Author Topic: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route  (Read 4399 times)

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Offline staehpj1

Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2014, 06:50:55 am »
Any thoughts to when this route becomes snow free? This year or average?

Hopefully Casey will reply.

My plan is to go mid June unless that looks way too soon at the time.  I think that may be a bit early most years.  I am retired and driving out from the east coast though so I can adjust my departure at the last minute, hang out for a week or even two trout fishing, or do some side trip to kill time.

I have had forest fire smoke to deal with for my bigger trips the last couple years and am getting gun shy about that, hence a desire to start early in the season.

Offline JMilyko

Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2014, 08:25:39 am »
Any thoughts to when this route becomes snow free? This year or average?

From the press release:

Quote
When planning their tour, cyclists should time their itinerary with the seasonal sweet spot for Northern Rockies backcountry travel: after the snow has melted up high, but before wildfire season starts — sometime between late June and late July. Autumn can be another good time for a trip, with its cooler nighttime air temperatures, which make the route’s numerous hot springs all the more inviting. For an autumn excursion, cyclists should shoot for early September to mid-October.
Entire release can be read here:

http://www.adventurecycling.org/about-us/media/press-releases/adventure-cycling-releases-idaho-hot-springs-mountain-bike-route-maps/

Best,
.Jennifer.
*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*

Jennifer H. Milyko
Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring and empowering people to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x205
www.adventurecycling.org

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline bong_crosby

Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2014, 12:43:19 pm »
By chance, I did parts of this Hot Springs tour this past Fall.  I did a write up with photos: 

(http://forums.adventurecycling.org/index.php?topic=12047.0)

A couple things I'd throw out there about this route:

1.  The road from Atlanta to Boise can have heinous washboard.  It gets a lot of traffic since it's very close to Boise and a popular weekend destination for people escaping the city so it usually has washboard as big as hay bales (I might be exaggerating, but they're big and annoying).  Of the 700 miles we rode, this 60 mile stretch was by far the worst section of the trip and the only portion I'd never ride again.  It's too bad because the canyon is very pretty and the hot springs outstanding. 

2.  I've lived in Idaho for 15 years now and the fire season seems to start earlier and last longer.  Even checking with local agencies wasn't enough to keep us from blundering into areas that were closed due to fire.  Before leaving Ketchum we asked about the status of the road and were given a green light all the way to Featherville.   Half way to Featherville, we were stopped and berated by a Forest Service employee for riding on a closed road.  Luckily the quickest way out of the closed area was our intended route.  Had she caught us a couple hours earlier, we would have had to backtrack and then find an alternate way to Atlanta.  Not sure how detailed the ACA maps are but you'll definitely want to have a way to find an alternate route if your intended is blocked.

3.  Warm Springs road out of Ketchum was torched in Summer of '13 in the Beaver Creek Fire.  Warm Springs creek is heavily silted and the hot springs not very appealing.  Not sure how long the silt will last, but riding up to Dollarhide Pass it didn't look very promising.  I'll be surprised if there aren't a lot of wash outs this Spring since there is very little living vegetation all the way to the pass.

Just my $.02.

Offline jrswenberger

Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2014, 02:32:00 pm »
Maps arrived yesterday!!!! 

With a 14 month long tour coming up, we'll have to wait a while to ride the trail though. Good luck to those getting out before we do!

Jay

http://jjpeterberger.wordpress.com
ACA Life Member 368

Offline joshcp

Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2014, 03:07:00 pm »
My maps arrived a few weeks ago, and I'm planning to ride IHSMBR this summer - Ballpark dates are late June to early July.

I'm interested in riding with other people, so feel free to message/email me if you'll be out riding around then as well.

The current plan is to start and end in Ketchum, departing on either the week of June 23 or June 30 and riding the whole route with several of the single track options in 2-3 weeks. Even if that's not your pace, it would be good to meet up with people on the trail!

Also, I'm new to the forum so let me know if there is a more appropriate place to post this sort of thing. Thanks!

Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
« Reply #20 on: June 01, 2014, 07:29:26 pm »
My GF and I are planning on driving out from California and riding half of this route starting around June 24th-June 26th (Going counter clockwise starting from Boise or Idaho City and taking the Lowman Cutoff back to our starting point)

Two more questions about this route:

1. Is there a good/secure place to park our truck?  My first thought was parking it at the Boise airport ($9 a day is reasonable to be worry free)  But if there was a good parking option in Idaho City then that would be great to know about also.

2. How are the bugs this time of year? (Late June - Early July)  The map notes recommend bug repellent but I would like to give my GF a heads up if the bugs could possibly be really bad.

I figured I would just add these questions to this thread which had a variety of questions on this route already but I can start a new one if that is better.

Can't wait to bike the route!

Thanks,

Derek Radtke




Offline massageranger

Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
« Reply #21 on: June 01, 2014, 10:09:00 pm »
I have had good luck using warmshowers for parking arrangements

Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
« Reply #22 on: June 02, 2014, 10:52:42 am »
I have had good luck using warmshowers for parking arrangements


Good idea to look into, thanks!

Offline staehpj1

Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
« Reply #23 on: June 02, 2014, 11:14:23 am »
Have there been problems with break ins there?  I usually just park the car in town on the street or at a trail head when I go backpacking.  When in doubt I ask someone near where I park if it is likely to be OK.  If really in doubt I ask the local police where a good place to park is (if a town is large enough to have a cop).  I figured on doing the same for this bike packing trip.

Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
« Reply #24 on: June 02, 2014, 02:41:34 pm »
Have there been problems with break ins there?  I usually just park the car in town on the street or at a trail head when I go backpacking.  When in doubt I ask someone near where I park if it is likely to be OK.  If really in doubt I ask the local police where a good place to park is (if a town is large enough to have a cop).  I figured on doing the same for this bike packing trip.

I am sure you are fine with what you normally do on your travels for parking.  I did not hear about any problems with break ins.  I only asked about more secure options because we actually will be leaving our work laptops, extra camping gear and rock climbing gear in the truck (locked and out of site but you never know...).  If we didn't have all of this extra gear, I would not worry about theft.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
« Reply #25 on: June 02, 2014, 04:32:12 pm »
I am sure you are fine with what you normally do on your travels for parking.  I did not hear about any problems with break ins.  I only asked about more secure options because we actually will be leaving our work laptops, extra camping gear and rock climbing gear in the truck (locked and out of site but you never know...).  If we didn't have all of this extra gear, I would not worry about theft.

Thanks.  That all makes sense.  I just wanted to be sure the caution wasn't prompted by a known problem there.

Offline joshcp

Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
« Reply #26 on: July 16, 2014, 12:56:13 pm »
I'm back from riding the IHSMBR, and wrote a short blog post about it:
https://www.mcnett.com/gearaid/blog/bikepacking-idaho-hot-springs

Word of warning - lots of downed trees on the Secesh singletrack! Snow in the White Clouds (and a little on Bear Pete trail) but it's melting off.

Offline cgreene

Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
« Reply #27 on: July 16, 2014, 01:20:03 pm »
Awesome, Josh.

Sounds like it was a bit too early in the season for some of that singletrack. I too ran into the same problem last year on the Secesh forcing a 13hr day of downed tree after downed tree, but a week later a friend rode it with no down trees! It all depends when the moto riders hit it, and I have reports of them hitting Twentymile in the past few days. So, I'd bet I would be good to go in the next week or so.
Cartographer - Adventure Cycling Association

Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
« Reply #28 on: July 20, 2014, 03:05:50 pm »
My girlfriend Christine and I recently finished the main route over 9 days starting and finishing in Ketchum for a total of 545 miles on cross bikes with rear panniers and handle bar bags (counter clockwise).  June 24th to July 2nd.  I was on a Surly Cross Check and Christine was on Motobecane Fantom Cross.

The trip was awesome!!!  The views were incredible and Idaho is a very beautiful part of the country.

We actually ran into Joshcp above on our very first day and ate breakfast with him at the Stanley Baking Co the following day and camped with him that evening.  Great to meet you Josh!  He took the attached picture of us.

Feel free to ask me any questions.  Here are a few tips, pointers etc:

-It rained more than expected and it was decently cold at the top of the Lick Creek Pass because of the rain. (There was still snow on the ground in spots)

-A lot of the hot springs were still under water at this point in the year.  (This didn't bother me because I actually had more fun swimming and cooling off in the cold rivers on the hot days)

-Be careful on the descents!!!  Especially if you are by yourself.  The descents are really fun and go for miles but you would not want to eat it really hard with no one around.  Make sure your brakes are good!

-Christine only got 1 flat tire and that was from a sharp piece of glass in McCall.  So flats did seem to be any type of issue.

-You can camp for free the whole time.

-Make sure to stop and visit the nice folks at the Galena Lodge restaurant north of Ketchum (local bikers were eating and having a beer there) and eat breakfast at the Stanley Baking Co in Stanley.

-Carry enough water on the hill climbs.  There are good water sources the entire route but some of the hill climbs get hot and are away from water for stretches.

-Be conscious of vehicles.  Because you don't see very many in spots it's easy to get lulled into forgetting that vehicles do use these dirt roads.

-We parked at the YMCA in Ketchum.  Great place to take a shower at the end of the trip.  We also bouldered on their inside boulder wall.  It says no overnight parking but a little birdie told me it is not an issue.

-The single track on the Old Galena Toll road was extremely difficult on a cross bike with loaded rear panniers.  I only did the first 3 miles of it before hoping back on SR 75.  I didn't have to walk my bike but those 3 miles were the most exhausting stretch for me out of the entire trip.  I decided to skip the next "rocky, faint, deteriorating road" part of it which the Galena Lodge staff said was not maintained for fallen trees.  Christine made the wise decision of staying on SR 75 the entire time.

-A bike computer seemed pretty crucial in spots for keeping track of distances.  Navigation was straight forward but it was definitely good to follow the mileage markers on the cue card.  A backup map of the forest service roads would probably be a good idea to have with just in case you get off course (a nice ranger gave us his for one of the areas we were in but luckily we didn't have to use it).

That's all I can think of at the moment.  I am going to write up a journal of our trip on www.crazyguyonabike.com which I hopefully will finish within a week or so.

Overall I give major props to the route creator Casey Green and his fellow researchers.  Christine and I had the time of our lives.  It was both a fun and challenging route.  Thanks!

Derek Radtke

Offline cgreene

Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
« Reply #29 on: July 21, 2014, 12:03:58 pm »
Derek,

I get these following questions a lot, and was hoping you guys would be able to shed some light: How was riding the Main Route with a cross bike? What tires did you use? Was there any specific point that you felt the Main Route overwhelmed the tires, bikes and pannier setup?

Anyways, I'm Glad you guys had a great ride, and I 2nd breakfast at the Stanley Baking Company and beer at the Galena Lodge!
Cartographer - Adventure Cycling Association