If you had three days in Idaho in early July, where would you ride?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Nat
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    If you had three days in Idaho in early July, where would you ride?

    On the list so far are McCall, Silver Mountain, Stanley, and Ketchum. Where would you ride?

    Corollary question: how would you rank these three parks? Silver Mountain, Brundage, and Tamarack?

    Or would you grab your passport and go to Whistler?

  2. #2
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    Well, Whistler is arguably the best MTB system in N. America so I guess I'd rank them as:
    1. Whistler
    2. Silver (based on friend's comments. I haven't ridden there personally).
    3/4. Tamarack & Brundage. Nice thing with Tamarack & Brundage is they are 30 minutes apart so you could easily hit both and mix in some Jug Mtn, Bear Basin and other trails in the area.

    Stanley if you want miles & miles of rugged, backcountry riding; some of the best in the US. McCall if you want a mix of live-served & trail riding. Can't go wrong with either...

  3. #3
    Nat
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    Thanks. Yeah, I keep waffling on what I want to do. With three open days I've been thinking ride one day at Tamarack, one at Jug Mountain, and one classic ride in Stanley.

    Then I think about the favorable exchange rate with Canada and the fact that Whistler is Whistler.

  4. #4
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    You do realize that Stanley is a long haul from McCall area? Have you factored in the drive? Same with Silver Mt, easily the better part of a day.

  5. #5
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by formica View Post
    You do realize that Stanley is a long haul from McCall area? Have you factored in the drive? Same with Silver Mt, easily the better part of a day.
    Thanks, Google maps tells me Stanley is a bit over 3 hours from McCall. Does that sound realistic? I could manage that and make a loop out of it. If I were to go to Kellogg (or Canada) I'd spend the entire time in one place.

    Where in Idaho would you ride if you had three days to play?

  6. #6
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    Minus the Jug that someone mentioned, I have ridden all of them.

    If you have never been to Whistler and can do 3 days of riding there, do it. It is unreal. If not, I say a weekend at Tamarack/Brundage/Jug. Tam has some decent stuff, but only a day's worth. Brundage only has like 3 runs. The black is pretty cool with several alternate lines, so you can do a few runs and pick different lines. Jug is supposed to be pretty techy, and you can sign up for the shuttle in 3 hour blocks.

    Just stay away from the resort at Sun Valley. Not "DH" at all. I wasn't super impressed with Ketchum in general, but I had spent the week before in Whistler. Everything sucks in comparison.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    Thanks, Google maps tells me Stanley is a bit over 3 hours from McCall. Does that sound realistic? I could manage that and make a loop out of it. If I were to go to Kellogg (or Canada) I'd spend the entire time in one place.

    Where in Idaho would you ride if you had three days to play?
    I could be off in my estimate McCall-Stanley.... I am usually doing Spokane-Stanley and by then it's 8-9 hours.

    I'd do McCall because there is some really fun backcountry riding with Loon Lake loop. That's an IMBA "epic"... epic it is not for 12 -16 miles, but it is a beautiful and fun mountain ride along the Secesh River and has the best lunch beach ever at Loon Lake.


    Idaho has sooo much. The Salmon/Challis area has tons of trails as does way north Sandpoint and Bonners area.

  8. #8
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    I'll chime in FWIW. I've ridden all the spots you're considering, and Whistler is in a whole different category. If that's do-able, then do it.

    Here's my bullet point description of each location.
    Silver Mtn- lots of vertical, some very technical and freeride trails, lots of gravelly rocky trails, and lots of cat roads to connect them.
    Brundage- about 1000' of vertical per lift ride, 2 good trails- Elk Trail and Hidden Valley- , making improvements and getting better, fun for a few hours, and fun with family.
    Tamarack- about 1000' of vertical too, several really fun purpose built trails, good range of difficulty from Pura Vida to Smokejumper, the DH and freeride trails are limited to small sections connected by flow trails, fun for a day.
    Jug- about 600' of vertical, you can pay for a shuttle or just ride up, good range of trails from technical XC to flow to freeride, the trails are more consistent from top to bottom so a freeride trail doesn't drop you onto a family ride, quick laps so you can hit a trail several times to dial in a feature.
    Sun Valley Resort- seems to have a good marketing department
    Sun Valley area- really nice backcountry trails with a lot of flow and lots of fun. Classic mtb.
    Stanley has epic views, backcountry rugged trails, and Redfish Lake!
    McCall area- 2 lift areas, Jug shuttles, Loon Lake IMBA 'epic' (there's a 20 mile option), Bear Basin family and XC laps, several backcountry trails.

    Oh and Stanley is a little over 3 hours and SV a little over 4 hours if you go through Garden Valley.
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  9. #9
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    No bad choices with any of these destinations... 3-days is not enough time.

    Timely Ketchum write-up:
    https://www.pinkbike.com/news/sun-va...ike-mecca.html

  10. #10
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdlhrd View Post
    No bad choices with any of these destinations... 3-days is not enough time.

    Timely Ketchum write-up:
    https://www.pinkbike.com/news/sun-va...ike-mecca.html
    Nice write-up. Thanks for the link.

    I noticed the first comment at the bottom of the page: "Sun Valley sucks. Idaho sucks. Go to Whistler." Too funny.

  11. #11
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    How do I say this without sounding like a dick?... "Presented by Visit Sun Valley & Visit Idaho." They have a great marketing department. I like riding in SV, but its for the backcountry trails. Forbidden Fruit gets published every year, and is one of the best flow trails there,... and it is about 1 mile long. One thing the article reminded me of though is the Galena trails. I've heard those are a lot of fun and I'll be there in late July to ride them.
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  12. #12
    Nat
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    Galena? Hmmm, that wasn't on my radar. I'll have to do some reading.

  13. #13
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    Depending on how much driving you want to do, you could link Sun Valley- Stanley- McCall in three days. Are you camping? Kirkham hotsprings is on the road between Stanley and Banks.
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  14. #14
    Nat
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    Ooooh... That hot springs sounds pretty nice.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    Galena? Hmmm, that wasn't on my radar. I'll have to do some reading.
    If you do Galena, you can do the actual Galena trails for a couple hours, grab lunch, then shuttle the Titus Lake trail. Ends back at the Galena lodge. Can also do that as an out and back. Galena lodge has a cool cafe and bike shop. Plenty of hiking for non-riders.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    You guys suck im all bummed now

  16. #16
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigSteve in CO View Post
    If you do Galena, you can do the actual Galena trails for a couple hours, grab lunch, then shuttle the Titus Lake trail. Ends back at the Galena lodge. Can also do that as an out and back. Galena lodge has a cool cafe and bike shop. Plenty of hiking for non-riders.
    Sounds great.

  17. #17
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    I spent yesterday at Silver. They have been doing a ton of work. If you haven't been there in a while, maybe check it out. Lots more flow trails, jump trails, and single track than there use to be. There are trails off multiple chairs now; not just the gondola. They have built lots of blue and green trails with black options.

  18. #18
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    If you've never been to Stanley and like cool low key funky mtn towns with post card views every which you look it's a must visit. Not many Stanley's left in the US. Gorgeous backcountry rides all to yourself.

    The river leg of Loon Lake is amazing, other than that you may think your still riding sand in Bend. Silver is pretty awesome IMO. Brundage is much more "grass roots" vibe to it. I like the early and late season riding in Sun Valley and Ketchum for buff single track but the towns are awful.
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by formica View Post
    I spent yesterday at Silver. They have been doing a ton of work. If you haven't been there in a while, maybe check it out. Lots more flow trails, jump trails, and single track than there use to be. There are trails off multiple chairs now; not just the gondola. They have built lots of blue and green trails with black options.
    Sounds like I need to head up there again!
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayndar View Post
    Sounds like I need to head up there again!
    https://www.naenduro.com

    See ya then?
    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    You guys suck im all bummed now

  21. #21
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    3 days isn't much, not sure I'd want to add any travelling into the mix for that short of a trip. While jug is fun I don't know if I'd spend a whole day there compared to some of the others you listed.
    3 days in Stanley is fantastic, but there's the opportunity for way more climbing/work vs going to a park.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayndar View Post
    Sounds like I need to head up there again!
    Make sure you hit it right after the rain. It gets beat to sh*t and turns into a dustbowl very quickly.

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