple points and be out of the trails and back into town in 15 minutes or so. The Idaho Falls guy is correct in being closer to the tetons but its only about a 40 minute difference, but we are also closer to utah mountains (Skiing), Sun Valley/Sawtooths(about same drive), and we also have Massacre Rocks very close for winter biking and climbing, along with a local ski area that is "all world" on good snow years and generally has exceptional BC skiing every year and its only 1/2 hour away.. Come check it out and for some reason you need to get on a bike rather than running or hiking, I could probably find a loner bike for a few hours. Have fun.
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  13. #13
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    Okay, so we returned last night from a trip to Yellowstone that included an overnight in Pocatello.

    Nice place. We had dinner at the brew pub, and got some local info from the bartender. The food and the beer were both very good. Had lunch at Elmer's the next day. I drove out and hiked the Corral Creek trail. Picked that one for no other reason than it was out of town a bit, and had some elevation to it. Turned out to be more of an ATV trail, but it gave me a good feel for the area, and I saw a HUGE bull moose with a female at the top. They were about twenty yards away on the trail, and trotted off after a few seconds. I know how dangerous they can be, so I just stood still and kept my distance.

    The town was bigger than expected, and we were surprised by how crowded the central and northern areas were when we headed out on Sat afternoon. Definitely a strong trial network there, and more spread out than I expected. I'd be very happy to have access to that from my doorstep. I read that the SW part of town was "the bad part of town", so we walked around the neighborhood near the brewpub after dark, and it seemed fine. Don't think we'd have any issue living in that area. About the only thing that caught us off guard with the town was all the "confederate pride" on display (flags, shirts, hats, bumper stickers with the confederate flag). Not sure what to make of that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by _CJ View Post
    About the only thing that caught us off guard with the town was all the "confederate pride" on display (flags, shirts, hats, bumper stickers with the confederate flag). Not sure what to make of that.
    It's partly because it's rural, but you should Google "Idaho Aryan Nation". It used to be an issue up north.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    You guys suck im all bummed now

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigSteve in CO View Post
    It's partly because it's rural, but you should Google "Idaho Aryan Nation". It used to be an issue up north.
    Got ya.
    Last edited by _CJ; 10-07-2016 at 12:14 AM.

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    I used to travel through North Idaho, and you would see people wearing the arm bands. I can't honestly speak for the attitude in Pocey. Maybe they just associate that flag with Dukes of Hazzard and lifted trucks with big wheels. I was surprised there was any hate associated with it when I got older.
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  17. #17
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    You can live in extreme western Wyoming and still be eastern Idaho - the two state's common border runs down the western side of the Tetons, and Alta, below Targhee, is in Wyoming, and both accessed through Idaho at Driggs...just sayin.'
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    Northern Idaho may as well be another country, imo, as someone who has lived in eastern Idaho for a long time. For me to drive to the Panhandle takes about as much time as most people driving across 5 states.

    As far as the Confederate flag thing goes, there are ignorant rednecks just about everywhere, it doesn't mean they are neo-Nazis (not that I'm defending either group at all).

    I wouldn't let that put you off of settling in eastern ID, if you like everything else about it. There are lots of great, open-minded people here.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smithhammer View Post
    Northern Idaho may as well be another country, imo, as someone who has lived in eastern Idaho for a long time. For me to drive to the Panhandle takes about as much time as most people driving across 5 states.

    As far as the Confederate flag thing goes, there are ignorant rednecks just about everywhere, it doesn't mean they are neo-Nazis (not that I'm defending either group at all).

    I wouldn't let that put you off of settling in eastern ID, if you like everything else about it. There are lots of great, open-minded people here.
    That's good to hear. Everyplace has it's issues I guess. Our thinking is just that fewer people means fewer of those problems. Eastern Idaho is certainly on our list for further consideration.

    Based on what the bartender had to say, we're not the only ones either. He had a fair amount to say about people wanting to move there and "californicate" it. We've been on the receiving end of that for a while now too, and it's only getting worse. It's part of what we want to get away from.

    At the end of the day, Pocatello seems to be a lot like Colorado Springs, just smaller, which is a good thing. Part of the reason I moved here in the early 90's was because the population was only 100,000, now it's over 500,000, and the growth is accelerating.

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    Glad you had fun and I wish you could have seen a few of the other trails, but Corral Creek is an awesome DH trail, just gets a bit cowed up (likely owned by said red neck flying the racist flag). Good luck moving to a smaller, rural area surrounded with millions of acres of public lands and not running into a confederate flag here and there!
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    hunting, guns, jacked up pickup trucks. just some of the many good things about idaho.
    Idaho is a mix of old school and new school. if you take the attitude of live and let live, you will be find here. Bubba is good people, he might have a different perscpective than you, but all in all they are just good people.

  22. #22
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    Having spent the first 30 years of my life in the South, I was surprised how commonly Confederate flags are displayed here. Not a fan, tbh, but what can you do?

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    To be clear, I have no issue with the flag (or hunting, guns, jacked up pickup trucks, etc). It just kind of caught me off guard. Never been to that part of the county, and really just didn't expect to see the flag there. Having been raised in the Detroit area, I've always associated it with southern pride, and figured seeing it in Kansas, etc. was just bleeding over from the south. We don't see people flying it too often in Colorado, and it's generally frowned upon by most people.

    As long as they're not trying to run me off the road while I'm riding my bike (more than anywhere else), I could care less. I probably have more in common with most of them than not, given that I like riding dirt bikes, fishing, shooting guns, complaining about the government, and riding around in my junky old truck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tim208 View Post
    hunting, guns, jacked up pickup trucks. just some of the many good things about idaho.
    Idaho is a mix of old school and new school. if you take the attitude of live and let live, you will be find here. Bubba is good people, he might have a different perscpective than you, but all in all they are just good people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by _CJ View Post
    As long as they're not trying to run me off the road while I'm riding my bike (more than anywhere else), I could care less. I probably have more in common with most of them than not, given that I like riding dirt bikes, fishing, shooting guns, complaining about the government, and riding around in my junky old truck.
    Based on this, I'd say you're already an honorary Idahoan.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim208 View Post
    hunting, guns, jacked up pickup trucks. just some of the many good things about idaho.
    Idaho is a mix of old school and new school. if you take the attitude of live and let live, you will be find here. Bubba is good people, he might have a different perscpective than you, but all in all they are just good people.
    excellent thread. Guns, hunting and the live/let live attitude is a huge reason my wife and I are considering re-locating to victor, ID from Gunnison, CO (Sorry about the CO invasion). Colorado isn't the same as it was a decade ago, cost of living, getting crowded and people moving here screwing up politics, ect. I just want to have a house, ride some bikes, ski some pow, shoot some guns and be left alone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by _CJ View Post
    To be clear, I have no issue with the flag (or hunting, guns, jacked up pickup trucks, etc). It just kind of caught me off guard. Never been to that part of the county, and really just didn't expect to see the flag there. Having been raised in the Detroit area, I've always associated it with southern pride, and figured seeing it in Kansas, etc. was just bleeding over from the south. We don't see people flying it too often in Colorado, and it's generally frowned upon by most people.

    As long as they're not trying to run me off the road while I'm riding my bike (more than anywhere else), I could care less. I probably have more in common with most of them than not, given that I like riding dirt bikes, fishing, shooting guns, complaining about the government, and riding around in my junky old truck.
    I don't live in Idaho but have family up there. I personally think that the people displaying the confederate flag up there are more of less doing it as a sign of defiance against the government intrusion into their lives. Just like people flying the Gadsden flag in record numbers since Obama took over. I think it has NOTHING to do with racism.
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    Stoopid Americans, some real crankloons. Everywhere.
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  29. #29
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    I really like the Victor and Driggs area, a lot of good xc trails and Targhee has great downhills! There is also good fly fishing and hunting! great places to eat and good breweries!

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    Best place to live for MTB in eastern Idaho?

    Pokey is a good town if you want cheap and affordable with pretty good riding right above town and a growing crowd of younger people who are into biking, xc skiing, with relatively progressive attitudes. That said, it's cheap for a reason and there are plenty of trashy, uneducated people there. It's the kind of place where people will drive by you and scream out the window at the top of their lungs while the driver revs the engine when you're cruising on your bike. The confederate flag thing has become a sign of "rebellion " against our tyrannical government that makes us pay taxes and manages public land on a shoestring budget and what not. It's being seen more and more throughout the west lately.

    Idaho Falls, or I.F. as people say, is more sprawling with worse traffic and no real riding near town. It doesn't have the same vibe as Pokey.

    I'd say Pokey is best if you want a smaller town and don't want to drive every time you want to mountain bike. IF if you want to be closer to Teton Valley Idaho or Jackson Wy.

    Teton Valley, which is basically Driggs and Victor is definitely "cooler" with a fast developing biking scene and great skiing. Jackson is just over the hill and where most of the jobs are as well as more shopping. Towns Teton Valley are definitely smaller, the grocery is closed on Sunday, the jobs are few and far between, and it's more expensive than pokey or IF. It's a great scene but you gotta want to live there. And it snows a lot. And winters are long.

    Another note about southern Idaho is that it's definitely Mormon country. Not sayin, just sayin.

    Idaho is a very rural state with very right leaning politics. Nothing wrong with either but the stereotypes tend to hold true in my opinion. Regardless of this fact or maybe because of it and the juxtaposition of younger more progressive movement, there's something special about the gem state. If you move there I think you'll pick up on it. Good luck.

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    My girlfriend just told me to erase my post and to say, "Idaho sucks. Stay in Colorado ".


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    Quote Originally Posted by deserat View Post
    It's a great scene but you gotta want to live there. And it snows a lot. And winters are long.
    I've been keeping an eye on the weather up there, and the winter seems to be a lot worse than I thought. Has this been an average year, or is it unusually cold and snowy?

    Where I'm at now, probably half the winter days are sunny and ~50 degrees in an average year. Snow melts off inside a week in most cases, and I can drive an hour to the south to ride warmer/drier when we're snowed in up here.

    What's the winter riding season like up there? Is there one? Or do you guys just find something else to do? Back-country skiing? Snow shoeing?

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    Best place to live for MTB in eastern Idaho?

    Quote Originally Posted by _CJ View Post
    I've been keeping an eye on the weather up there, and the winter seems to be a lot worse than I thought. Has this been an average year, or is it unusually cold and snowy?

    Where I'm at now, probably half the winter days are sunny and ~50 degrees in an average year. Snow melts off inside a week in most cases, and I can drive an hour to the south to ride warmer/drier when we're snowed in up here.

    What's the winter riding season like up there? Is there one? Or do you guys just find something else to do? Back-country skiing? Snow shoeing?
    The winter riding season consists of alpine skiing, backcountry,and Nordic skiing. Fat biking has become popular in Teton Valley, maybe pokey?. Pokey trails will be the first to melt out, usually mid march to mid April. Someone else may be able to comment on that better than me. Teton Valley Idaho will be later but the west side of the valley is typically clear first and ahead of Jackson hole which has a painfully late start to the riding season.

    Teton Valley definitely gets more snow than pokey or IF. Old timers say this is like the winters they remember in the 60s and 70s. So, average in the long run but not lately. I doubt Teton Valley has seen 50 degrees since the beginning of October and won't see it again until April? The mountainous areas hold on to winter for a long time and warmer riding locales are a road trip away. Definitely not a year around mountain biking destination here


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    The Winters are bad in Idaho but this year is worse. Typically Summer comes on a Tuesday in July. And that's it. Definitely not true but it can seem that way.

    As far as the winter riding season? Take up snow sports or get a Fatbike.
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    Quote Originally Posted by deserat View Post
    ...Definitely not a year around mountain biking destination here
    Unless you consider fat bikes to be part of mountain biking. Many of us ride year round - it's just a matter of tire width.
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  36. #36
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    hopping in on the thread here. i'm thinking of moving to idaho but more towards the boise area. i never considered eastern idaho. does it compare favorably to boise?
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    Apples and oranges.
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    Best place to live for MTB in eastern Idaho?

    Quote Originally Posted by Megashnauzer View Post
    hopping in on the thread here. i'm thinking of moving to idaho but more towards the boise area. i never considered eastern idaho. does it compare favorably to boise?
    We'll, boise's the biggest city in the state by far so you get all the things that come with that - traffic, some sprawl, opera, a hockey team, a college football program that doesn't suck, a downtown, green space, etc. There's good riding in the foothills but more people to share the trails with. Boise is warmer than southeast Idaho and the winters are shorter so the riding season is longer.

    Just for the record, I have in laws who live and mountain bike in Pocatello, twin falls, and Boise. I'm not an expert but I've spent a significant amount of time in these areas and ridden Idaho a fair amount. I live in Jackson Wyoming, though.


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  39. #39
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    Fat biking has taken off in the valley, but most people move here to ski, not bike. Don't get me wrong, the biking, while short, is great. We rode all the way to thanksgiving this year, but it was a fluke fall. Usually, it's done around the end of October or so.
    Honestly, if fat biking doesn't sound appealing and traditional winter sports aren't your thing, Teton Valley isn't for you. The winters are long, cold and snowy. We appreciate our summers, because they are more limited than other locals. Typical riding season is may/june through end of October. If jobs allow, many locals leave for the fall and spring season for at least a two weeks.

  40. #40
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    The mountain biking on both sides of the Tetons is fantastic, and Teton Valley has an embarrassment of riches. But the season is short. I have a bunch of friends in the Teton Valley. Only one of them is an avid fatbiker; the skiing/riding is so good that most people are happy to take a break from riding a bike. But the fatbiking is good, particularly the groomed singletrack at Targhee.

    More and more people from the Teton Valley are coming up to Helena in the spring. We usually start riding in February or March, and it's a 4-hour drive, making it an easier weekend than a trip to Utah. Bozeman is even closer, and after the Copper City trail system is built in the high desert around Three Forks, that'll be another easy weekend trip.

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    Are they going to grandfather in shooting at copper city? I have been shooting there for years and sure hope they keep a area open for that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    The mountain biking on both sides of the Tetons is fantastic, and Teton Valley has an embarrassment of riches. But the season is short. I have a bunch of friends in the Teton Valley. Only one of them is an avid fatbiker; the skiing/riding is so good that most people are happy to take a break from riding a bike. But the fatbiking is good, particularly the groomed singletrack at Targhee.

    More and more people from the Teton Valley are coming up to Helena in the spring. We usually start riding in February or March, and it's a 4-hour drive, making it an easier weekend than a trip to Utah. Bozeman is even closer, and after the Copper City trail system is built in the high desert around Three Forks, that'll be another easy weekend trip.
    Helena in spring? I figured you'd have to go south to find some warm/dry trails in March. When does riding usually begin in the Teton valley? In Crested Butte there's limited riding starting in May and usually dry by June. Trails like 401 and alpine stuff not totally snow free until July and then snows come by October. Super short riding season, but you have the desert close by at least.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BDKeg View Post
    Helena in spring? I figured you'd have to go south to find some warm/dry trails in March. When does riding usually begin in the Teton valley? In Crested Butte there's limited riding starting in May and usually dry by June. Trails like 401 and alpine stuff not totally snow free until July and then snows come by October. Super short riding season, but you have the desert close by at least.
    That's what my buddy in Driggs thought. When he realized he could ride dry dirt after a 4 hour drive to Helena rather than an 8 hour drive to Utah, he was pretty stoked because makes a 24-hour door-to-door trip much more doable. The Teton Valley's season is more like what you have in the Colorado high country. Here, we've had a reasonable subset of our trails completely dry by mid-February in the last 3 years. This year will be more like what we used to consider normal, and we'll probably see some dry trails by mid-March.

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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    ... We usually start riding in February or March, and it's a 4-hour drive, .....
    Here in Slammin Salmon ID, Idaho's forgotten stepchild, we are usually riding durt in Feb/March too. This years Rocky Mtn winter may push our durt date back a couple weeks, definitely no dry trails this Feb.

    There are more and more hip Driggsters showing up in spring.

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    Good thread. My wife and I work in Yellowstone, and Idaho is probably our top choice for a place to live after we leave the park. We were looking at the Boise area but Idaho Falls or Pocatello sound pretty good too. I do like that Pocatello has a longer riding season. The season around here is about as short as you can get anywhere, and we won't be able to ride anywhere high in the mountains until about late July if this snow continues, with even lower trails not clearing up until mid to late June.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chukt View Post
    Here in Slammin Salmon ID, Idaho's forgotten stepchild, we are usually riding durt in Feb/March too. This years Rocky Mtn winter may push our durt date back a couple weeks, definitely no dry trails this Feb.

    There are more and more hip Driggsters showing up in spring.
    I was going to mention Salmon but I kinda like going there in the spring and not having to share the trails.


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    The wife and I bought a house in Victor. Sad about leaving a mtn bike mecca, but excited to call Teton Valley home and explore the area. My concern about being so far north was lack of desert riding close by, but it seems there's quite a bit of March riding close by because of the lower elevation relative to Colorado. Excited to ride Targhee too, double the bike park vert of Crested Butte.

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    You just moved TO a Mt. Biking Mecca...
    "We LOVE cows! They make trails for us.....

    And then we eat them."

    Thrill Bikers Unite!

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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    You just moved TO a Mt. Biking Mecca...
    Yea, that was a big factor in our decision to move, but seems a lot more low key as a destination for riding. Also the skiing isn't too shabby either

    Really excited about the trails proposals and the aggressive expansion of trails in the south end of the valley there. Sounds like the MTB club is doing great things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BDKeg View Post
    The wife and I bought a house in Victor. Sad about leaving a mtn bike mecca, but excited to call Teton Valley home and explore the area. My concern about being so far north was lack of desert riding close by, but it seems there's quite a bit of March riding close by because of the lower elevation relative to Colorado. Excited to ride Targhee too, double the bike park vert of Crested Butte.
    Not this March.

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    Quote Originally Posted by panchosdad View Post
    Not this March.
    It is getting pretty close here in Salmon. Should be on good dirt soon with a weather warm-up.

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    Disco

    Disco Hill is just about there.

    It is fine for Plus and Fat size tires. Too soft for regular MTB tires.

    A couple of days of todays warmth and it is ready for all. It hit high 50s today.

    So far we have even dodged the testosterone laden, throttle heavy, teenage MX posse. A minor miracle.

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    Thanks for the Salmon update - we may have to head out there soon.
    "The only way we can truly control the outcome of a ride is not going on it, which is a choice I'm unwilling to make." -K.B.

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