This ride is the the seventh 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.
Need to Know
There are services at both ends of this route. It is recommended to use the services in Segment 6 since the services in Segment 8 are very extensive. 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 starts at 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).
The Gardner Creek Trail
starts with a climb along the creek and then becomes steeper near the top as you cut out onto the ridge near some striking rock formations. Once on the ridge, you'll finish the climb on the Gardner Creek Trail
. Then, you'll merge onto the Peach-Cinnabar Trail
From here, the grade mellows a little before you come to more switchbacks and then you'll essentially be on the ridgeline as you climb up to Custer Lookout. Just below Custer Lookout, you'll want to keep right as you join the Custer Cutoff Trail
. Then, as you dip below the lookout, you'll want to keep right again.
Now, you'll follow the ridgeline for a while and will continue descending steeply as you work your way down the ridge. The trail is very exposed for a while so make sure to take your time and keep in control. Then, you'll turn left onto the Five Mile Creek Trail
and descend off the ridge into a nice meadow.
From here, you have a nice, fun descent down into the old mining town of Custer and Bonanza. Once you hit the road, you'll turn left onto the Yankee Fork Road. Travel south on this road and finish at the Custer Campground.
History & Background
The Idaho Trail was created to provide mountain bikers with a long distance trail option similar to the Idaho Centennial Trail.