Sawtooth Singletrack Bike Trip | Idaho
We consider this trip our private stash of Idaho singletrack.
After meeting in Sun Valley, we head north to the tiny town of Stanley, Idaho, gateway to the Sawtooth Mountains. We begin the trip with a classic singletrack trail to a high mountain lake, a great introduction to the area.
After day one, the trail gets narrower and more technical as the views get progressively more dramatic. On day three, we work our way up to Hindman Lake. From our camp near the lake, the trail seems to take off in every direction-and we will have a chance to sample it all.
Singletrack mountain biking experience is a must. This trip has many miles of technical climbing and descending at altitudes from 6,000 to 9,000 feet. A challenge? Yes! But sooooooo worth it. Call us at 800-845-2453. Let us give you the inside scoop on this amazing guided mountain biking trip.
We will begin our trip with a scenic shuttle from Sun Valley into the heart of Idaho’s mountain country, just north of Stanley. The drive will take us over Galena Pass and into the Stanley Basin, the headwaters of the Salmon River. The Stanley Basin is paralleled by the jagged spires of the Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho’s most famous and, you may agree, most beautiful range. The east side of the valley is bordered by the majestic limestone peaks of the White Cloud Mountains. Today’s destination is Martin Lake, a clear blue lake nestled into a high alpine valley. Our ride begins with a rolling doubletrack and quickly turns to more technical singletrack. A few steep sections and tricky switchbacks bring us to the summit and the short descent to the lake. After a refreshing dip and a quick nap in the sun, we prepare for the big descent. On the way down we cross several creeks and many open alpine meadows. We finally pop out on the road back into the basin which will take us to our camp for the night. TOTAL MILEAGE: 18 miles
After a serious breakfast, we will head up the road to the East Fork Trail, a winding climbing singletrack that connects to Basin Creek. Idaho boasts some of the best singletrack in the world and this day will prove it! East Fork heads up through a beautiful drainage which continues all the way into the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness. The trail is technical with lots of roots and rocks. After a hoot-n-holler downhill we’ll climb again up Sunday Creek. A serious effort brings us to Prospect Creek Trail which is one of our favorite descents in all of Idaho. This connects us to Valley Creek, a rippin’ ATV trail that takes us all the way back to camp. TOTAL MILEAGE: 31 miles
Our warm up for today is doubletrack up to the Knapp Creek Trailhead. The Knapp Creek Trail is fast and rolling, so stock up on momentum, because you will need your technical skills in just a minute. This climb connects us to the Hindman Lake Trail, a steep rocky technical climb with lots of switchbacks that leads us to a high alpine cirque. To crest the top we must negotiate one final super loose pitch through the scree. After passing several beautiful high alpine lakes, we descend into Hindman Lake and our camp for the next two nights. TOTAL MILEAGE: 20 miles
From our camp near the lake, we will begin heading down hill on the Basin Creek Trail. Wake up because this trail has it all—steep, loose descents with lots of beautiful arcing turns and dangerous side hills. It is fast and technical and connects us to the Sunday Creek Trail. Here we begin to climb on a gradual grade along the creek and finish with an un-gradual climb to the top of the ridge. From here we have several choices for our return to camp. No matter which we choose it will involve an additional descent and a climb back to the lake. TOTAL MILEAGE: 20 - 30 miles
Our final ride on this world class trip begins with a short climb up to the West Fork Trail. Again, this trail is the real deal. The zen masters of trail building from the Challis-Yankee Fork Ranger District have gone all out to create this perfect mountain biking experience. We descend on to the West Fork of the Yankee Fork River and it’s all downhill (except for the uphills). This area was the site of a spectacular burn during the record breaking fires of 2000. Here remnants and ghosts of one of Idaho’s major historic mining districts surround us.The last section of trail brings us to the road at the historic Bonanza Guard Station, once the location of a thriving mining community of 600. We’ll finish the trip in the tiny town of Sunbeam, where we will meet our shuttle that will take us back to Sun Valley. TOTAL MILEAGE: 20 miles
This is an expert level backcountry mountain bike trip. The tour contains some difficult riding on narrow mountain trails and a high level of skill and fitness is required to enjoyably navigate much of the route. We will be without vehicle support during all of the singletrack sections of the ride and medical help is far away. If you do not consider yourself to be an expert rider and doubt your ability to complete this tour, please call us and we can help you determine whether this trip is appropriate for you. Itineraries are subject to change due to weather, road conditions, rider safety, and other factors which may affect the logistics of the adventure.
Riding Surface: Variable, mostly single and some doubletrack trails, dirt roads.
Overall Rating: Advanced
Technical Difficulty: Moderate to very difficult.
Physical Difficulty: Difficult; challenging steep climbs, long days.
Altitude: 6,000 - 9,000 feet
For travel logistics and a packing list, please download the complete trip itinerary.