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Old 05-09-2015, 11:39 AM   #1
MasterMarine OP
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Skyline Trail in Sawtooth NF from City of Rocks north

I am interested in riding on the Skyline trail from Independence Mountain north in the Sawtooth National Forest. Has anyone been on that trail? I found mention of it being open to motorcycles but nothing about the difficulty.

Anyone know anything?
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Old 05-21-2015, 11:54 AM   #2
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Old 05-21-2015, 03:39 PM   #3
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Looks like you better just go take a ride on it!
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Old 05-21-2015, 10:32 PM   #4
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It is part of the big loop for this year. I wanted to check it out last year but the weather was just starting to turn nasty so we headed south.

According to the super cool Idaho trails interactive map, it is a motorcycle trail. From Google Earth, it is not much but a long side hill.





I am just trying to get an idea how much everyone is going to hate me.
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Old 05-22-2015, 09:30 AM   #5
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Rub it in our face. I'm looking forward to the report.
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Old 05-22-2015, 09:43 PM   #6
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The sound of crickets is deafening, so I'll throw in my 2 cents.

The wife has an endurance ride in that area, and I'm dutifully going along to shovel horse crap and pack water around for a few days starting June 3. I will have a couple of days where I'm not expected to be hanging around playing horse lackey, so the plan is to haul the wife's CRF 230 down for my entertainment, and I might be able to dig up some local intel.

If you are not in immediate need, I'll see what I can find and let you know.
There is probably still quite a bit of snow at that elevation.
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Old 05-23-2015, 11:40 AM   #7
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I've been on that trail but it's been about two years. Someone said long side hill which kind of sums up about half of it.

As you go north to the part where it cuts to the east around the south side of MT. Harrison can be a bit ambiguous as there was a washout, we turned around a few times thinking we were on the wrong trail. Actually a few places the the trail was a bit overgrown.

It's longer and rockier in areas than you would think, buddies WR450 stock tank ran out of gas on the way back (however considering we got lost once or twice, tried to connect the east side to the oakley/elba road unsuccessfully, twice) I guess not that surprising. My BERG FE 350 on stock tank had no problem.

All in all I'm glad I did it but I'm not running back to do it again. Mostly because the same amount of time spent driving in the other direction (north) from my house has so much better riding. (Fairfield, Baumgartner, Sawtooths). Although it has some great views and made a fun day trip.
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Old 05-23-2015, 02:46 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by MGM View Post
I've been on that trail but it's been about two years. Someone said long side hill which kind of sums up about half of it.

As you go north to the part where it cuts to the east around the south side of MT. Harrison can be a bit ambiguous as there was a washout, we turned around a few times thinking we were on the wrong trail. Actually a few places the the trail was a bit overgrown.

It's longer and rockier in areas than you would think, buddies WR450 stock tank ran out of gas on the way back (however considering we got lost once or twice, tried to connect the east side to the oakley/elba road unsuccessfully, twice) I guess not that surprising. My BERG FE 350 on stock tank had no problem.

All in all I'm glad I did it but I'm not running back to do it again. Mostly because the same amount of time spent driving in the other direction (north) from my house has so much better riding. (Fairfield, Baumgartner, Sawtooths). Although it has some great views and made a fun day trip.
Hi MGM,

Thank you for replying to my post as your first post. It is great to get someone who has been there involved in the converstation.

Here is the section I am interested in. From the gate (where it says Ranger near the red arrow) west of Independence Mt. the trail heads north to the road (which appears to be called Independence Lake Road). That road looks like it services a couple trailheads to hike to Independence Lake so it should be no trouble. The trail section appears to be about 3 miles long.

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Old 05-28-2015, 09:22 PM   #9
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Okay I'm tracking with ya. The very first part of your map on the bottom or south (south to north is how we did it) is just forest service / two track and that is no problem.

Where the trail skyline trail begins and heads north, that first 1/8th mile or so we lost the trail quick, somehow as it was way overgrown, we were about 100-150' too hight but after walking around for a few minutes we figured it out. The rest of the trail is fine, you kind of ride on the side hill but its not that bad. At your second red arrow there is a nice bluff you can hike out on thats pretty cool.

You can see to the south (top of pic where the trail comes along the hill)

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Old 05-28-2015, 10:10 PM   #10
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Okay I'm tracking with ya. The very first part of your map on the bottom or south (south to north is how we did it) is just forest service / two track and that is no problem.

Where the trail skyline trail begins and heads north, that first 1/8th mile or so we lost the trail quick, somehow as it was way overgrown, we were about 100-150' too hight but after walking around for a few minutes we figured it out. The rest of the trail is fine, you kind of ride on the side hill but its not that bad. At your second red arrow there is a nice bluff you can hike out on thats pretty cool.

You can see to the south (top of pic where the trail comes along the hill)

Awesome. Thanks for the info. I can't wait to stand in that same spot!
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Old 06-09-2015, 09:31 PM   #11
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Follow up

MasterMarine;
As promised I thought I would post a couple of pics from the trip last weekend in the Cache Peak area.
While it looks like MGM was up there in the fall, I was at least a month early.
562 starts out low and climbs up with really nice views.



Temps in the high 60's and it only rained for about an hour a day. But the flowers were out all over the place.







The aspen were just budding out.


This was at about 8200' on the 562 Road



This was about 1.4 miles from the southerly end of the trailhead. Just about 8800' where your "3-15-Oak to Mal" marker is on the map. The road crosses to the north side of the ridge, and as far as I could see, there was about 3 to 5 feet of snow in the road.




If I'm not mistaken, the point that MGM was on is in the distance, on the right-hand side.



I stopped at the Visitor Center in Almo, and most of the upper part of the road and the trail appears to be in the Sawtooth National Forest. The Parks & Rec rangers in Almo hardly ever go out to the trailhead. There are several spots after the actual campsites lower on the road where you could camp without paying any fees, and have a million dollar view.
Unless the thunder storms roll through, and I would stay low. While we were camped south of Almo the mountain was getting almost every lighting storm that managed to come our way. Logger Springs might be a safe area, but the bugs will be bad.

Since it's raining for a while every day, and still really wet I'm guessing that the trail will be a mess until early to mid-July.

Looking forward to a RR if you can work this area in.
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Old 06-09-2015, 10:08 PM   #12
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MasterMarine;
As promised I thought I would post a couple of pics from the trip last weekend in the Cache Peak area.

...

Since it's raining for a while every day, and still really wet I'm guessing that the trail will be a mess until early to mid-July.

Looking forward to a RR if you can work this area in.
Thank you so much for the intel.

We rode from somewhere around your second to last picture all the way down to the City of Rocks last year. It was beautiful.

We are going to try this route out. It will probably be about Sunday or Monday by the time we get there so hopefully some snow will melt and some mud will dry out. If it does not work out, we will head down the way you came up.

Thanks again!
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Old 06-14-2015, 07:12 PM   #13
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We did it today. The trail was difficult to find at the south end. That water crossing was crazy. We cut a bunch of trees out of the way. My bike fell over while on the kickstand and I was cutting a tree. It was totally upside down and ripped one of the coolant hoses. We fixed it with another piece of hose and made it thru.
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Old 06-14-2015, 08:53 PM   #14
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We did it today. The trail was difficult to find at the south end. That water crossing was crazy. We cut a bunch of trees out of the way. My bike fell over while on the kickstand and I was cutting a tree. It was totally upside down and ripped one of the coolant hoses. We fixed it with another piece of hose and made it thru.
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Old 06-19-2015, 01:34 PM   #15
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This should be a great RR!
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