Idaho is known for its clean, unspoiled wildernesses. Go wheels down on any of these trails, and you’ll get an idea of what the rest of this country looked like hundreds of years ago. The state prides itself on preserving more than 60% of the land and maintaining it under the forestry service.
It’s also a state that is actively encouraging mountain bikers. As a result, you’ll find some challenging trails that are also well-maintained. Here we’ll take an in-depth look at the top five trails in the state. There are plenty more to choose from, but we think these are the best by a long shot.
Eagle Bike Park
If you like a lot of space, then the 250 acres of Eagle Bike Park will be right up your alley. The park is maintained by the suburb of Eagle and is considered the biking center of the state. If you want a chance to go up against the best of the best, you’ll have it here.
The Stormin’ Mormon shows that the residents have a great sense of humor. This trail is less than a mile long, but it provides plenty of action; it’s a free ride line and features three breathtaking drops. If that’s not enough for you, why not throw in the thirty or so tabletop jumps?
You’ll find plenty to test your technical skills. There are several options in the park, allowing newbies to have as much fun as seasoned pros. Choose from any of the free-ride jump lines – there are three, ranging in difficulty. We tested this track with a Trek 820 hardtail and full suspension Diamondback Clutch 1– both were great fun around these trails.
Eagle Bike Park caters to all mountain bikers and provides the following:
• An awesome downhill track
• Miles of trails devoted to cross country biking
• A pump track that requires no small amount of skill
• Mountain cross racing
• Dirt jumps ranging in difficulty
• Skills park with three different sections; the wooden obstacle courses are graded in difficulty from newbie to expert
• Slalom racecourses
If you want one more reason to check it out, here you go: All the trails are connected, which means that you have a myriad of different choices available to you.
Fox Creek Loop
The first cool thing about this trail is the name of the town that it’s situated in: It’s in Ketchum. Now, we like to think it was named for the Pokèmon character. The townsfolk, on the other hand, have a different story, saying it was named for a resident in the 1800s.
We’ll let you decide, so that we can move onto the biking. There are a lot of trails here, and it’s a popular spot among those who love the outdoors. The Fox Creek Loop trail is a relatively easy course, but it’s not going to impress the daredevils out there.
That said, the downhill ride at the top of the trail is pretty heart-pounding. You’ll need to keep your wits about you to navigate the steep turns and avoid wiping out.
Even though it’s not the most challenging, this trail is still worth a visit. Spring is the best time to cycle through fields of wildflowers and check out the unspoiled beauty.
Just be aware that it’s a one-way track, and you have to ride counter-clockwise around the trail. There are a few trailheads to access it from, but you can only travel in the one direction.
Bear Basin is located in McCall—which is a tourist hotspot, so be prepared to meet people. That makes the biking experience all the more sociable, though. Once you’re out on the trail, however, you can leave the other riders in your dust and enjoy some alone time in nature.
Bear Basin boasts some of the most beautiful scenery that you’ll ever see, and the trail system here has been well-developed and consists of runs to match all skillsets. It’s also easy to access from pretty much anywhere.
The trails meander through meadows and forests and offer excellent views of both the valley and lake. Most people start at the Winter Parking area, but nothing is stopping you from starting at the end and working your way back.
If you’re looking for a pump track that would challenge a more experienced rider, head off to the other trailhead. Be warned; this one is not for the faint of heart – the obstacles have felled many riders. You’ll find some giant berms and cool tabletops that will suit the more hale and hearty riders.
This trail is also in Ketchum and is a challenging course. You can ride the full trail or opt for shorter runs on Bald Mountain. Do keep an eye on your traction here – some areas make sliding all too easy.
If you’re into cross country riding, you’ll want to start at the Traverse Trail. It’s not a technically challenging ride, but the turns are very tight, and there are a lot of obstacles to avoid.
If you prefer climbing, start at the bottom of Bald Mountain. You’ll have to work your way up some tight switchbacks and steep forested trails. And a word to the wise: Eat your Wheaties before attempting this climb. You’ll end up at the Traverse Trail trailhead so you can get the best of both worlds if you prefer.
Put this spot on your bucket list. You are guaranteed both stunning vistas and engaging trails to enjoy—there’s something for everyone here. If you’re a newbie, try out the number 15 trail; being older and wider, it’s easier to manage.
If you’re in for a longer ride, add in trails 16 and 17 for an interesting loop. Trail 16 is slightly quieter, and 17 offers the best views on the mountain.
Pack your bags; we’re off to Idaho—a state that you’ll want to visit more than once, so you can get around to trying all the fantastic trails. Heck, you might even decide to pack it all in and move there. You know, we could see ourselves becoming mountain bums in Idaho…
Idaho Mountain Biking Resources