“Alpine glades with super fun singletrack, all at a mellow grade both out and back on the lollipop.”
— Wayne Ruemmele
Snow is the only restriction.
This trail is what Bend used to be prior to being developed. There are open meadows, vistas of Payette Lake, mellow grades and deer and elk all around. The trail borders and enters into the USFS land periodically, but mainly stays on IDL lands on the rim above the lake.
There are a few rock gardens on the way down...all do-able for the more experienced riders, but also an easy walk-around for anyone else. There is also a luge-track just before connecting the lollipop loop back. Let it fly!
Family Friendly: The grades aren't too steep, but if they are, just turn around and rip the singletrack back to the Corrals. Fun factor 10 on all parts.
Need to Know
When you top out the singletrack at the top vista, hang a right on the doubletrack to find the trail again. This is unmarked. When you join the road briefly, look for the trail heading back right into the trees with a slight uphill grade. Signage is a problem on this trail due to the mixed land management.
From McCall, drive north on Hwy 55 approximately a mile after Pueblo Lindo restaurant on the north side of the road. Turn right on Brundage Lookout Road- FS Road 451. Go approximately 1.5 miles to an obvious trailhead with log fencing. This is usually called "the corrals" and is also a trailhead for the Bear Basin trail area. Bear Basin is also a great way to spend a few hours on some of the best singletrack in the valley. Park here.
Ride north on FS Road 451 and then head immediately east (right) and descend an un-named road visible from the parking area. Look for the singletrack taking off to the left in a few hundred yards on this second road. The Payette Rim Trail singletrack now climbs for a bit, then descend slightly before rolling your way along for several miles. Once you come to a stream in some thicker woods, look for a trail junction and go left (west) and start climbing. This is the beginning of the lollipop.
The trail climbs steeply in a few short places, before topping out at an amazing vista. From the overlook, follow the doubletrack to the north. Do not proceed down to the main road, FS 451. The doubletrack will steadily reduce to a climbing technical singletrack. Continue climbing until you intersect the jeep road - again FS 451. You'll only be on FS 451 for a few feet of a climbing. Look right and for another singletrack climbing up into the trees.
This short climb again intersects another road. Start a fast descent on the jeep road and follow it as it begins to bear north. You'll now see Payette Lake and the mountains to the east. As the road bottoms out, continue to climb for about a 1/4 mile and look for a large rock pile and cairn on the right. If it doesn't look like a tricky "entrance exam" rock pile and singletrack, then that's not it.
From the cairn, the singletrack flows to the south. Follow the chocolatey ribbon and let the smiles begin. Follow this trail all the way back to the creek crossing and continue to the trailhead.
History & Background
This trail is the result of a lot of work from the local mountain bike crew. They've put tons of time into making this what it is. Please respect the trail, others and feel free to clear some sticks out of the trail every so often.