Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Great Idaho Map

Idaho Parks and Rec have recently improved their website to include an interactive map of the entire State of Idaho.  This is an interactive map of every official road and trail in the state!  It is so handy that this site earned a permanent spot on the right hand side of this page--->

Here a statement from their Trail Mapping Program page...
Where can I get a map of the Non-Motorized trails in Idaho?
That’s the question our customers ask most often, and now we have an answer. The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation is excited to announce its new online, trail mapping application. Our new site will provide a one-stop shop for trail maps. It covers all riding areas across the State and is readily available to you. When you get to the site, just look for trails that are marked with Red Dashed Triangles.

            Visit http://trails.idaho.gov  to access the new site.

Trail enthusiasts can now go online and browse the entire State of Idaho. Once you’ve selected your riding area, you can print a map at home or download the file and take it to a third party to be printed at a larger scale. Another really exciting feature is being able to export your newly created trail map into Google Earth. From there, all of the popular Google Earth tools are available such as viewing in 3D and changing the orientation of the map.

This project was completed using OHV registration fees.

  What looks like a basic map of Idaho...

...quickly becomes much more after zooming in a couple clicks on the Zoom Tool.  Every road, every double-track, every trail shows up in a web.

Before zooming any further it is time to point out several very handy tools.  These tools have become a necessity for Mtn Bike rides around here, especially if we are exploring areas new to us.
  • Trail Search
  • Route Category
  • Export to...
  • Distance 
The Trail Search and the Route Category tools are to the right  of the map.  The Trail Search is used, obviously, by typing in the name of the area you are looking for.  This tool works well and has two options; "search all of Idaho", and "search viewable area".  After entering the search term a list of results comes up.  Click on one of those and the Map automatically zooms to that feature and highlights it if it is a Route.  There is a Blue arrow in the upper right portion of the search pane that clears the results and takes you back to a blank form.  Common names or official route designation numbers used by BLM and USFS come up in the results.  The route #s are current with the latest maps and travel plans.

A Route will also be highlighted on the map just by clicking on it.  Route information will be shown in the panel to the right of the map.  Links for Driving Directions and Idaho Road Report are conveniently placed at the top under the Route Name.  The official Route number and the length of the segment are listed.  A photo showing the main type of travel and icons showing what type of travel is allowed appear.  Seasonal Access Information and local contact information, including links, also appear.  Even Weather for that area comes up.  The Parks and Rec folks thought of everything!

The Route Category tool has a hidden and not so obvious feature.  Mousing over the types of travel in the list highlights them Blue.  Clicking a type of travel will highlight that mode of travel in the tool bar and also highlight routes on the map according to the Legend below the tool.  So after you have Searched and zoomed to that area, you can use this tool to see what types of travel are or are not possible there.

The Legend gives colors to the "Selected Route" and "Relevant Route" on the map.  This shows, for example, where you can travel legally on an ATV and also where you must stop.

Now that you have found the Route you would like to travel on, the Toolbar at the top of the map has a couple more great tools.  Once a Route is selected and highlighted you can Export to GPS.  A GPX file is created and uploaded to your computer for you to save and upload to your GPS.  The upper toolbar also has Print and Export to Google tools which perform obvious functions.

The Distance Tool at the left of the upper toolbar list is very handy.  Clicking this tool activates the Distance Mode for the map.  Now you can click on the map to place navigation waypoints.  Place as many waypoints as you want and mouse-over and drag the route to new roads as needed.  Much like the Driving Directions on common online mapping websites like GoogleMap. 

A list appears on the right of the map giving the total distance, route names and numbers between each waypoint.  Distances traveled on specific portions of the selected route are given and a subtotal of the distance for that segment between waypoints.  Icons for legal modes of travel on each portion are also shown.

You can now download this entire route to GPX for later upload to your GPS unit.  Each leg will be named appropriately on your GPS unit.

How great is this tool for putting together big backcountry rides?  Hopefully Park and Rec Departments in other states do the same.  Thanks OHV license payers!!

It should be noted that these saved GPX downloads will not be opened directly by Garmin BaseCamp.  They open fine with other mapping softwares however, and when re-exported as the same GPX, BaseCamp opens the files perfectly.  Perhaps this is an issue only on the Apple OSX version of BaseCamp?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Giving Thanks

Thank You Disco Hill for having such a long riding season!

Our first ride through the Salmon sage was mid-March this year and we are still rolling.

Riding in the snow is the icing on the cake after a great season of exploring the high country.

Great to see so many people getting out and enjoying the Disco Trails too. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Two Dump Loops

With the days getting shorter our opportunities to ride trails after work dwindle.

Fortunately we have several places to ride on the edge of Salmon.  The Dump Loops are on the southeast end of town fit this bill.

These two loops offer plenty of single track and a couple of fun descents if ridden clockwise.

They are both close to 10 miles in length  if ridden from town.  Perfect for a post work ride in the evening before dark closes in.  If ridden from near the Dump itself the bigger loop is only about 4 miles.

There are plenty of cow trails to explore on the south side of the Dump Road too.  You can extend your ride all the way in to Mulkey Creek if you want.

These trails, like the Discovery Hill Trails, also stay dry much longer than most Salmon trails. Both areas become dry enough to ride in early March and stay rideable sometimes well into December.

View Dump / "S" Hill Loops in a larger map

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Snowbank 4076

This loop includes the Snowbank Trail 4076 on the Challis National Forest map and is just over the pass from Big Timber Creek.  The trail is located in the headwaters of the Little Lost River north of Howe and south of the Pahsimeroi.

Approximately 15 of the 24 miles is singletrack, open to motorcycles. The rest is roads and ATV trail. Ride Counter-Clockwise.

Water is not available, bring your own, or a filter.

There are other trails in the area but are not great for mtn biking due to steepness, erosion, etc.

The trailhead is accessed from Little Lost River Valley Road 101, to Road 105, to ATV trail 4076, to Timber Creek Pass. Do not take ATV trail 4137.  An intermediate access point is the Iron Creek Trail 4078, or Redrock Creek Trail if you want to shorten your ride or have to bail out.

Help or a radio may be available for emergencies from the Fairview Guard Station in the Little Lost River Valley.

--Download the GPX for this trail--

Thanks to Wayne for providing this great ride! Keep exploring!

Snowbank Trail Loop at EveryTrail

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Big Timber Creek

Flat Iron Mountain
Big Timber Creek runs through a beautiful canyon in the Central Lemhi Range.  The trail here (Tr 6183.1) is open only to MX which makes it awesome for the Mtn Bike.  A great area for scenery, exploration riding and potential high country epics.

There are several loop options from Big Timber Creek...most of which to are MX only.
- Rocky Creek to Big Timber Creek (MX)
- Cabin Creek to Trail Creek via Big Timber (Cabin is MX, Trail is non motorized)
- Flat Iron Mtn Loop, accessed from Squirrel Creek via Big Timber  (non motorized)
- Big Timber to Middle Fork Little Timber Creek

Shuttles to Big 8 Mile rides are possible and giant shuttles in to the Pahsimeroi drainages.

These trails are over 50 miles from Salmon and just west of Leadore...so.
Free camping can be had at the BLM's Smokey Cub Rec Site on the other side of the valley.  Closer to Big Timber Creek, camping can be had at Timber Creek Reservoir.

For reference, the track on the map below is about 10 miles long. Click the Trees for the names of the drainages.

View Big Timber Creek Area Rides in a larger map

Incomplete map and marginal quality photos for VandyPants so that we might add some pieces to the puzzle.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

12 Mile

There are several rides from the upper end of the 12 Mile road.

The map is of a fun and challenging loop right from the gate up to 12 Mile Meadows.

12 Mile Meadows Loop at EveryTrail

From the 12 Mile gate to North Basin is only about 5 miles. North Basin offers lots of exploring at the top of the Lemhi Range.

Another great ride is to follow Warm Springs Creek down to Lime Creek.

All of our maps show a trail in Meadow Creek.  If that is still there and ridable, there is another option for loops and North Basin or Lime Creek access.

Look for a 12 Mile section at the top of the page soon.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Rippey Spring Loop

We used to climb up to Rippey Spring along Rippey Creek. What were we thinking? It is steep and brutal.

Continuing east on the lower contouring trail and heading up the Baker Creek Trail is so much better. The climbing is mostly enjoyable and the views of the Beaverheads are great.

Once at Rippey Spring there are several options for completing loops, the most obvious being to drop down Rippey Creek. Much better than climbing that beast!

This loop starts at the Barracks Lane Trailhead, 8 miles from Salmon on ID28. You can also access this loop from Withington Creek Road via Baker. Look for the access road on the right past the cattle guard.

--Download the GPX for Rippey Spring Loop here--

Rippey Spring Loop at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in Idaho

Thursday, April 28, 2011

60 Volunteers!!

Sixty volunteers turned out for the Discovery Hill Trail Day. Amazing!! The weather was perfect and tons of projects were completed.

Trash was picked up from the roads, the MX Park and the Disco Trailhead.  Trailmarkers were installed and stickers placed on them.  Waterbars were cut in to 3 different areas of trail.  Sage was pruned back and faint sections of trail were better defined.   

After the trail work everyone ate burgers and dogs from Bob's fancy engine block grill.  The food did not last long at all.

After the BBQ several of us hit the trails on our bikes.

Thanks to the BLM and SVS for making this event happen, and thanks too for a great project.

Since the Trail Day we are seeing a lot more people using the Disco Trails.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Disco Hill is getting Trail Markers!!!

Three loops on the Discovery Hill Trail System will be getting trailmarkers this spring.  We will be installing over 50 trail markers.  A map at the trailhead will show these three loops with different colors, as well as the popular Kirtley Loop and the Bluff Road.  The trail markers will have colored arrows corresponding to the map.  There should be brochure size maps soon as well.

On April 23, the BLM and Salmon Valley Stewardship are hosting a Disco Hill Work Day as part of the Salmon Earth Day events  We are asking for volunteers to meet at 10am at the Disco Trailhead.

There are many trail projects.  Some of us will be picking up trash along the roads.  Some will be installing the last of the trailmarkers and their stickers.  Some will be doing some trailwork on the loops.  Members of the MX community will be participating as well cleaning up the Sacagawea MX Park.

There will be a BBQ back at the trailhead at 2pm.  So bring some gloves, bring your bike or your truck, and your appetite.  We hope to see you there!

If you have questions please post here or call 756-5431.

WOOT!!!  Trail Markers!!

Green is the Owl Canyon Loop.
Blue is the Slump Gulch Loop.
Orange is the Enduro Loop.

The numbered icons on the map below will eventually correspond to numbered Trailposts along the loops.

View Discovery Hill Loops in a larger map