Author Topic: Portland to Sun Valley, ID  (Read 2625 times)

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Offline gkowalski

Portland to Sun Valley, ID
« on: April 23, 2013, 01:04:49 am »
I plan on cycling from Portland, Oregon to Sun Valley Idaho from August 1 to August 22nd.

Does anyone have any information, routes or words of wisdom? I am new to Adventure Cycling and need all the tips I can get!



Offline CMajernik

Re: Portland to Sun Valley, ID
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2013, 05:03:01 pm »
For routing in OR go to this link. There's several bike maps you can order:

I don't know if ID has any specific bike maps but you can check this page:
Carla Majernik
Routes and Mapping Program Director

Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring people of all ages to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x218, 406/721-8754 fax

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline raybo

Re: Portland to Sun Valley, ID
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2013, 11:05:36 am »
I rode from just south of Portland (Newberg) to Yellowstone through lower Idaho.  I didn't go through Sun Valley.  I rode to Stanley took 75 to the east toward Challis.  Had I gone south, I would have gone to Sun Valley.

I followed the ACA Transamerica route until Austin Junction, OR and then veered off south toward Vale.

Here is my journal of the ride.  It includes a map of the route I took, a daily journal and hundreds of photos.

I really enjoyed the ride.  I'm sure you will too!
Visit the on-line bike touring archive at

Offline Patco

Re: Portland to Sun Valley, ID
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2013, 12:05:26 pm »
I have also traveled the route through Oregon, from Redmond to Vale, as described by GKowalski, then I continued south to Nyssa before crossing the Snake River. I then used the Idaho bicycle map (the website provided by CMajernik) to take a more southern route through Idaho.  U.S. 26 in Oregon from Austin Jct to Vale is lightly traveled and lightly populated. Good road and shoulders. It will be warm (hot) in August. I carried four full water bottles with me.  Scenery is high desert/Great Basin, wide open scenery. I liked the road and the scenery. I spent a night in Unity where one can pitch a tent behind a small hotel (name escapes me) or you can stay in that small motel. There is also a nice cafe nearby. Idaho, on the southern route I took, was, for me, less scenic until I was east of Mountain Home on U.S. 20. Headwinds in Idaho on that route are brutal, but catch a tailwind and you can cruise. Stay hydrated.

Offline shannonpaul

Re: Portland to Sun Valley, ID
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2013, 03:29:16 pm »
Looks like you have three weeks to spend (lucky!), so if I were you I would hop on the Adventure Cycling TransAmerica Trail and stay on that through Oregon and on into Idaho.  Stay in the mountains in Idaho (i.e. on the TransAm Trail) and do not take the "southern route" across Idaho... The southern third of Idaho is a desert-scorcher in August, and you'll miss the mountain scenery of Idaho if you go south.

If you stay on the TransAm through Idaho you'll eventually cross over Lolo Pass into Montana.  Lolo Pass is one the most scenic bike rides in the lower 48.  The TransAm then takes you south through western Montana, through the town of Darby, and then up to Chief Joseph Pass.  At the top of the pass you will need to leave the TransAmerica Trail and keep heading south back into Idaho.   You'll be on US 93 at this point, and simply follow it south to Salmon, ID and then Challis, ID.  After Challis you'll take Idaho highway 75 to Stanley, ID and then one more day of riding from Stanley onto Sun Valley, Idaho.

This will be a more mountainous route, but more scenic and cooler in mid-August.  There are campgrounds in Salmon.  In Challis stay at Challis Hot Springs, and near Stanley go to Red Fish Lake.  I have ridden this same route multiple times and I enjoy cycling-touring the Idaho mountains on every trip.  You won't be disappointed.

"You gotta let it riiiide!"  - Cosmo Kramer

Offline joshcp

Re: Portland to Sun Valley, ID
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2014, 12:18:40 pm »
You could incorporate the southern section of the Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike route. From Boise to Ketchum/Sun Valley there are quite a few hot springs, and you shouldn't have any trouble riding the main route on a touring bike.

Offline indyfabz

Re: Portland to Sun Valley, ID
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2014, 04:50:20 pm »
If you go with Shannon's suggestion, there is a private campground on U.S. 93 a few miles east/south of the center of Hamilton, MT, one in Darby and one in Sula. Between Darby and Sula there are a couple of U.S.F.S. campgrounds. I recommend taking the Old Darby Rd. alternaitve between Hamilton and Darby if you have tires suited for gravel/dirt. Very pretty back there.

One correction, however. You would leave the TransAm at Lost Trail Pass. If you were to make the left onto MT 43 and continue the 3 miles to Chief Jopseph Pass you would be in MT and headed down towards Wisdom.