This is one of the best way to experience the foothills. You start with a long steep and smooth climb on Hard Guy
followed by a technical climb up Mahalo
. Then the trail mellows out as you go around the Mountain and finally finish up with Eastside Trail
and a trip to Stack Rock and then back down Sweet Sweet Coonie. You'll be stoked by the end!
The earliest this ride can be accomplished is in Mid to Late May, depending on snow conditions, since the high point of the ride is around 7000ft.
This is a big ride in the foothills that will provide a lot of solitude. You'll need to be prepared with food and water since Simplot lodge is the only stop along the way that may have access to supplies. During the summer and fall months there is usually food and water at Simplot Lodge at Bogus Basin. Check their website for availability.
Take the Miller Gulch Trailhead to Corrals Trail Connector
from the parking lot and follow the Corrals Trail
for a short distance. Turn left onto Hard Guy
. Once you leave the Corrals Trail
you'll also find yourself very alone and there is little access to help so make sure you can deal with technical issues along the way.
Drop a short distance into a drainage on Hard Guy
. After the short drop, start cranking! It's a sustained steep climb all the way up to the Boise Ridge Road. Follow the road as it contours and, eventually, climbs steeply to a junction with Mahalo
. Turn right onto Mahalo
Once on the trail, hang on and enjoy! You'll descend at first before climbing steeply. It twists and turns through the ferns and pines, taking you over rocks, roots, and drops. Due to the thick vegetation and tight turns, you'll need to think fast as you'll be riding over many of the obstacles before you know they are there.
At the top, turn left onto the fireroad and follow it back to Boise Ridge Rd. Turn right and then right onto Around the Mountain
. This is a loop around the ski area with moderate climbs, amazing views, some great berms and fast descents. You get views all the way to Sawtooths and down into Boise.
At the end of the trail, turn right and follow the dirt road to N. Bogus Basin Rd. where you'll turn left. Shortly after, turn right onto Eastside Trail
. The trail is fast and swoopy and has a number of stream crossings and technical features. Technical features have been added along the sides of the trail for years to provide some alternatives for more experienced riders.
At the end, turn right onto Stack Rock Trail
. Follow Stack Rock Trail
for about 3.5 miles to an intersection with Big Stack Cutoff Trail
where you'll stay left. Follow that to Mr. Big
Climb on Mr. Big
to Sweet Sweet Coonie. The trail descends down steep and loose switchbacks to start until you get down into Daniels Creek. Once in the creek bottom, the trail weaves down the drainage. The trail can get very narrow in sections with a drop off into the creek so watch your speed especially the first time.
Eventually you'll come out on a road. Turn right up the road for about a 1/4 mile and then bear left back on the trail. From here the trail will descend steeply and then climb to a flat and extremely rocky section. The next downhill can be rutted so watch your front tire. There will be a large dip and then it is key to stay left. Continue to stay left at any of the faint trails as you continue the descent. Finally the trail will bear left and climb up to Bogus Basin Road.
This ride can be done in either direction and you could modify the route a little by using Dry Creek
instead of Hard Guy
. Most of the turns are well marked with the only confusing section being the turn onto Mahalo
since the sign sometimes gets run over. Sweet Sweet Coonie can be a little confusing, but signage will be improving on this trail over the course of 2015.