Mountain Biking In Our Area
By Tracy Ervin, MPT at CPR
One of our last blogs featured Andrew Graham, PT and his favorite road bike routes in the Magic Valley. Continuing on the bike theme, and not to be outdone by a roadie (although he IS a force to be reckoned with on the bike), I thought I’d take the opportunity to talk about one of my favorite sports: mountain biking.
I love mountain biking…everything about it. I love the long, cross country riding that allows me to enjoy the scenery and still be able to spend a little time with my thoughts. Some of my best problem solving happens on my bike. But I also love the technical riding, which forces me to be in the moment, focusing on what is immediately ahead of me, instead of the background chatter that fills my mind most other times of the day. I love a good, long, hard climb that pushes me to my limits, and I love a great downhill flow trail that leaves a smile on my face. I love the fall colors, the crunch of leaves under my tires, and the sound of aspen leaves rustling in the breeze. I love the wildflowers and the smell of sage in the desert as it comes to life in the spring. And I even love the crunch of snow under my tires in winter. Did I mention I love mountain biking? The Magic Valley has a lot to offer the local mountain bikers. Mountain biking is exploding as a sport in America, and the Magic Valley is riding that train. SIMBA (Southern Idaho Mountain Biking Assoc.), the local chapter, has been working hard with local land managers to create and protect trails in the area. SIMBA is bringing the International Mtn. Biking Assoc. to Twin Falls on Oct. 10th/11th. As part of their program, they will be conducting a trail building class. I encourage you to get involved – it’s the only stop they’ll make in Idaho this year.
Favorite rides in the Magic Valley
1. Auger Falls – great family and beginner trails; short, but you can loop them together to make a ride as long as you want. For extra credit, park at the top of the canyon grade, ride to the gravel parking lot, ride the single tracks as long as you like, and then ride back out; best bang for your buck: Homestead -> Eagle -> Auger Falls and then take any of the many trails back to the lot. Go here for maps: http://forums.mtbr.com/idaho-montana-wyoming/auger-falls-map-907517.html
2. Indian Springs – Unfortunately, these trails have changed significantly since the flooding in August, so be careful when riding. Fav. Long ride: Swami/Brennan to the top of Sugarloaf, Hot Shot to the bottom of Dry Gulch, and back to the parking lot via Sweet n’ Low; Fav. Short ride: drop in at Matt’s, up Dry Gulch to Snakeskin, down Upper Sugar Loaf and back to the car at the top of Matt’s. Pick up a map at the local bike shops.
3. South Hills near Magic Mountain – These forest service trails can be a lot of fun, but unfortunately, they are not yet linked, so the single track is a bit hit or miss and not well marked yet. These are still worth checking out; keep an eye on these, SIMBA has big plans next Spring for this area.
Favorite rides in Southern Idaho
1. Sun Valley – SO many fun rides up north, if you don’t mind a LOT of climbing…Fischer creek (over the Galena Summit) is always a classic, with some fun downhill flow riding; For beginners and families – check out the single track trail system at Galena summit; Test your climbing legs on Pork Chop (up Adam’s Gulch); Extra Credit: Link up the entire single track trail system from Warm Springs to/from the Oregon Gulch area
2. McCall – Riding in this area can be hit or miss, due to the active logging; best reliable bet: Bear Basin Trail system, but check out the trails at Jug Mountain
3. Pocatello – Best bet: City Creek Trail; Check out the new Sterling Justice trail that links Gibson Jack to the City Creek system; go here for maps: http://www.pocatello.us/se/documents/maps/city_creek_final_legal.pdf
4. Targhee area – The Targhee bike park has a little something for everyone; Best views: Make your way over to 38 special (plan on riding 47 switch backs to get to the view of the Tetons – It’s worth it!); check out the trails at Horseshoe loops; Swing over to Jackson for more trails, if you haven’t had enough yet; http://www.grandtarghee.com/assets/trails/Targhee-Summer-Trail-Map.pdf
Favorite Moab rides
1. Mag Seven – Bull Run ->Great Escape -> Little Canyon -> Arth’s -> Getaway http://www.utahmountainbiking.com/trails/magnificent7.html
2. Porcupine - catch the full enchilada (depending on the season), or drop in at Hazzard, Kokopelli, or Lower Porcupine
And, for all the fun that you can have on a bike and still be legal:
Flying Dog (Glenwild area near Park City, UT), Kessel (Fruita, CO), Forbidden Fruit (Adam’s gulch, near Sun Valley), Upper and Lower Drain (Bear Basin, near McCall)
My bucket list of trails yet to ride gets longer every year, but I feel so fortunate to live in an area with so much to offer. Get out, get active, have fun…see you on the trails!