Author Topic: ID Hot Springs Main Map - Road closure due to construction. May 18 - early Sept.  (Read 2785 times)

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Offline CMajernik

Realignments around the washouts on FR 227 east of Bowns Campground/Smoky Bar will commence on-the-ground work starting May 18. The plan is to close the washout area to all travel, including bicycle and pedestrian traffic while the work is being implemented from May 18 until approximately the end of July. There will be signs or reader boards at Featherville to warn those bicyclists coming from the west that the route will not be passable (if they go through and reach the worksite they will be turned around).

 In addition there will be a period of time in July when traffic will be stopped during the day west of Worswick Hotsprings on the FR 227, through the narrows, while the company collects large rock for the washout work. This could affect the routes folks take after coming over Dollarhide Summit from the east.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2020, 05:34:36 pm by CMajernik »
Carla Majernik
Routes and Mapping Program Director

Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring people of all ages to travel by bicycle.
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Offline sprocketgizmo

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

Offline andrewh

A thought: traveling in a CCW loop of the route, one could turn north at the South Fork Boise River, shortly before the washouts.  There is a dirt road for a short distance which turns to a pack trail for approximately one mile, which then links up with NF-12.  From there, cyclists can travel WSW over Fleck Summit to Smoky Bar and on.  As long as you're willing to walk the mile pack trail as required, it only add about 1.5 miles to the total trip.  Thoughts?

Offline ntaylor

Thanks andrewh. Do you (or sprocketgizmo) know: Is the clearing work located west of the junction of FR 12 and 227? Meaning, does following FR 12 down from Fleck Summit (as you recommend) put cyclists out of the way of this work site so as to continue east on 227?

If so, I'd say that your detour sounds reasonable.

Nathan
ACA

Offline sprocketgizmo

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. 

Sprocket

Offline andrewh

I'm basing this off the proposal from the forest service, you can find it on the FS website here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=49740

From that document, it looks like the damage is between the Big Smoky guard station and the South Fork Boise River, which means taking the pack trail should be no issue.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2020, 11:54:30 am by andrewh »

Offline ntaylor

Here is a mash-up of andrewh's route (at least, how I interpreted it. Please let me know if accurate!) and the washout locations according to the USFS. I will confirm with them if this detour is acceptable, but it does look viable. The 1 mi. hike-a-bike (is any of the pack trail rideable?) seems MUCH more preferable to a combined ~4000 ft climb to the south and then riding hot sagebrush foothills all the way east to Hailey. This pack trail has a couple steep grades but overall is only about a 250 ft gain to the nondescript track leading NE to Fleck Summit.

This detour won't address the July traffic stoppages to the east near Worswick Hot Springs.

I welcome any other comments!

Nathan


Offline andrewh

Correct, that is the detour I propose.

Regarding the pack trail, there should be a disclaimer that the trail "doesn't appear on any maps made after 2013 and could be overgrown or hidden.  Prepare for mild to appreciable bushwhacking and route finding."

Detailed directions for the pack trail: head north, don't climb over 100 feet and don't cross any rivers :D

Offline sprocketgizmo

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.

Sprocket

Offline sprocketgizmo

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,
Sprocket
 

Offline andrewh

Sounds pretty gnarly, definitely not a detour for the feint of heart.  I agree, I wouldn't recommend this as an official detour. Thanks for scouting this out, Sproket!

Offline planeguy5

My partner and I will be starting the IHSMBR in a counter-clockwise direction on June 14. Our plan for getting around construction is to follow the "official" ACA reroute (https://ridewithgps.com/routes/32604552?utm_source=BE&utm_campaign=20200514_Routes) from Featherville to the town of Soldier. Once at Soldier, we plan to deviate from the official reroute and take a left onto Soldier Creek Road. We'll follow this road for approximately 8 miles until the juncture with NF-94. At this point, you can take a right onto NF 94 and follow it for 9 miles until it rejoins the official route (NF-227) at Little Smokey Campground. This will effectively cut the official reroute in half and gets you back onto the official route only a few miles south of the construction closure.

If anyone has feedback regarding our proposed routing, let us know! Looking forward to exploring all that Idaho has to offer.

Offline sprocketgizmo

planeguy5,
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
Sprocket

Offline sprocketgizmo

This map may help? 

Sprocket

Offline planeguy5

This map may help? 

Sprocket,

Thank you so much for your input! Less climbing is a good thing, particularly on a route as mountainous as this one. We'll likely take your suggestion over the one I proposed, unless of course the main route re-opens by the time we are passing through. Of course, we'll check in with the rangers in Featherville and decide then what the best course of action will be.

As for timing, it was certainly lucky. I'm wrapping up graduate school in Boise on June 13, and figured that would be prime time to head out on the route. Turns out it will be. My partner and I have been closely following COVID-19 travel advisories, particularly since we'll be passing through Blaine County. Per Sun Valley's website, visitors are welcome so long as they travel in small groups, respect social distancing, and are largely self-contained. I'd say bike touring checks all of those boxes, and we'll be packing masks and hand sanitizer so that we respect these rules when venturing into grocery stores to resupply.

Let me know if you have any other pointers or suggestions. We're very excited to hit the trail!

Jeremy