This ride is the the ninth 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. The ninth segment gives riders a break from some of the previously more challenging segments, since there is a lot of dirt road on this segment.
Need to Know
There is ample camping all along the route with only a couple tiny sections of private land. There is Deadwood Lodge along the route near the end which has limited supplies. It is recommended to stock up during the previous segment. 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 ninth segment of the Idaho Trail starts at the Trap Creek
campground. From here, you'll turn right on Highway 21 and ride along the pavement. Then you'll turn left on Flat Creek Rd and ride uphill a little ways to the trailhead for the Trap Creek
The Trap Creek
Trail is a very moderate climb, passing through meadows and boggy areas, and you'll make very good progress until the very end. Near the end, the trail gets steeper and more challenging, but it is rideable. You'll be rewarded with a view of Marten Lake.
The trail continues beyond Marten Lake and basically turns into a hike-a-bike to reach the ridge. The last part of the trail does not see a lot of traffic since most people visit the lake and then descend Swamp Creek
. Early in the season, the mosquitoes at Marten Lake can be overwhelming, so be prepared if you want to spend time at the lake. Once away from the lake, the bugs are very tolerable. At the end of Trap Creek
, you'll merge into the Lola-Iron Creek Trail
The Lola-Iron Creek Trail
starts at the pass where the Trap Creek
Trail ends. You'll start with a steep descent into the valley for Bench Creek. After the steep descent, the trail becomes very mellow and will take you down the valley. The trail is supposed to be singletrack, but has seen some poaching lately by ATVs so you may experience a wider tread as you near Highway 21. This trail is usually well maintained and trees are cut out every year. You'll cross over Highway 21 and then ride a little further to until you hit Bull Trout Lake Rd. Turn left on the road and ride by the lake and campground. Then you'll turn onto the Kirkham Ridge
Trail. You'll only be on this trail very briefly before turning onto the Gates Creek Trail
The Gates Creek Trail
connects the Kirkham Ridge
Trail and the Wyoming-Fir Creek
Trail while traveling through a number of old burn areas. Forest fires in 1994 and 2006 burned across the trail, so there could be multiple trees down depending on the time of the year and when the trail crews make it onto the trail. The trail begins off the Kirkham Ridge
Trail and ascends through open areas burned by the Red Mountain Fire in 2006. Then the trail leaves the fire area behind and descends into the upper portions of Gates Creek. Finally, you'll climb up the drainage to the high point where you'll meet up with the Wyoming-Fir Creek
Trail, which also saw fire activity during the Red Mountain Fire.
At the end of the Gates Creek Trail
, turn left onto the the branch of the Wyoming-Fir Creek
Trail. Once on Wyoming-Fir Creek
, you'll descend down a nice ridge and then drop into a valley that will open up into Bear Valley. At the end of the Wyoming-Fir Creek
Trail, you'll come out on a dirt road that you'll follow to Bear Valley Rd. Turn left on the road and settle in for some some dirt road riding. Stay on the main road until you come to the Junction with the Stanley-Landmark Road. Turn right here, and climb towards Deadwood Summit.
You have some miles of scenic dirt road ahead of you until you reach mile 61. Here, you'll need to turn right onto the Burnt Logging Rd and then cross the river and then make your next left on FS414. Then you'll make a final left onto FS4148. The segment ends at the Burnt Log Trail. There are a number of campgrounds in the area just before the end of this segment so you have plenty of places to pick a place to stay.
History & Background
The Idaho Trail was created to provide mountain bikers with a long distance trail option similar to the Idaho Centennial Trail.