Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => Routes => Topic started by: pmac on September 03, 2013, 09:18:57 am

 
Title: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: pmac on September 03, 2013, 09:18:57 am
Any idea when the maps for this new route will be published?
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: CMajernik on September 03, 2013, 10:50:46 am
They will be available late this fall - most likely around Thanksgiving.
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: two_wheel_tim on October 03, 2013, 03:55:14 pm
Tell me more about this Idaho Hot Springs route.  This is the first I've heard of it.
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: mathieu on October 05, 2013, 06:31:41 am
Tell me more about this Idaho Hot Springs route.  This is the first I've heard of it.

http://www.bikepacking.net/forum/index.php/topic,5853.0.html

Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: CMajernik on October 08, 2013, 10:40:09 am
We have revised the availability date to January 2014.
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: staehpj1 on October 18, 2013, 04:57:52 pm
I am looking forward to it.  What kind of elevations does the route travel?
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: cgreene on October 21, 2013, 11:42:00 am
On the Main Route, the elevation will range from 3000ft to 8900ft. The singletrack option through the White Clouds tops out at just under 10000ft.
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: staehpj1 on October 21, 2013, 11:45:17 am
On the Main Route, the elevation will range from 3000ft to 8900ft. The singletrack option through the White Clouds tops out at just under 10000ft.

Thanks.

How bad are the goat head thorns?  Are or crazy heavy thorn proof tubes or tubeless a requirement?
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: cgreene on October 21, 2013, 11:50:58 am
No goatheads. I ran tubes and lightweight tires and never punctured. Maybe I just need to rage more, huh.
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: staehpj1 on October 21, 2013, 11:52:38 am
No goatheads. I ran tubes and lightweight tires and never punctured. Maybe I just need to rage more, huh.
Great news.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: cgreene on October 21, 2013, 11:54:01 am
No problem.

We are working on getting some more info up on ACA's website, but for now if you want a general idea of what the route is about, check out these articles:

- http://www.adventure-journal.com/2013/08/bike-touring-special-the-500-mile-idaho-hot-springs-mountain-bike-route/
- http://www.mensjournal.com/adventure/outdoor/idahos-wild-singletrack-spa-20131021
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: CMajernik on November 14, 2013, 11:51:20 am
New blog on the website about the route:

http://www.adventurecycling.org/resources/blog/idaho-hot-springs-mountain-bike-route-qa-with-cartographer-casey-greene/
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: hyegeek on February 25, 2014, 10:51:43 am
The maps are finally available! I just ordered mine. Now to start planning.
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: staehpj1 on February 25, 2014, 11:31:33 am
I just ordered mine. Now to start planning.

Mine are on the way too.  I can't wait.
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: massageranger on February 26, 2014, 11:10:05 pm
Any thoughts to when this route becomes snow free? This year or average?
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: staehpj1 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.
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: JHamelman 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.
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: bong_crosby 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.
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: jrswenberger 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 (http://Peterberger Bike Adventures)
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: joshcp 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!
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: Adventure Division 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



Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: massageranger on June 01, 2014, 10:09:00 pm
I have had good luck using warmshowers for parking arrangements
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: Adventure Division on June 02, 2014, 10:52:42 am
I have had good luck using warmshowers for parking arrangements


Good idea to look into, thanks!
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: staehpj1 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.
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: Adventure Division 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.
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: staehpj1 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.
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: joshcp 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.
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: cgreene 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.
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: Adventure Division 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 (http://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
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: cgreene 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!
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: Adventure Division on July 21, 2014, 09:41:52 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!

cgreene,

First off thanks again for creating an awesome route!!!

Overall I thought that the main route was no problem on a cross bike and Christine agrees.  She had previous experience on some 100+ gravel races but I literally only had 20 miles of gravel road biking in my life going into this trip.  Also I've only used a mountain bike once in my life so all I will say is that if you already own a cross bike then it's not necessary to go buy a mountain bike just to use on the main route.

I actually used my exact same bike set up from my 12 day Pacific Coast tour from Portland OR to San Jose CA back in May of this year:  http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/ADPC2014 (http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/ADPC2014)

I stuck with my 32mm Continental Tour Ride Tires which I believe are the same ones that come stock on the Surly Long Haul trucker.  Christine also had 32mm tires with similar tread.

With my setup, I did not have to hike on any portions of the climbs but I definitely had to take rests.  My rear tire would only start slipping on the real steep parts that were sandy.  Christine had to hike with her bike on certain steep parts of the climbs when the dirt road became too crappy.  A nice gentleman we met who had completed the Continental Divide last year was hiking in the real steep spots also.

The sections that had the most washboard and sand were probably the most annoying parts of the ride and I assume that wider tires and shocks would provide a smoother ride.

The downhills were probably the sketchest part for our bike setups especially when hitting sandy spots with decent speed.  I could feel the front tire losing traction in the sand and wanting to slide left or right if I didn't hold my line straight.  For the most part though, this was not an issue on most of the downhills and could easily be avoided by taking it slower on the descents.  My arms were definitely tired after the real bumpy downhill parts and shocks would probably help eliminate some of that stress.

Long story short....  We had no problems using our cross bikes with rear panniers and 32mm tires on the main route.

Just stay off the Toll Road :)
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: Backwoods Mountain Sports on July 23, 2014, 06:25:28 pm
Hay all, This is Mike from Backwoods Mountain Sports in Ketchum. We are pumped to see so many of the adventure riders out riding our trails. We are your local Salsa, Surly and fat bike headquarters. We have talked to many of you on your way through and for those that have not don't hesitate to stop on by for local beta and any restocks you need. Great to hear stories from the trail. Call, stop on in or just wave on your way by.

Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: jaserickson on August 15, 2014, 12:06:47 am
A group of us just finished a lollipop route running from Ketchum, north through the White Clouds Singletrack section, down to Stanley, and back to Smiley Creek on SR 75 just north of Galena.  All told it was roughly 140 miles and over 17,000 feet of climbing.  We did it over four days and three nights.  We carried both the main route and singletrack options map.  Both were dialed, by the way.  Great job on the maps! 

Thought I would post a few other observations that might be of use to others who ride the White Clouds singletrack section. 

- First off, we had an epic trip in every sense of the word.  It was incredible.  The White Clouds are an absolute gem and not to be missed.  As you ride near SR 75, you can see why the Sawtooths attract most of the attention, but venture back in the White Clouds just a bit and you're in some rugged country. 

- There were five in our group - 2 from Denver, one from Phoenix, one from Santa Barbara, and one from Vancouver, BC.  The elevation particularly on days 2 and 3 can be significant.  If possible, it would be helpful to acclimatize for a day or two. 

- We rode a spectrum of bikes from a fully rigid, custom Soma Juice to a Transition Bandit.  There probably isn't a perfect bike for all of the terrain that you encounter.  All of us rode 29er wheels. 

- We rode mostly bikepacking setups.  Revelate seat bags, custom frame bags, feed bags, etc.  Some had Revelate handlebar bags and others had strapped dry/compression bags to the bars.  Would definitely recommend the Revelate handlebar bags over the the strapped compression bags.  The dry/compression bags are excellent for most tours, but the downhills in the White Clouds broke several straps and generally bounced around all the handlebar bags except the Revelate. 

- The trail is VERY faint in places, particularly leaving Bowery guard station, near the top of Chamberlain creek, through the burn area on Warm Springs, and the Meadows before the Martin Creek climb.  The map was spot on, but you'll want to be paying close attention in these areas.

- The maps mention several turns as "unsigned" that are now signed, likely within the last 3-4 months.  One of the key areas is the Warm Springs trail leaving Born Lakes. 

- The descents into Germania, into Ants Basin, and down Warm Springs all require expert level mountain bike skills.  All are completely rideable, but loose, rocky, and steep are the general conditions.  The Germania descent was particularly surprising.  It's a blast, but hold on!  The other descents (down into Bowery, down Casino Creek, into the Washington Lake/Fourth of July Lake area) are all fun and flowy. 

- The burn area down Warm Springs creek to the Meadows has about 25-30 downed trees that require hopping on and off the bike.  We spoke with several folks on dirt bikes who thought they might get up to clear it with chainsaws, but it definitely slowed our pace.
 
- The map mentions some hike-a-bike. We would definitely not advise taking this lightly.  The climb out from Bowery is nearly unrideable, particularly the final mile.  It is fall line riding for much of the climbing with very few bench cuts leading to switchbacks.  More would be rideable without gear, but it's still largely hike-a-bike.  The climb into Chamberlain basin/lakes area is also quite a bit of hike-a-bike, though less than the previous climb.  We started up after a significant rain/lightning storm and relatively weary legs, but many sections would have been very tough regardless.  Avalanches over the winter have brought deadfall over the trail in several areas on this ascent as well.  Don't plan on flying up it - it's a grind. 

- We encountered thunderstorms every afternoon so try to plan to hit most of the exposed passes early if possible.  You're greatly exposed on the climb out of Bowery and the climb over to Born Lakes, in particular. 

- The view before the descent into Ants Basin is absolutely incredible.

- Water was no issue.  Nearly the entire section follows streams or comes across lakes every few miles.  We packed a Katadyn 6L for camp and used it to fill bottles and reservoirs.  We also had a Steripen and Iodine as backup. 

- We saw a ton of bear sign and one black bear.  Be sure to hang your food.  We brought 400lb parachute cord, which is super light and could withstand hoisting several bags. 

- The climb up Martin Creek begins with some pretty sandy sections that have been chopped up by dirt bikes.  Much of it is rideable, but it saps the legs a bit.

- Lastly, the descent on Casino Creek is one for the ages.  Huge views, tight singletrack, and it seems to never end.  Be sure to keep your head up as we ran across 2 sets of elk in this section. 

- We broke off route to grab a bite at Smiley Creek on the first day before heading over to Grand Prize Gulch.  Great folks and good food.  We also ate breakfast at Stanley Baking Co on the final day.  Highly recommend this place, especially after several breakfasts on the trail. :) 

- We did ride the toll road to the Galena summit.  It's easily rideable on a mountain bike - grade is mellow and basically no route finding until you cross SR 75 where the trail is very faint.  Recommend it if you are on a mountain bike. 

Hope this helps some folks planning this ride.  Highly recommend it.  Unforgettable trip.
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: cyclist01 on August 18, 2014, 04:46:32 pm
I'm thinking of doing half of the main route this September using the Lowman cutoff. I'd like to know if anyone has thoughts on which half would be better, northern or southern? Also, I'll be riding on a Salsa Fargo but not sure on choice between B.O.B. or panniers? 
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: Bike Hermit on August 20, 2014, 12:19:41 pm
I'm thinking of doing half of the main route this September using the Lowman cutoff. I'd like to know if anyone has thoughts on which half would be better, northern or southern? Also, I'll be riding on a Salsa Fargo but not sure on choice between B.O.B. or panniers?

Sections of road on the southern half have been washed out this summer. Check http://www.bikepacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=5853.200 (http://www.bikepacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=5853.200) Usually at this time of year there are closures from forest fires but so far we have been lucky. Just check before you go and be flexible.