Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => Routes => Topic started by: Amosjo on April 08, 2019, 10:33:47 pm

 
Title: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: Amosjo on April 08, 2019, 10:33:47 pm
I am planning to bike the IHSMBR in late May... it’s my first trip to Idaho for biking and I’m interested in any insight about the route at that time of year. I’ve been researching snow levels, terrain accessibility, camping places, weather, etc. I’d love any additional info from anyone who’s ridden the route around that time of year - and any suggestions for places to stay/avoid/not to miss or anything else that would be good to know for the ride. Thank you! (I do have both maps - main route and single track, and have been online to all the suggested sites.)
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: John Nettles on April 08, 2019, 10:44:50 pm
You can use SnoTel to get the various snow levels.  Somewhat hard to understand but play around enough and you will probably understand it.

I would guess in late May you will encounter closed roads and or very muddy roads due to snow melt.  Plus there is the chance of a late spring snow at elevation.

Hopefully, someone at ACA or another local will speak up.

Tailwinds, John
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: JHamelman on April 09, 2019, 09:34:52 am
I echo what John has said about the road conditions. If the snow is melting, it could get messy and sloggy out there.

Based on the temperature info on the maps it looks like you can expect overnights to be in the 30-40 degree F range with highs in the 50's. If you get wet, which is likely even without precipitation, this could be miserable. Be sure to give yourself some pad in your time in case you need to hole up in civilization for a night or two to dry out and warm up.

Hopefully we have some locals on board here who can perhaps offer more information on the conditions this year.

Jennifer
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: Amosjo on April 10, 2019, 11:18:55 am
Thanks John and Jennifer! I appreciate the information... I think I’ll plan a couple of routes and keep alternative options open. Maybe set up a base camp and do shorter 1-2 day trips depending on what I find for trail conditions.
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: mathieu on April 10, 2019, 01:05:40 pm
I am definitely not a local, but I have cycled most of the IHS route in autumn and some of it mid-June.
In mid-June I found snow patches at 8800 ft elevation and extended snow coverage above 9000 ft, of course depending on sun exposure. Most of the main IHS route stays below 7300 ft, except Dollarhide summit (8700 ft) and Galena summit (8900 ft). My guess is that the route below 7500 ft is doable in late May. The Galena trail has a paved road in parallel, which offers an easy bypass in case of messy conditions. The Dollarhide section between Featherville and Ketchum (68 mi) is on dirt and you may have to bypass it on pavement over Pine, Hill City and Hailey (105 mi).
This is a guess. Every year is different and Snotel will give you more accurate information.
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: JHamelman on April 11, 2019, 08:36:53 am
Thanks mathieu for chiming in with your experience. Nothing beats first-had retellings!

Best,
Jennifer
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: Amosjo on April 11, 2019, 10:12:35 pm
Thanks mathieu! Your info is very helpful as I was looking at maybe staying along the southern portion between Boise and Ketchum. I appreciate all of the input :)
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: shannonpaul on May 14, 2019, 11:11:15 pm
I'm a Boise local and have ridden the IDHSMBR with my family in July 2017.

A late May trip across the IDHSMBR route is doable, but expect to see snow.  Dollarhide Summit may still be snowed in, but I'm not certain.  The lower elevations should be snow-free.

The other issue you may run into is high water.  We had a big snow year here in Idaho this past winter, so the rivers are raging, and sometimes the rivers that parallel the roads have a nasty way of taking over (i.e. washing out) the road ways.  We had to fjord a rushing river/stream, even in July.

Delay your trip until sometime July through September and you'll enjoy better weather, drier roads and snow-free summits.

-Shannon
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: UncaBuddha on May 17, 2019, 01:22:44 am
Okay, I ordered the maps for a mid-August ride. Might have to use the cutoff since I could run out of days out there playing. Is it dangerous to ride the route alone?  What will be the best resource for finding out if the route is affected by forest fires?

Excited! ;D
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: JHamelman on May 17, 2019, 10:10:44 am
About riding the route solo, from the map under Riding Conditions:

 
Quote
We discourage you from attempting to ride this route solo; in fact, a minimum group size of three is strongly recommended. If a rider is debilitated in the backcountry, you will want to have at least one person to stay with the injured/sick rider, and another to go for help. A growing number of backcountry travelers are carrying cell phones for such emergency situations – but be aware that reception is very spotty along much of the route.


InciWeb is probably your best bet for tracking fires across the country:

https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/

Jennifer

Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: UncaBuddha on May 18, 2019, 03:01:49 pm
Thanks Jennifer.
A wise man once told me, "Boy, when you get in your fifties you can't hardly find anyone with the same desires as you and when you do they can't get the days off. If you really want to go do something, you have to do it solo"...

I guess I can just go backpacking or something.
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: shannonpaul on May 18, 2019, 03:34:17 pm
Hi UncBuddha.

If you are a backpacker and are experienced with outdoor adventures, then riding this route solo in August should be fine.  It's not THAT remote.  Plus, much of the route follows fairly well-used roads through south-central Idaho.  You are certain to see other people in vehicles out there who would likely be willing to give you a lift if you got into trouble.  The roads that the IDHSMBR follows are used by fishermen, campers, ATVs and outdoors people of all stripes.  If you are still concerned, you can restrict your trip to the main route which keeps you primarily on these good gravel roads.  The single track options will certainly be more remote.

During our 2017 ride, we did stay on the main route (the gravel roads) and we saw other riders and plenty of automobiles every day.  Plus, you will be passing through a small town every 50-70 miles, so you're not that far away from help if you can hitch a ride.

Enjoy Idaho,

Shannon
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: lindy on June 04, 2019, 03:23:12 pm
I'm considering the Idaho Hot Springs Route this summer, and am a local in the Ketchum area.  As of June 1, 2019 the snow level is at 7,000 feet around here.  Dollarhide Summit is still closed due to snow.  Galena still has snow. 

The winter brought late snow, lots of it.  The rivers are high.  Some of the hot springs adjoining rivers might be washed out until the rivers' water level drops.

I am curious about the rest of the areas on the routes.  Road closures, etc.


Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: UncaBuddha on June 05, 2019, 12:51:31 am
Lindy, that's great info. Please keep us advised. My ride would start around August 12th from Boise.
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: CMartinez on June 05, 2019, 10:37:26 pm
Wow!  We are heading that way too and I've been monitoring snow levels go from 35 inches to 17 inches since May 27th. Ranger at Fairfield thinks it will be alright come late June. He also cautioned about a new washout before Smokey Bar but no worries if you take 012 NW and 3 forks down there is a trail that will be going S back to 227. We are hoping it will be clear late June.

On a similar subject to those more familiar with this route terrain it will help your take on tire width. I'm currently riding with Schwalbe's 35mm.

Cheers.
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: UncaBuddha on June 07, 2019, 09:25:28 pm
I'm planning on going with a 700x50 (or a 2") tire on this route. Should be more comfortable on the gravel. Especially for my hands.
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: chestnutski on June 20, 2019, 12:27:35 pm
I rode 1.75" tires on the GDMBR and had very sections wishing for a wider tire. I thought they would be adequate for IHSMBR.  I was wrong. Loose, sandy, gravelly roads were the norm.  I ended up riding some paved alternatives.  If I were to ride again 2.8" would be my tire choice.
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: UncaBuddha on July 19, 2019, 05:25:21 pm
Any new data on road conditions on the route? Last I heard, a pass was still closed due to deep snow from an avalanche. Any fires brewing?

BTW, two questions: should I bring my hammock camping setup or a tent? Do I need to have a bear bag or canister?
Thanks gang!
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: Amstahe on July 19, 2019, 05:52:04 pm
From https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/ I see that there are two fires of concern I am keeping track of (I am planning to ride 8/1 - 8/13): the Canyon Fire and Shady Fire. Would love to hear from anyone local if the smoke is bad in the area.

Not sure about your other questions, @uncabuddha, RE: snow on the pass and hammock sleeping :) Would definitely have some method to hang your foodstuffs from bears -- I bring a long cord to hang a bike bag or drybag of food and toiletries.

I'd be curious also to know if anyone has intel on washouts along the route.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: UncaBuddha on July 19, 2019, 06:42:20 pm
Thanks @amstache! Like to keep this thread open this summer. My intertia is overcoming me so I might push my ride back to September.
Title: Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
Post by: MISSMC on September 02, 2019, 06:52:09 pm
We're planning to ride the IHSMBR beginning September 30th this year.  Any news would be appreciated!  Has anyone recently completed the route?