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Messages - sprocketgizmo

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Alright!!  you made it through the dreaded closure.  It's funny, we didn't think that Steel mountain was all that bad.  Of course by the time we got there we had been on the road for 10 days or so.  I think it seems big  because most people start in Boise and it is the first climb they encounter.  I hope you had an enjoyable experience.


I have not been over that way in a few weeks, so I do not have an update about the closure or when the construction might be finished.  I will reach out to some of my contacts in the area to see if there is a change in status.  Your message indicates a little confusion.  As far as I know there is only one closure on that leg of the route.   That closure is west of Warswick HS.  So the two closures you mention, I think are one and the same.  Sunday I rode part of the official re-route, up Camp Creek, over Richardson Summit and into Hailey.  And the owner of our local bike shop rode a big part of the original route over Dollarhide Summit, combined with riding over Wells summit, which is part of the alternate route that I suggested in a previous post.  Both of those routes were in good shape.  It has not gotten to hot yet this year.  There was still water in the Camp Creek drainage.  On the Camp Creek, Richardson Summit, Hailey route the cows and sheep have been turned out to pasture on public land.  That means on that more southern route you will have to deal with cow and sheep poo, in the water and on the road.  :-(
Let me see if I can find out any more on the closure in the next few days.  If I hear anything I will let you know.  BTW it's a fun route, I hope you have a good ride!!

Congrats on finishing grad school!  One other tip for you.  When you get to Galena summit take the old toll road.  We took it last year and thought it was way better then riding on the pavement over Galena.  Nice single track like route through the trees to the head waters of the big wood river.  We had read that it was bad and rocky, but we didn't think so.

Your planned re-route is a solid plan to get back on the original route.  The official re-route would be a little boring because it puts you out into the desert for quite a ways.  The way you are proposing will take you over couch summit, which is a pretty good climb followed by a big descent back to the original route.  An alternative would be to go over Wells summit, which is east of Couch summit.  The Wells summit option will connect you back to the original route east of Warswick hot springs.  I can't lay my hands of the elevation of Couch summit at the moment, but I think Wells summit is quite a bit lower.  So that would mean not as much climbing.  The wells summit option is a little shorter as well.  When you turn north at the little town of Soldier it will be paved.  While still on the pavement watch for a fork in the road and a sign that  says Wells Summit (to your right).  That will be your turn. When we were out there a couple of weeks ago there was a nice log house for sale  right at that  turn.
   By the way, word on the ground is that they will be finished with construction before the Fourth of July.  Your timing this year is really good.  We did not have a lot of snow so the rivers should not be to high.  Right now every thing is super green and lush with no fires.  We had an early spike in Covid-19 cases, but it seems to have currently abated somewhat.  You are going to love it.  BTW 16 mile hot spring on the south fork of the Salmon, north of Warm Lake is the best!

Good luck

Today, 5-16-2020, my wife and I went out to the proposed re-route to check it out.  We drove to the top of Fleck summit, unloaded the bikes and went exploring.  We checked out a multiple of roads, ATV trails and single track in an attempt to find a route on the west side of this re-route.  We found the "pack trail".  It is not much of a trail. but it appears to be the only route that  actually goes.  We attempted to ride it with out much success.  So we walked for about 40 minutes down the trail.  We did not see any place that we thought was ridable, either up or down.  The trail is just not much of a trail.  No foot prints other then some elk tracks, no bike tracks.  It is narrow, with places that have some serious exposure.  The trail is so narrow that you cannot push your bike and walk beside it.  You would have to pick up your bike and carry it.  2.5 to 3 miles of bike carrying.  If you are traveling counter clock wise all of that would be uphill.  I recorded about 600 ft of elevation gain, which doesn't include the part we walked.   To traverse this you would have to unload your bike, carry your gear the 2.5- 3 miles on a sketchy trail, turn around go back that 2.5-3 miles and carry your bike back up.
I just think that you would be doing most people a disservice to suggest this re-route.  Unfortunately there is just no easy way around this construction project.  But IMHO Andrewh's re-route is not the answer. 
     About us....  I have been riding these mountains since the middle of the 1980's.  (before there was bike suspension).  My wife is an experienced biker and hiker with numerous expeditions under her belt including a 32 day backpacking trip with NOLS.  We are not city folk! 
     I think you would be doing most people a disservice by recommending this re-route.

All the best,

After reviewing your documents I have to say you may indeed be correct.  Looks like a bike ride this week end could confirm all of this.  Let me see what I can do.


So I just looked close at google earth to help prompt my memory.  The is more then one section that has washed out.  The wash outs are west of  where the South Fork of the Boise river comes in from the north.  So the proposed route by AndrewH is all located east of the wash out and where the road is closed.  It would not work IMHO. 


Ntaylor,I just received the update to the Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike route.  This route is in my back yard.  My wife and I rode it last August/ September.  I am sure you are aware that there are a few other options then the new one shown.  For example you could turn North in Fairfield and go over either Couch summit or Wells summit.  Both would drop you back into the west side of Dollarhide summit, and back onto the original route.  I would guess that you all chose the route you are showing for good reasons.  I just wanted to put that out there that there are some alternatives.  And the new route would be a little boring.  Sage brush hills, hot in the summer, not much water.  Over Couch or Wells would be more climbing but also more forest, more water.  Could be a fun little project to scope out other alternatives.  Let me know if I can help.  Probably a low priority because of the limited travel due to Covid-19.  I hope every one is healthy and riding their bikes.
Bill Amaya

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