Author Topic: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route  (Read 2312 times)

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Offline Amosjo

Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
« 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.)

Offline John Nettles

Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
« Reply #1 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

Offline JHamelman

Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
« Reply #2 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
*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*

Jennifer Hamelman
Assistant Director, Routes & Mapping
Cartographer

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 Amosjo

Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
« Reply #3 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.

Offline mathieu

Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
« Reply #4 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.

Offline JHamelman

Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2019, 08:36:53 am »
Thanks mathieu for chiming in with your experience. Nothing beats first-had retellings!

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

Jennifer Hamelman
Assistant Director, Routes & Mapping
Cartographer

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 Amosjo

Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
« Reply #6 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 :)

Offline shannonpaul

Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
« Reply #7 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
"You gotta let it riiiide!"  - Cosmo Kramer

Offline UncaBuddha

Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
« Reply #8 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

Offline JHamelman

Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
« Reply #9 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

*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*

Jennifer Hamelman
Assistant Director, Routes & Mapping
Cartographer

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 UncaBuddha

Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
« Reply #10 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.

Offline shannonpaul

Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
« Reply #11 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
"You gotta let it riiiide!"  - Cosmo Kramer

Offline lindy

Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
« Reply #12 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.



Offline UncaBuddha

Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
« Reply #13 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.

Offline CMartinez

Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
« Reply #14 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.