Author Topic: Route Advise Needed: Across Idaho  (Read 1450 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline tende

Route Advise Needed: Across Idaho
« on: May 03, 2012, 09:09:32 am »
For my cross county ride this summer, I need advise on crossing Idaho into Oregon.  Im looking at riding 20 thru Yellowstone.  Riding A2 into Dubois, 22 to Arco, 20 to Interstate 84, where I would work my way up to Boise (67 and 78) and catch 26 across Oregon. 
Is anyone familiar with these roads.  Are they reasonable, or would I be better off catching the ACA route up to Missoula and back down?  Thanks.

Offline John Nettles

Re: Route Advise Needed: Across Idaho
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2012, 09:30:30 am »
For my cross county ride this summer, I need advise on crossing Idaho into Oregon.  Im looking at riding 20 thru Yellowstone.  Riding A2 into Dubois, 22 to Arco, 20 to Interstate 84, where I would work my way up to Boise (67 and 78) and catch 26 across Oregon. 
Is anyone familiar with these roads.  Are they reasonable, or would I be better off catching the ACA route up to Missoula and back down?  Thanks.

Those roads would work if you are primarily and only seeking speed.

For scenery, I would suggest you take the rail trail from Island Park, ID to Ashton, ID (via Warm River), and work my way via county roads to Rexburg.  From there, take ID-33 to Arco, then US-93 to Challis, then ID-75 to Stanley.  From there, take ID-21 to Banks, down to Horseshoe Bend, over to Ontario, MT via ID-52 and county roads.

Then take US-26 to the ACA TransAm where it hits it near Bates.

Whatever you do, I hope you enjoy the ride!
Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!
John

Offline tende

Re: Route Advise Needed: Across Idaho
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2012, 11:07:31 am »
That is exactly the kind of advice I was hoping for.  It looks great!  It appears that the rail trail runs further north from Island Park, but no convenient way for me to access it (via paved road from Yellowstone) eh?
Thanks so much John.  Cheers.

Offline John Nettles

Re: Route Advise Needed: Across Idaho
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2012, 07:27:44 am »
While I have not ridden the somewhat rough rail trail, supposedly it does go to West Yellowstone.  Looking at the satellite view on Google, you can see the "trail" roughly parallels NF-478/South Fork Road, a gravel road.  The trail has several soft sandy areas (due to ATVs) which make riding difficult on a mountain bike so a road bike would probably be extremely difficult to impossible to ride.  In addition, the trail might have some bridges missing  >:( forcing a turn around.  If you do not mind gravel roads, then NF-478 would work.  It eventually connects with the trail but again the trail might not be as easy as a gravel road.  Note that this route is slower than the paved route.

For a paved alternative, you might consider taking the ID-47/Mesa Falls Scenic Byway (all paved) south of Island Park, ID to Warm River to Ashton.  Another alternative is to take Big Springs Loop/Fish Creek Road/NF-82 north and east of Island Park to Warm River but 17 miles of it are gravel.  Obviously, you could stick on US-20 also.

While you did not ask for this, I will suggest to you anyway  ;D.  From Yellowstone Park, you really should dip down to Grand Teton NP and Jackson, WY.  The Tetons are fantastic!  Be sure to take Teton Park Road via Jenny Lake to Moose.  Then from Moose, take US-191 south to Sagebrush Rd. and then Spring Gulch Rd. into Jackson.  Take obligatory photo of antlers then take WY-22/ID-33 to Victor, Driggs, Tetonia, and into Rexburg.  Lots of great scenery.

Lastly, if you want to head south from West Thumb in Yellowstone, you can take the gravel Flagg Ranch-Ashton road to Ashton.  It is the ACA Great Divide route.

Decisions, Decisions.  Almost as much fun as actually riding the route.
Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!
John

Offline raybo

Re: Route Advise Needed: Across Idaho
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2012, 11:08:48 am »
For scenery, I would suggest you take the rail trail from Island Park, ID to Ashton, ID (via Warm River), and work my way via county roads to Rexburg.  From there, take ID-33 to Arco, then US-93 to Challis, then ID-75 to Stanley.  From there, take ID-21 to Banks, down to Horseshoe Bend, over to Ontario, MT via ID-52 and county roads.

Then take US-26 to the ACA TransAm where it hits it near Bates.

I rode something like this route.  I deviated from the TransAm route in eastern Oregon at Austin Junction (just a cafe) and headed south instead of northeast.  I continued south to Vale, OR and then east through Idaho following the reverse of the route above from Horseshoe Bend to Banks (just a cafe) to Stanley (plan to spend a day here and make reservations before you get there) to Challis to Arco to Rexburg all on paved roads.  All the details with lots of photos are in my journal.

One thing not mentioned above is Swan Valley, a pretty place along the Snake River between Rexburg (big time Mormon town) and the Wyoming Border.

I stopped in Jackson and didn't ride (I drove with my wife) into the Tetons and Yellowstone.  Keep in mind there are mountains between Yellowstone and Idaho.  Going via Jackson and then south to Alpine goes around them.

Have a great time
Visit the on-line bike touring archive at www.biketouringtips.com

Offline Bike Hermit

Re: Route Advise Needed: Across Idaho
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2012, 01:10:36 pm »
I would discourage you from riding from Banks to Horseshoe Bend (as suggested in another reply) or any part of 55 between Boise and McCall. You will probably get run over. That is a scary road to drive in a car. Your original idea of taking 20 to 84 at Mountain Home would work- highway 20 would not be too bad on a bike (traffic wise). From Mountain Home look at the Oregon Trail Back Country Byway which is largely dirt but well graded.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2012, 01:12:24 pm by Bike Hermit »