This ride is the the 13th 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 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 is ample camping all along the route. There are no supplies on this segment. It is recommended to stock up during the previous segments. 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 Little Slate Creek Trail starts off the Little Slate Saddle off the Grangeville/Salmon Rd (FS221). This trail is a non-motorized trail and does see yearly maintenance once the snow clears. The trail is challenging and is in thick tree cover for most of its length. You'll pass through some meadows where the trail will fade out in early summer, so keep your eyes open for trail signs and also use the MTB Project mobile app of follow the GPS track where you are unsure. The creek can be high in the early season, so keep this in mind if you try to get out early in the season. The crossing of Boulder Creek towards the bottom of the trail can be difficult in early season so keep this in mind. There will be some short ups along the way, but overall you are on a downward trend.
At the bottom of Little Slate Creek you'll come out on on a dirt road. Continue on this short dirt road to the next junction and then turn right on FS354. You'll now climb up FS354 and then at the top turn right on FS444. Ride along FS444 and then turn left onto FS444A.
You'll take FS444A to the Sawyer Ridge Summit and the end of this segment.
History & Background
The Idaho Trail was created to provide mountain bikers with a long distance trail option similar to the Idaho Centennial Trail.