This ride is the the sixth 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 have been divided 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.
There is ample camping all along the route with only a couple tiny sections of private land. There are supplies at the end of the French Creek
Trail, you'll just need to detour off route to the east a little bit or you can continue on Hwy 75 and there is another supply stop.
If you turn right on Hwy 75, you'll come to the Old Sawmill Station or if you continue on the route to Torrey's RV/Hotel/Resturant along Hwy 75 on the route. Both locations have a mix of supplies and it would be worth a call if you want something specific. Torrey's has showers which might feel nice since you won't have another chance for a while. These are your last stops for a very, very long time!
Also all the mountain segments when done as bike packs should be done with the lightest gear possible that does not bog the bike down in technical sections. So pack light and travel fast.
The sixth segment of the Idaho Trail leaves from Frog Lake and starts you off with a climb to the ridge on the Livingston Mill - Castle Divide Trail (North Segment)
. The climb is moderate with a couple rocky switchbacks. Once at the summit prepare for a ragging fast downhill. This downhill will have you grinning the whole way down, but don't forget to check out the small alpine lake in the flat first meadow area. After that amazing descent you'll reach the Livingston Mill - Castle Divide Trail (North Segment)
trailhead. From here you'll ride out to the road and take a left on the Big Boulder Creek Rd followed by a quick right. If you make a wrong turn hear you'll end up at the old mine. Now you'll settle in for a long climb up to Railroad Ridge. This is a very scenic ride and up to the ridge. Once on the ridge you'll turn right on the French Creek
The French Creek
Trail saw extensive tread work in 2014 and is in great shape compared to years past. The trail begins on Railroad Ridge and descends off the ridge starting as a jeep road. The jeep road last for approximately five miles and the trail becomes singletrack as you enter into a stand of dense trees. The jeep road portion is not overly challenging, but can have some wash outs and ruts along the way so keep your speed in check since you are in the middle of nowhere.
On the singletrack, the trail is rocky and challenging since it is fairly steep and exposed. As you get further into the drainage, the grade mellows and you'll follow along French Creek as you transition from trees into sagebrush hills. Please be respectful of land owners' property at the bottom of the trail.
At the bottom, you'll ride out on a forest service road to Hwy 75. At this point, the route continues left, but if you need supplies take a right and go to Old Sawmill Station or you continue on the route to Torrey's RV/Hotel/Resturant along Hwy 75 on the route. Both locations have a mix of supplies and it would be worth a call if you want something specific. Torrey's has showers which might feel nice since you won't have another chance for a while. These are your last stops for a very, very long time!
Ride south on Hwy 75 along the Salmon River until you hit the Gardner Creek Trail
. The Gardner Creek Trail
starts at the Snyder Springs Picnic area right off Hwy 75. The picnic area is tucked in and easy to miss the first time (or even the second time). This is the end of the day and camping spots can be found nearby or lodging.
The Idaho Trail was created to provide mountain bikers with a long distance trail option similar to the Idaho Centennial Trail.