Friday, December 21, 2012

Rocky Canyon

Last spring several SalmonIDs ventured to Rocky Canyon in the southern Lemhi Mountains.  Rocky Canyon is in the Birch Creek Valley, just to the south of Meadow Canyon and to the north of prominent Diamond Peak and the booming metropolis of Lone Pine.

This out-and-back ride is about 21 miles long to the head of Rocky's Left Fork, 23 if you add a jaunt up the Right Fork to the total.

The ride begins on a two track near mile marker 55 on ID28, 81 miles from Salmon and not too far north of Kaufman Guard Station.  Look for a random stop sign there marking the intersection with this road.

After leaving the alluvial two track, a trail ascends the bottom of Rocky Canyon where singletrack climbs a gentle 1500' in the 7 miles to the base of The Brow Peak (11,005 feet).

Remote. Scenic. Singletrack.

Thanks to Mr. Hecker for the great photos.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Big Timber Creek Rides

Crossing the head of the Park Fork drainage.
There is some amazing singletrack in the southern Lemhi Mountains. Big Timber Creek accesses some of these trails with two great loops; Rocky Creek Loop and Trail Creek to Cabin Creek.

Both of these rides first climb on Road #105 south-west of Leadore. The mileages from the chart below are taken from near the end of the road, it is best to start riding a couple miles earlier as the road gets rough and slow.  The rides then drop down to the trail in Big Timber Creek on a loose ATV section. There is a gate closing ATV access once in the bottom of Big Timber Creek and it is all singletrack from there.

The Rocky Creek Loop briefly follows Big Timber Creek then climbs along Rocky Creek. The trail crosses two passes on the shoulders of Yellow Peak then descends 2500' in the next 8 miles.

Trail and Cabin Creek loop heads up Big Timber then crosses the creek and climbs up Trail Creek not quite to Timber Creek Pass. Then it head west across the top of the Lemhis for a little over a mile before dropping down Cabin Creek back to Big Timber.

The return to Road #105 from Big Timber is steep and both rides climb well over 3000' total. Expect some standard Idaho hike-a-bike, and don't let the relatively short mileages of both loops lead to thoughts of easy rides.

Included for reference on the map below is the Snowbank Loop. Snowbank and Trail-Cabin Loops share the trail along the divide between them. Snowbank Loop is accessed from the Little Lost River Valley, check out the Blog post from last September.

Big Timber - Rocky Creek Loop:

18.3 miles. Singletrack. 3600' Up and Down. High 9710' and Low 7250'.

Mid climb in Rocky Creek

Big Timber - Trail Creek - Cabin Creek Loop:

14.2 miles. Singletrack. 3300' Up and Down. High 9480' and Low 7250'.

Lake Creek is an Out and Back option.      (WHecker photo)

Snowbank Trail Loop:

24.2 miles. Singletrack and twotrack. 5400' Up and Down. High 9600' and Low 6960'.

Snow in July.

The cabin in Cabin Creek. (WHecker photo)
The climb back to Big Timber Creek

The top of the Rocky Creek Trail.
Somewhere along the Big Timber Creek trail.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Old Bulls Cutoff

Old Bulls Cutoff is a trail that is about a mile long and not much more than a well trodden game trail.  Why should you care?

You should care because Old Bulls Cutoff connects the Continental Divide Trail with the Ruby and Butler Creek Trails. This one mile section of trail can be used to ride two loops along the CDT; a Ruby Creek Loop and a Stevenson Trail to May Creek Loop.

The 14.8 mile Ruby Creek Loop is best ridden clockwise from Big Hole Pass. There is about 4200' of climbing and descending.

Stevenson to May Creek Loop is about 20 miles and can be ridden from the May Creek Campground. Also 4200' of up and down.

These two loops are tough with all that climbing but you will have earned access to some beautiful high-country.

Check the new Chief Joseph Tab above for more trails in the area and info on the USFS rental cabins.
Below is a Trailforks map of the area in question centered on the Old Bulls Cutoff.

Chief Joseph Pass mountain biking trails

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Kris Millgate of KPVI was in town recently filming. Liz Townley hooked us up with her to do a spot on Mountain Biking in Salmon. This footage airs tonight at 10 or can be found on the TimeOut webpage (Video title is Pedal Playground).

Thanks Liz!

Kris and her camera man setting Max up with their GoPro.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Podcast Loop

There is a new loop on Discovery Hill.  The Podcast Loop.  This trail is 1.3 miles long and starts at the Bluff Overlook parking area.  It also shares a section of trail near the Discovery Hill Trailhead.

The BLM Recreation Dept. and Salmon Valley Stewardship have been busy working with Salmon's youth to create audio Pods.  There will be six of these Pods on subjects from wildlife to recreation to Lewis and Clark.  There are 6 numbered trailmarkers corresponding to these audio clips.  Students can then walk along the loop and listen to the outdoor audio tour!

The podcast will be finished soon.  It should be available from the Salmon Chamber, SVS, Lemhi County Historical Museum, and BLM...probably downloadable in the future from iTunes too.

The Salmon Savage Vollyballers volunteered to fix up the trails and install the trailmarkers.  They kicked butt!!  SVS is donating $500 to their program for their efforts.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Occupy Salmon

Occupy Salmon!
And bring your Mountain Bikes not your politics.
--August 12 to 19--
Come join the most unorganized group rides in Idaho. 8 days of high mountain, 20+ mile rides with no vehicle support. Pack a lunch, headlamp, bear mace and a water filter. These are some tough rides. Ride at your own risk. Bring your camp gear. Stop by Idaho Adventures or North Fork Village to find out where the base camp(s) will be. It's a loose itinerary, so be flexible. The shuttle van(s) will be leaving @ 8am every morning from the base camp, where ever that might be.
Come join the chaos!
Some of the riding will include

Warm Springs Ridge Trail
Lime Creek Trail

(bring some Hot Tamales in case you encounter this on the trails...)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Elk Creek MT

Top of the Hogan Cr Trail.
CDT becomes singletrack at Gibbons Pass.
Elk Creek has a good singletrack trail along it's length that can be ridden as part of two loops. If ridden up, the climb is relatively gentle.  If ridden down, it can be as fast as you want.  There are a few water crossings but overall this trail is A-1 fun.  Elk Creek flows into Trail Creek and is accessed from MT43 about 5 miles east of the Chief Joseph Pass.

The Hogan Loop climbs Elk Creek Trail, then joins Road 1295 for 1/2mi, descends Hogan Creek Trail then follows Trail Creek Road to complete the loop.  This loop is about 11 miles and has 1100' of vertical.  Ride this loop in either direction, but know that Hogan Creek Trail is steep.
--Download the Hogan Loop GPX file for your GPS here .--

CDT to Elk Creek is the other loop and is 20 miles with about 2000' of vertical.  This loop seems best to ride Trail Creek Road first, as a warmup, to Gibbons Pass.  Then join the Continental Divide Trail and finish by heading down Elk Creek Trail.
--Download the CDT - Elk Cr Loop GPX file for your GPS here .--

All of these trails were clear of deadfall with the exception of the mile long section of trail connecting the CDT to Elk Creek Trail.

Chief Joseph Pass mountain biking trails


This section of CDT passes through
areas recovering from the 2000 fires.
Elk Creek Trail

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Disco Firmed Up

The Discovery Hill loops have firmed up nicely from last Sundays torrential evening rains.

While the trails are not as smooth and fast as they get in mid-spring, they are in greatly better shape then they were earlier this summer.  The rain smoothed the powdery dust back down into singletrack and washed away most of the manure.  Rough hoof-prints are gone and the cows have been moved to upper pastures.

So if you have been avoiding the Disco Trails because they were hammered, get back up there when you have time to bust out a couple quick laps.  And remember how lucky we are to have these trails so close to town for a  single-track fix.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Twelvemile Meadow Trail

Poison Peak and Twelvemile Meadow.
The Twelvemile Meadow Trail is a good alternative for Lime Creek shuttles and a great high-country loop when paired with the North Basin Trail.

A group of riders recently hauled a chainsaw up into the Lemhi and cleared the length of this trail.

This ride will challenge your route finding, your fitness, and your skills, no matter who you are.  Be ready.

--Download the GPX for Twelvemile Meadow Trail here--

Twelvemile Meadow Trail to Lime Creek

Trailmarker at the top of the climb.

Junction of Twelvemile Meadow Trail and Goldbug Ridge Road.

Lotto, Guns, Ammo, Beer...and Chainsaws.

The tough climb from Warm Spring to Lime Creek.

Lime Creek Trailhead on US93.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Primped and Pretty

Summer is here and we have been taking the tread up to the high country.  Like bears, many of these trails are a bit haggard after months of hibernation.  We like to clean the trails up so they are more fun for everybody.  Below are a few of the trails that have been cleared of deadfall so far.

To the north, Warm Springs Ridge has been cleared by the Bitterroot crew.

If you know of more cleared trails post a comment a leader not a lurker!

We look forward to clearing some of the bigger rides...Three Mile Ridge, Twin Creek, Twelvemile.

For hikers, a corridor has been cleared through the impenetrable jungle that used to block Henry Creek a couple miles up.  There may be a few trees down, but at least you can get through now, making a hike to the top of Lake Mountain very possible.

Williams Summit - Powderhouse Gulch

Powderhouse Meadow is clear too.

Williams Summit - North Mocassin Trail

There is some deadfall early on here.  Left there to discourage the ATVs from riding where they are not allowed.

Wagonhammer Area - Carl Gulch

Still two large trees down.  We did not have a chainsaw.  The rest is clear.  Carl Gulch needs more riders, the grass is getting thick.  Burns Gulch is yet to be cleared this season.

Continental Divide Trail - Flume Creek Section

Monday, April 23, 2012

Disco Trail Day 2012

Thanks to all the great volunteers for making the 2012 Disco Trail Day a huge success!!

Truckloads of trash were hauled away and miles of trail were made better on a gorgeous Spring day.

Close to 40 people came out to give their time.

After all that work everyone convened at the Trailhead for the BBQ.

A few of us did a post event ride to celebrate the trail improvements too.

Thanks to Salmon Valley Stewardship and the BLM for making this event possible and thanks again to all the great volunteers.

The Disco trails are in better shape than ever.