This is a great loop in the Idaho backcountry with nice views. You'll pass through some burned areas, so keep an eye out for downed trees. Right near the start is the Silver Creek Resort, which has a hot spring - a nice place to soak after a long ride!
This ride starts on the Peace Creek
Trail which starts by crossing many small creeks that feed into Peace Creek
. This makes the beginning of the trail very lush. In springtime, this trail is lined with beautiful wildflowers. The first 2.5 miles are very mellow with lots of little creek crossings. The trail then ascends on a south-facing hillside. You'll ascend for a while and then finally get a break to catch your breath.
Look around as you climb and take in the large rock formations all around. Finally, you'll enter pine forests and sagebrush hillsides and climb steeply towards the ridgeline. All of the trail is rideable until the first saddle. From the first saddle to the summit, there are a couple of loose sections. Many sections of the trail offer views of Peace Rock and the surrounding mountains and valleys.
Now, the trail will stay perched on top of a steep ridge with some moderate descending until you come to the side trail to Tranquil Basin. If you have time, head out to Tranquil Basin, it is a large meadow with an amazing stream meandering down the meadow. After the trail junction, you'll ride along Habit Creek down to Deadwood Reservoir.
Once at Deadwood Reservoir you'll ride on the road for a while. The road section will go by quickly since it is mostly flat with only a moderate grade as you travel up the Deadwood River. The trailhead for the Bitter-Silver Creek
trail will be on your left so keep an eye out. The main dirt road can get busy on weekends with camper traffic, so just be careful in this stretch and move far over to ensure safety.
The Bitter-Silver Creek
trail starts with a big water crossing of the Deadwood River. This crossing can be impassable in early summer depending on stream flows so be aware of the situation. Go to this site
ahead of time and check to see how fast Deadwood Reservoir is flowing before trying this trail. a
After the water crossing, the climb is very gradual as it goes along Bitter Creek, but then you'll hit a short steep section. After this short steep section, you'll have a moderate climb up to the ridgeline. At the top of the ridge, the trail levels out and then will descend on the Long Fork of Silver Creek. This downhill is a blast and seems to go on forever! Along the way down you'll pass through many open meadows with wildlife and there will be numerable granite spires to look upon. The trail will finish out on a dirt road and you'll have an easy cruise back to your car.