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Airline Loop

Very Difficult
 4.0 (2) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Granite Basin ridge-top views.


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Map Key

22.1

Miles

35.6

KM

50%

Singletrack

6,283' 1,915 m

High

3,693' 1,126 m

Low

3,251' 991 m

Up

3,246' 989 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

42%

Max Grade (23°)

Dogs Off-leash

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Overview

This loop gives a good tour of the Andersen Creek Drainages and Granite Basin. The climb is going to take you all the way to the ridgeline and does involve some great views. Some of this route is rarely traveled also so be aware of down trees.

Need to Know

It is easy to miss the Granite Basin turn off. This ride can be shortened by just using FS668 to cut off some climbing. There is some elevation discrepancy (of around 800ft) between what my cycling computer says and what MTB Project says, so be prepared for a little more climbing, just in case.

Description

This ride starts on FS668 and there is a wide spot near the junction of FS668 and FS668A that provides some parking. There is also a campsite fifty yards back from the junction that can be used for camping or parking. The ride starts with an easy cruise along FS668 and will go by fast, but once the road turns away from the river, it becomes steeper. Your next junction is marked and you want to turn right onto the road going to Granite Basin. You'll continue to climb and as you enter the old burn and the ridge seems to be getting closer you'll want to look for a turn on your right. This is unmarked and there is an immediate stream crossing. If you come to a big camp with a bridge you have gone too far.

Now you'll climb Granite Basin to the ridge. This is a "troad" aka a road that is slowly turning into a trail. There is one steep pitch that will test you other than that it is moderate climbing to the ridge. Once at the ridge you'll come to the Airline trail. This trail has some amazing views but is like an interval workout since there are some steep ups and then steep downs. This trail will work you over unless you are in very good shape so keep this in mind. You'll descend the 10 miles or so of the Airline trail and take in all the amazing views.

The last part of Airline is just pure downhill and is a change from the intervals you had previously been experiencing. Once at the end of Airline, you'll turn left onto FS641. This is will contour, with no major climbs, to FS668A. On FS668A you'll finish up the descent to where you parked.

Contacts

Shared By:

Chris Wandervans

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 2 votes

#2382

Overall
  4.0 from 2 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#90

in Idaho

#2,382

Overall
62 Views Last Month
1,486 Since Jun 11, 2015
Very Difficult

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Photos

Rock Fins along the trail
Jun 16, 2015 near Idaho City, ID
Important turn
Jun 16, 2015 near Idaho City, ID
Looking down the ridge
Jun 16, 2015 near Idaho City, ID
Looking down into Garden Valley
Jun 16, 2015 near Idaho City, ID
The final descent.
Jun 16, 2015 near Idaho City, ID
Climbing up Granite Basin
Jun 16, 2015 near Idaho City, ID

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Check-Ins

Jul 3, 2020
Scott Kahre
Trail was clear, but very rutted by motos. Lots of extremely steep climbs and descents had me hiking frequently. Definitely for experts only. 18.6mi — 2h 50m
Jul 2, 2017
James Cooper
Pain! Great ride, but lots of hike-a-bike both up and down steep/washed-out/overgrown sections. Take a friend, bring plenty of water and food. 22mi — 4h 00m
Jun 12, 2016
Will Partridge
Ouch! More of a rigorous hike carrying a bike than a MTB trail. mostly unrideable due to overgrowth and sheer steepness/sandiness/rocks. — 5h 34m