Stanley Idaho and Motos/ATVs & Info- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Stanley Idaho and Motos/ATVs & Info

    Hello fellow brothers to the North! I'm heading up to Stanley in a few weeks for some riding and camping. I'd appreciate some info on trail conditions and camping:

    Which of the local popular trails have motorcycle/atv traffic? I prefer to avoid routes where the trails with this type of traffic. I'm all for those users enjoying the trail, I just prefer a non-motor environment when I'm on the trail. (Sidenote: When I was in colorado visiting many of the popular trails in Durango and Crested Butte I was very surprised to find that many of the popular hiking/biking trails also were open to motos and consequentially I was riding on whoops or through rutted out single track more often than I'd like.)

    Anyways I'm currently thinking about casino, 4th of july/ants, little basin creek, fisher, potato mtn and some other single track in the Stanley area. How is the general condition of these trails? Do motos/ATVs frequent any parts of these trails?

    Also I know this is a BAD idea but we're heading up for the 4th of july weekend and the next week thereafter. From what I understand most of the camping is along the Salmon river NE of Stanley and it is all first come first serve. Just how crazy busy do these places get in July? We're going to try to arrive mid-week to try to improve our chances...otherwise I guess we'll have to find some BLM (We are cool with that as we're experienced campers). If we can't find camping, does anyone have any good BLM campsites they'd are to share? I have a 4x4 so a little off roading to camp isn't a big deal. I prefer to camp next to a river since I truck camp and don't have a trailer with a shower.

    Thank you very much. I am really stoked about this trip!
    "The most persistent principles of the universe are accident and error." -Frank Herbert

  2. #2
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    Parts of those trails are open to motos but very little is open to ATVs. I've never had interaction issues with motos as these trails only attract the legit trailriders, most whom are the primary groups maintaining these trails. The moto clubs & users deserve a big thanks for keeping these trails open & clear of deadfall. Buy this map and you'll see the usage restrictions for every trail- and it will list all campgrounds too: http://www.nationalforeststore.com/m...tegory_Code=ID

    Camping will be busy in the prime locations around Redfish & Stanley Lakes. Although, mid-week should allow you to find something especially in the non-reservable FS campgrounds that are NW of Stanley off of Hwy 21. There are a lot of options...

    Also, the trail to Ant's Basin will mostly likely have a lot of snow on it.

  3. #3
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    Hate to tell you, but I don't think you're going to be able to do a lot on your trip.

    I was planning to go up there and do a trip from June 24 - July 14, but I'm looking at a Northern New Mexico and Durango, CO trip instead.

    Attached is a map image from Google Earth that shows the trails around Stanley/Red Fish and a network of hiking trails in the Sawtooth Wilderness Area, with an additional overlay of current snowpack. Ketchum/Sun Valley is the green area in the lower right corner.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Stanley Idaho and Motos/ATVs & Info-sawtoothstanleysnowpack.jpg  


  4. #4
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    Take a peek here for realtime views of the Sawtooths. Like most everywhere in the country on the 4th of July there will be crowds. That means motos and 4 wheelers,(where allowed), it is just how it is. Try to have fun and enjoy the tremendous views in the area. I hope you have a good time, Stanley is a very special place.
    Ride the bike.

  5. #5
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    That is an awesome link you posted mtnbrkid! Run the loop and you can see why the snowpack is still 200% of normal like everywhere else north of I70 in the west. It's still snowing or at least with each successive late winter type storm it really hasn't gotten hot enough to started melting yet.

    That said, having ridden most of those trails you listed in late June or early July I bet Williams/Fisher Creek, Little Basin Creek and Potato Mtn will be rideable. Potato Mtn might have some dangerous creek crossings and has a marshy area or two. The Casinos will be out of the question. Same for Ants/4th of July to Robinson Bar. You might consider Big and Little Boulder on the other side of the White Clouds. It's a lot drier on that side and is also an awesome ride. And the stuff closer to Sun Valley and Haley but some of those will still have large snowbanks. Fox Peak comes to mind.

    I've never had a bad interaction with motos in that area. The trails seem to hold up better and there's less traffic than say Crested Butte where IMO the motos have really destroyed some of the trails. Of course they created many of them as well. But in the Stanley area they are indeed good trail stewards from what i can tell.

  6. #6
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    This being the wild west and all, motos are part of the landscape. Like horses, sheep, wolves, mushroom pickers, tourons, sprout eaters, fruit rollups, and road dinosaurs with their suburban assault vehicles in tow.

    Remarkably, the moto groups are exceptionally well behaved in the Stanley-Sun Valley corridor. It must be the water. Unlike to buttnuggets that tore up the switchbacks on Eagle's Nest outside of Cascade last summer.

    Of the 8 or 10 times I've ridden Fisher-Williams Creek (an overratted, but nonetheless enjoyable ride to do as a second or third ride of the day), I have only ever seen 2 or 3 motos on it. And one was our beloved SmilyCook. Funny as hell, really.

    It could be worse. You could be on BC skis and have some bubbleheads show up on their snow machines to trash your otherwise untracked pow with their high-marking 4-stroking nonesense. Waste of skin, those asspirates are.
    Nobody cares what kind of bike you ride.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwistedCrank View Post
    Remarkably, the moto groups are exceptionally well behaved in the Stanley-Sun Valley corridor. It must be the water. Unlike to buttnuggets that tore up the switchbacks on Eagle's Nest outside of Cascade last summer.
    I've never had a bad encounter with moto riders, only the horse people! And even may bad horse-folk encounters while hiking in wilderness areas! Most moto riders I've run across in the Western US are cool and will stop and BS for a while. And, I've never seen them running wild and just tearing up the terrain!


    I'm actaully thinking of changing my plans again and doing the northern Idaho and Colorado trip. Got the feeling that forests are going to get closed in New Mexico while I'd be on my trip! Stanley/Redfish snowpack data doesn't loook so good. Still could do some extra driving and try checking out Salmon and possibly the Challis area? But...

    If I do Idaho, I can at least go to Boise and Ketchum/Sun Valley, maybe even something in McCall. If things do melt enough thru Stanley/Redfish then I'll do a couple days biking and maybe I'll still be able to do my 4-day backpacking trip thru the Sawtooth Wilderness?

    Then, the snowpack in Colorado isn't to bad, so deal with the heat for a quick stop thru Fruita, then off to Aspen for some riding, then a 3-day backpacking trip thru the Maroon Bells, then thru the San Juans and down to Durango and a quick stop in Flagstaff, before heading back to Vegas.

    Got lots of ride data, but if anyone wants to sorta guide, I'll always have a stocked cooler! Good for between 20-40 miles a day. Should be in ID from June 24 - July 2.

  8. #8
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    I was talking to a buddy who has a middle fork of the salmon permit. you can't drive to the put in yet. the put in for the river is not far from stanley.

    Basically the put in is about 5800 feet in elevation. there is still alot of snow all over idaho.
    there is alot of talk of snowmobiling on the 4th of july all over idaho.

    tc the feeling is definalty mutual with you.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for all the info guys. Keep it coming.

    I just spoke with the ranger office for the Sawtooths and they expect the Stanley Basin area to be an average of three weeks overdue this year as far as trail openings due to the late/large snow pack and cold conditions.

    Looks like late July may be better...
    "The most persistent principles of the universe are accident and error." -Frank Herbert

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