This ride is the the first segment of the Idaho Trail. The Idaho Trail is a mountain bike friendly trail that extends from the Nevada border to Canada. It is a long distance bike-packing or bike-supported trail. Each of the segments has been divide into what can be accomplished by an average rider in one day of riding. Since conditions can vary, please plan for possible delays.
Where possible, the Idaho Trail follows the Idaho Centennial Trail (ICT), since the ICT was intended as a hiking trail there are deviations for Wilderness Areas and for more mountain bike friendly routes. The first two segments of the trail are located in the Southern Idaho Desert and are the easiest portions.
The first water is not until mile 51 on Clover Creek. There is always the possibility that in dry years Clover Creek does not have water. The first 83 miles of the trail is on public land so feel free to find a spot just off the route if you are looking for camping. Another option is to detour to Bruneau Dunes State Park since they have a campground with water and showers, but reservations may be required. If you go by Hammett you'll find public land on the other side of Interstate 84 that is open to camping. There are lots of options.
The first segment of the Idaho Trail follows the southern portion of the Idaho Centennial Trail(ICT). This segment is a mix of dirt roads and doubletrack across vast areas of open spaces. On this first segment simply follow the ICT trail markers and use the MTB Project mobile app
to find your way.
The route is easy to follow especially if you have downloaded this route to your phone for easy reference. Most of the route does not have cell service so be aware of that fact before setting out. Also most of the route lacks water. It is ironic in the southern portion that you'll be so close to water the majority of the time, but unable to access it due to the near vertical walls along the canyon.
From a mountain bikers perspective, the southern section is best done from late April to the beginning of June and then in October or early November. Avoid the trail if temperatures are high since there is no shade or water. During the winter months, the route can become impossibly muddy, while during the summer months the route becomes so hot that you would be unable to carry enough water to make it.
Without recent moisture, large sections of the doubletrack become sandy and loose. The route can be done in one day on a bike since it is mostly downhill from the Nevada border. This segment ends in Hammett since there are supplies in the downtown area.
The southern section of the ICT begins at the Nevada border near Jarbridge Canyon. You'll ride along the rim of the Jarbridge Canyon for the first 36 miles. Then the Jarbridge will join the Bruneau River, you'll continue along the Bruneau till mile 75. From here, you'll be leaving the river for wide open rangelands. The route gets a little hard to follow in this section so make sure to watch for markers and check your map. You'll reach Hammett at around mile 95 and the Snake River.
The first segment of the Idaho Trail is the easiest technically, but also lacks the amazing scenery seen on the rest of the route.
The Idaho Trail was created to provide mountain bikers with a long distance trail option similar to the Idaho Centennial Trail.