Idaho Biking Guide

Posted by Hughes Group Blog Team on Thursday, July 15th, 2021 at 2:39pm.


Idaho's diverse terrain and rugged landscape are home to some of the most beautiful wide-open spaces and picturesque landscapes in the United States. With over 4.5+/- million acres of designated wilderness, the state is full of natural wonders, including Shoshone Falls, one of the largest waterfalls, Crater's of the Moon, and Hell's Canyon, known as North America's deepest river gorge. From the northern panhandle, where miles of wooded hills and massive lakes cover a majority of the territory to the south, dominated by agriculture fields along the Snake River Plains, Idaho's beauty knows no bounds.

Idaho is an entrance to endless outdoor recreation possibilities ranging from hiking, biking, fishing, rafting, horseback riding, backpacking, and more! Take the opportunity to capture incredible scenic views of weathered mountain peaks, acres of sheer-walled desert canyons, miles of untamed forest, and enjoy convenient access to an abundance of outdoor recreation options! These unparalleled landscapes provide some of the best backcountry crusades, whitewater adventures, and biking opportunities in the Pacific Northwest.

When it comes to biking, Idaho is a gateway for some of the most exciting and challenging terrain around. With thousands of miles of trails to explore, choose from a variety of top-rated routes suitable for riders of every level! Discover a range of high desert riding, backcountry excursions, deep wilderness, and incredibly scenic views that lend way to some of the country's most renowned and competitive mountain bike races.

Novice Routes

The Route of the Hiawatha: Wallace, Idaho

(Mountain Bike & Pedestrian Traffic)

Known as one of the most beautiful and scenic stretches of railway in the United States, The Route of the Hiawatha is a pleasant converted trail enjoyed by a wealth of outdoor enthusiasts. This stunning 15+/- mile-long trail winds through a total of ten train tunnels & seven sky-high trestles, beginning with a 1.5+/- mile-long journey through the St. Paul Pass Tunnel that burrows almost a mile and a half into the hillside and emerges from the crest of the Bitterroot Mountains. An excellent option for a variety of adventurers, mountain bikers, or pedestrian traffic, the Route to Hiawatha is a beginner-friendly trail with high quality, firm fine to medium gravel/dirt and a predominately downhill path.

Ridge to Rivers

(Mountain Bike & Pedestrian Traffic & Motorized Users)

The Boise Foothills provide a picturesque backdrop that opens up to an extensive interconnected network of roads and trails carving their way through the rolling hills. Ridge to Rivers is the product of community efforts to work with landowners in providing access to some of the best stretches of public land and a host of recreational activities. With over 190+/- miles of trails, outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike can find an infinite list of things to do. These back hill trails are well-loved by mountain bikers in particular for their exciting beginner and intermediate routes and convenient accessibility.

Boise Greenbelt: Boise, Idaho

(Bike, Scooter, Pedestrian Traffic)

A Treasure Valley gem, the Boise Greenbelt is by far the most popular trail, featuring 25+/- miles of the pleasant pathway that lines the Boise River with lush vegetation and canopy of trees. The trail starts at Sandy Point, a subset of Lucky Peak, and makes its way through downtown Boise, passing by noteworthy hotspots and a collection of Boise's best parks, finally ending around Eagle Road. While the route predominantly consists of pedestrian traffic, many prefer to take in impressive scenery by renting a bike, e-scooter, or choosing to rollerblade.

Intermediate Routes

Osberg's Ridge Trail: Sun Valley, Idaho

Discover this breathtaking 11+/- mile, point-to-point trail situated just 45+/- minutes outside Sun Valley, Idaho. The definition of backcountry riding, this stunning trail transverses across a ridgeline providing 360-degree aerial views that make for an unforgettable experience. Although not an easy route, with moderate gain required to push through each transverse, the scenic views alone are worth the effort!

Advanced Routes

Williams Creek: Salmon, Idaho

(Mountain Bike)

Williams Creek is a jackpot for experienced riders, featuring 74+/- trails that make their way through gorgeous lush forest and marshy grassland. With around 18 intermediate courses and the rest rated black diamond and above, this territory is excellent for riders looking to take their skills to the next level. A few trails to consider might include Powerhouse Gulch, popular for shuttling, Willams Creek, a great starting point for intermediate riders, and Horn Hunter, a more straightforward climbing route ideal for a practice run.

Lemhi Mountains: May, Idaho

(Mountain Biking)

Home to some of Idaho's most prominent mountain peaks, including Diamond Peak, towering over 12.197+/- feet, The Lemhi Mountains are the ultimate backcountry riding destination. Find miles of lengthy trails surrounded by serene, remote alpine landscapes. The Lemhi Mountains give way to 50+/- trails expert level courses, with 25+/- rated black diamond. Some fan favorites include Devils Basin, for the ultimate vertical descent at around 2,000+/- feet, Rocky Creek for panoramic views, and Kadletz-Hayden for those who seek a challenge.

Novice to Expert Routes

Tamarack Bike Park

(Downhill Mountain Biking)

An excellent day trip and four-season recreation hotspot, Tamarack Bike Park is a lift-accessed bike park just a short drive from McCall, Idaho. The park provides access to 40+/- routes ideal for beginner to intermediate riders, downhill excursions, and miles of cross country trails throughout the resort. Enjoy access to a host of nearby amenities, dining, lodging, and an all-around relaxing outdoor experience.

Bear Basin Trail System: McCall, Idaho

(Mountain Bike)

Located at the edge of the Payette National Forest in McCall, Idaho, the Bear Basin Trail System is comprised of 24 biking trails that are beginner-friendly and challenging enough for more advanced riders. The trails are predominantly green (easy), with low-grade climbs and stable paths, and blue (intermediate) with moderately steeper slopes, including two black (advanced) routes. Find a majority of trails that connect to a variety of additional loops for more time spent exploring new territory.

Silver Mountain Bike Park: Kellogg, Idaho

(Downhill Mountain Biking)

Known for the longest gondola in North America, Silver Mountain Bike Park is a hub for premium biking adventures with access to 40+/- singletrack trails alone. This destination is an excellent option for those seeking to gain more skills by practicing downhill descents ranging in height from 800+/- feet to nearly 3,400+/- vertical feet. Find courses catered to everything from novice to advanced riders. Some fan favorites to check out may include the Lower Hammer, Payday, and Lower Log Jammin Routes.

Magic Mountain Bike Trail System: Twin Falls, Idaho

(Mountain Bike, ATV, Motorcycle)

With over 35+/- trails catered to beginner and expert riders, the area offers multiple loops that conveniently connect to a range of additional routes providing the ultimate backcountry feel. The terrain features sustained climbs and descents 4+ miles long, ideal for riders searching for intense training. Enjoy postcard-worthy views of aspen groves, alpines and, high desert riding at its finest.

Wagonhammer Trail System: North Fork, Idaho

A biking haven, The Wagonhammer Trail System is host to over 40+/- miles of trails in the area and more climbing & descending endeavors than imaginable. Take the opportunity to ride routes of varying difficulty and work on adding to your skillset. Find three access points, one for cross country ventures and the other two with smooth entrance for shuttles.

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