Ants Basin

Consensus:    (details)
  4.9 from 14 votes
black  Difficult from 5 votes
Rank: #1 in the Sawtooth National Recreation area
#1 in ID, #19 Overall
Views: 5,334. Last 30 days: 58
Condition Details | Update
Jul 12 Yellow - Approximately a dozen trees down ...
Featured Ride in the area near Sun Valley,
“The heart of the white cloud mountains.”
Harley Parson on Jul 28, 2013
Getting There     GPX File     Print
22.636.4 milesKilometers 2,564’781 m Ascent 9,972’3,039 m High 6% Avg Grade (3°)
100% Singletrack -4,695’-1,431 m Descent 6,644’2,025 m Low 39% Max Grade (21°)
NOTICE: According to our research, this Featured Ride does not have legal public access. The route is not shown on the map.
Fourth of July Forest Service road #7029 is gravel all the way to the trailhead, and can be ridden or shuttled in most cars. From the pavement on Highway 75, it's about 10 miles to the parking area at the trailhead. The trail is then singletrack all the way to the Ants Basin trail intersection.

The Fourth of July Lake is a few hundred yards further. Go to the lake for the view and backtrack for the climb with a bit of hike a bike to Ants Basin. The first singletrack leg from the trailhead parking lot is a great hike for most anyone to the lake.
Need To Know
Sign in at the trailhead. This trail may be closed to bicycles if designated Wilderness.

Bicyclists, hikers and horses share the trail. If you are traveling with hikers they can go with you to the Lake and on the Summit overlooking Ants Basin. Travel time for bikes and hikers is about the same for the first 2 legs. If you friends return to the trailhead they could run your shuttle and pick you up or you can ride it as a loop.
For this ride, you'll take Fourth of July to Ants Basin to Born Lakes to Warm Springs Meadow to Pig Tail to Williams Creek and 4 miles of highway back to the start. This one is epic ridden as a loop. Put it on your bucket list.

There is an old saying in Idaho "If you are not hiking, you are not mountain biking." There will be hike a bike sections through rocks too big to ride or sections of trail to steep to climb. One decent section or two are dangerously steep. Be careful out here as there is no cell service. It is a long way to civilization.

There are many flowing sections of the trail. Take time to stop and look back on where you have come from. The scenery is fantastic.

There are times the trail crosses an avalanche blow out with mandatory hike a bike sections. No spoiler alert here. This is a hard ride. Do not go alone.

At the end of the meadow is a creek crossing. Take time to stop for food along the way. This is an all day ride the first time you do it.

Alternate happy ending is to continue from Warm Springs Creek Trail from the Meadow on to Robinson Bar. Have a vehicle waiting for you at the Lower O'Brian Camp Ground on the Salmon River for a swim and refreshments at the end.

Note: Robinson Bar from Warm Springs can be accessed from the Fisher Creek Loop. Start at Williams Creek Trailhead and ride the singletrack backwards. Only do this early in the morning and Watch for Fast Downhill Traffic. Go out the Pig Tail trail and head toward Martin and Garland Creek. Or begin by doing the traditional Fisher Creek (loop) Ride. Take Fisher Cr Road #70132 to the Pig Tail leg of Williams Creek Trail # 7104.

Arrange for someone to drive your rig to the end or shuttle it. Pick up service can be arranged by local transportation companies and river guide businesses in Stanley Town.
History & Background
Originally conceived as "Fisher Creek on steroids" Fourth of July to Ants Basin to Warm Springs Meadow to Williams Creek is now a must do ride. I will never forget the first attempt on my birthday in 1996. Spread my ashes at the top.
Forecasting the weather...
5.0 (1)
A grand tour of the central Idaho mountains.
near Boise, ID
5.0 (2)
An epic Loop into and out of the alpine zone.
near Sun Valley, ID
5.0 (1)
Alpine heights and lakes are abundant on this ride.
near Challis, ID

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PHOTOS of Ants Basin
  4.5 from 2 votes
Passing the outlet to Fourth of July Lake (Sun Valley, ID)
  4.3 from 3 votes
The big finale of Williams Creek. (Sun Valley, ID)
  4.0 from 2 votes
Wow! (Sun Valley, ID)
  3.8 from 5 votes
Top of the ridge looking into Antz Basin. Spread My Ashes Here! (Stanley, ID)
  3.2 from 5 votes
Last leg of the climb to Antz Basin overlook (Stanley, ID)
  3.3 from 4 votes
Looking back at Born lake (Stanley, ID)
  3.2 from 5 votes
Short hike a bike after turning away from Fourth of July Lake on the cli... (Clayton, ID)
  3.2 from 5 votes
Looking back across Decker Flats toward the Sawtooth Mountains. (Clayton, ID)
  3.3 from 4 votes
Solid Rock Bends (Stanley, ID)
  3.0 from 4 votes
Ride it or not (Clayton, ID)
  3.0 from 2 votes
Glimpses of the big peaks. (Sun Valley, ID)
  3.0 from 2 votes
Beautiful forested section of Williams Creek (Sun Valley, ID)
  3.0 from 2 votes
The meadow before the final small climb out Williams Creek (Sun Valley, ID)
  2.8 from 5 votes
Easy there! (Stanley, ID)
  2.3 from 3 votes
Heading up the initial climb on the Washington Lake Trail (Sun Valley, ID)
  2.3 from 4 votes
It is not all this easy! (Clayton, ID)
  2.3 from 4 votes
One of Born Lakes (Clayton, ID)
  2.3 from 4 votes
Short section of trail from the creek to the main trail. (Stanley, ID)
  2.3 from 4 votes
Head West Down Hill to follow Warm Springs Creek Trail to the Meadow. (Clayton, ID)
  2.0 from 5 votes
Moving on up to Born Lake (Clayton, ID)
  2.0 from 4 votes
This bike is oriented for the photo Up the Trail-The ride is down the tral. (Stanley, ID)
  1.5 from 4 votes
Cross Warm Springs Creek from the Meadow to Pig Tail (Stanley, ID)
  1.3 from 3 votes
One of the stream crossings without a bridge (Sun Valley, ID)