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A tour of the great singletrack in the Danskins backcountry.

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4,392' 1,339 m


3,226' 983 m


2,008' 612 m


2,015' 614 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (15°)

Dogs Off-leash

E-Bikes Unknown

Can be snowbound until April.


This is a classic introduction to the Danskin's backcountry and is going to be an adventure for the first timer. The trails are not marked so it will be vital to follow the route closely so you do not stray off course. There is a mandatory hike-a-bike and some very steep sections which will hurt if you fall off the trail. This route is only for very experienced and in shape riders!

Need to Know

This is a remote area with no cell service. Rattlesnakes will be encountered along the section that runs along the reservoir during mid-May and June so be aware and keep an eye out. The best months to ride the trail are Fall and early spring. Utilize the MTB Project MTB Project mobile app for wayfinding.


To start the ride, you'll either want to park at the bottom of Deadman Creek or at the Willow Creek Trailhead. You just need to decide if you want to ride the road section at the end or the beginning. Please stay to the side of the road since there are a number of blind corners and there have been accidents recently with folks going down the center of the road.

If you park at Deadman you'll have a long climb to start with, all on singletrack that will work its way up the drainage. There is only one junction on Deadman's Cow near the beginning that you'll need to stay right for, otherwise the trail is very easy to follow up to the saddle. Once at the saddle there will be a steep descent into Cow Creek.

Deadman's Cow trail along Cow Creek is a classic creek singletrack with a number of crossings. At the bottom of Cow Creek you'll bear right and climb to a plateau overlooking Arrow Rock Reservoir and join A South Forked Willow trail. Ride along this plateau for a while and then you'll wrap around and start to head up the South Fork of the Boise River. This next section can be steep and challenging and the trail runs along a steep edge of the reservoir for a long distance.

You'll then come to a large meadow at which point the trail becomes very faint and goes nearly straight up the hill. Shoulder your bike and do the hike-a-bike. At the end of the hike-a-bike you'll be back on the plateau and on a good trail again. Follow this trail along the reservoir and up into the Willow Creek Drainage. Once in Willow Creek you'll have some deep water crossings before arriving at the road.


Shared By:

Chris Cook

Trail Ratings

  2.9 from 15 votes


  2.9 from 15 votes
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in Idaho


5 Views Last Month
3,058 Since Feb 20, 2015
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Pano shot from the rim of the South Forked Willow Trail.
Nov 14, 2015 near Idaho City, ID
Are we ready to go down....
Feb 20, 2015 near Idaho City, ID
The start of Deadman Creek
Feb 20, 2015 near Idaho City, ID
This is one of the easier stream crossings. Granted, it was a wet winter.
May 12, 2017 near Idaho City, ID
Very brief respite from the relentless brush and sidehilling.
Oct 10, 2022 near Idaho City, ID
The last steep climb on Deadmans
Feb 20, 2015 near Idaho City, ID


Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 82 days ago
Add Your Check-In


Apr 23, 2024
Nate Rad
All previous comments are accurate but I'd also like to add the following. Wear shin pads! Bring a bike you don't care about getting scratched!
Oct 10, 2022
Shad O'Neel
Relentless brush. Bring some clippers!. Pay close attention there are a couple easy to miss junctions. Really fun and memorable. 14.5mi — 6h 00m
Apr 10, 2020
Jack Marr
Super overgrown and faint so a lot of hike a bike. I was looking for an adventure and got it (even broke a spoke!) Incredible views and solitude.
May 26, 2017
boise biker
Very overgrown; not much of a trail. Amazing scenery though. Be ready for a slow-moving adventure.
May 11, 2017
Scott Smith
Pretty painful at times with the brush. On the north side of the loop frequent GPS trail checks are a must easy to get off trail.
May 11, 2017
Eric Deutsch
see my comments below 17mi — 6h 00m
Apr 22, 2017
Gustavo Guillen
Note to self: wear pants next time. Cuts from all the brush gets very old by the end of the ride. Also, maybe don't do it in reverse. 15.5mi — 5h 43m

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