GRIT: The Great Ride of Idaho Trail

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by OrangeYZ, Sep 7, 2019.

  1. rjnutt

    rjnutt Desert tortoise

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    I would still be curled up in the fetal position sucking my thumb after navigating that razorback!!
    #21
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  2. fuggy

    fuggy Canyon Explorer

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    Razor's Edge Trail was a little nasty! lol Glad we hit it after a nice snack break, thankfully it didn't seem that long (maybe 2-3 miles).

    Day 3 brought views of some nice lakes. We had several chances to stop and enjoy the views while sipping on a beer.

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    Finishing a 25oz tallboy was a challenge I was up too. Plus it made me ride better and relaxed the mind while looking for beavers.
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    Sleeping set up. I used a compressed pillow, 3" thick air mattress, bivy sac, and 40 degree sleeping bag. Temps got down to the low 40's, we never had any rain. I slept with fresh socks each night otherwise my feet got cold (we had sandals or water shoes around camp to save weight in the packs). Next year I would bring my slightly warmer 15-degree sleeping bag since camping next to some of the streams felt a little cooler at night. If there was rain in the forecast, I would have brought a tent.
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    This was one of my favorite campsites. We had dinner in Stanely and got fuel and supplies. Ended up riding north/west of town and up the Little Casino Creek Trail. This trail is probably on my top 3 list of the ride (3rd place to be exact). We ended up finding a nice spot on top of a ridge with just enough sunlight left to set up camp without needing flashlights. These higher ridgelines were also warmer than the streams 2000' below! Joe was searching for his morning sugar fix when I snapped this photo. ;)
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    #22
  3. fuggy

    fuggy Canyon Explorer

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    Start of Day 3 off Little Casino Creek brought us epic views of the Sawtooths and Redfish Lake. Obama administration tried to take these trails away from us but thankfully the OHV/MTB community only lost a few good ones in the White Cloud Wilderness. (I saw a nice sized black bear that morning leaving camp who was 60 yds off trail just looking at me. Joe rolled up and scarred him off after getting a quick glimpse).

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    Lake Views weren't bad either.
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    Looped back into Stanley for breakfast and start our journey towards Challis. MTB guys were jealous we were getting in so much trail time. Several people commented on Joe's chain saw and were surprised to hear we had to cut our way through some trails.
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    BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS!
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    Steep loose rocky climbs out of Stanley up to the Basin Creek Trail but we survived.
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    #23
  4. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Seriously great capture @fuggy, the view looking to the Sawtooths and that lake is incredible. I'd have a hard time keeping my eye on the trail with that vista in the distance.

    Sweet campsite too, I love camping by lakes and/or streams. How were the skeeters? It's nice to see the atmosphere so clear, many years past it would've been filled with a ton of smoke. I know we were lucky on the fire front here in the PNW, looks like Idaho has been too (at least from these pics).

    Looking forward to the next update :thumb
    #24
  5. OrangeYZ

    OrangeYZ Long timer

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    Pretty sure I heard a tree explode and fall while trying to sleep at Buster Lake. Saw a meteor about one second later and I remember thinking "That's not how lightning and thunder work."

    Buster Lake in the morning
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    Camped up in those trees
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    Up and back on the road! We headed back towards Challis, but instead of going into town we hit the side road that takes us up to the Lombard ATV Trail. We know that it just goes into town, and aren't really motivated to do an out-and-back, so we follow the trail west and we're back on the Ridaho route

    Up and over the mountain
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    Up the next mountain
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    Yep, there's a view
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    We drop down more ATV trails to and have a break at Little Bayhorse Lake.
    A little road ride over to Normal-Sized Bayhorse Lake and then we ride over to Squaw Creek Trail
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    But that's all just appetizer for Cinnabar Trail!
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    It was pretty messed up in the beginning from some sort of flooding event in the past, but after about two miles, we were into the good stuff
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    This is a really nice trail. If you're in the area, I highly recommend it
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    Break time
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    At this cool pond by the trail
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    Got to the top of the hill where we were yesterday, and this time we're heading west, down Ramey Creek
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    #25
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  6. OrangeYZ

    OrangeYZ Long timer

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    Switchback
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    Nother switchback
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    You know it
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    Yet another nice trail, I don't know how we manage to put up with this
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    Little rocky, nothing too bad
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    Ok a lot rocky
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    Switchback?
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    Not an ordinary switchback, this is a "We're not wasting one inch of real estate on this thing" switchback
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    Got it around
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    Water "feature"
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    Most of it was really nice
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    Super nice
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    And smooth
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    Ok, Idaho sucks don't go there
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    At least not with a dirt bike, maybe the jet-skiing is good
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    At about 100 yards long, this was not the biggest water crossing of the week

    Dragging knees in the twisties!
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    Break time!
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    #26
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  7. OrangeYZ

    OrangeYZ Long timer

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    Middle of Day 3, makes this about the halfway point of our trip

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    West Fork Yankee Trail is a little burned up from a few years ago
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    Not everywhere
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    But you know, alotofwhere
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    Oops
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    #27
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  8. OrangeYZ

    OrangeYZ Long timer

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    Honestly, they're all pretty good trails
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    Getting pretty hot though, hope the trail drops down near a good spot in the creek soon for a dip
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    Looking good...
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    There it is, you read my mind Chad
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    How quickly can trail conditions change in Idaho? Well, look at the "Looking good" picture up there. That was Friday.
    Wednesday or Thursday I'm back home looking at the Ridaho Facebook page, and a guy doing the same route posts up these pictures from that day:
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    It's wild out there folks!

    It's hot and there's no shade, so we're making another water stop.
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    Another little climb and we're on Red Mountain Road. That's Red Mountain in one of the facebook pictures above.

    We ride the road to Hindman Lake, and then start another loop of trail that will have us back on this road a little further up. I'm getting tired, and a little tired of riding in burned out forests, so I'm kind of considering bailing on the route and taking the road into Stanley.
    Then I ate shit on a tiny log I was trying to ride over and was more convinced that it was time to quit early. When we got back to the road we split up, with Chad and Scott continuing on Basin Creek Trail and me taking the road down to town. There's only one gas station and a restaurant across the street from it, so we shouldn't have too hard of a time finding each other.

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    #28
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  9. Bentspokes

    Bentspokes Adventurer

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    Great RR..love Stanley lake area..
    Ok..I’ll go ahead and ask. How the hell is that chainsaw mounted on your bike and how does it stay there?
    Keep on keeping on
    #29
  10. OrangeYZ

    OrangeYZ Long timer

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    The carrier:
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    Four hose clamps holding it to the forks. A regular tie down is the main thing holding the saw down, with the little black strap at top tying it to the barkbuster to really stabilize it.

    Older one. Similar design, but I kept trying to make them out of bent 0.050" sheet metal to save weight and they kept breaking.
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    This time I bit the bullet and made it out of 2x2", 1/8" angle iron. Figured saving 1/4lb on steel was pointless when I'm hanging a 9lb saw off it. And I needed to make a new one anyway to have room for the lights underneath it.

    The scabbard has a bent piece of sheet metal riveted to it, wedged between the saw and the carrier when it's strapped on. Holds it very secure when riding, but there aren't any clips or buckles or anything to deal and it slides right off when I use the saw.

    Bought a smaller saw, for this ride and for riding in general, but I didn't have time to make a new scabbard piece. The old one works fine though, so I'm running around with a magnum 20" scabbard on a tiny 14" bar :D
    #30
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  11. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Great set of pics and update @OrangeYZ, man the trails look fantastic. That rocky downhill switchback didn't look too fun, doesn't even look like you could do a pivot turn on that thing (not that I could do one on flat ground...lol).

    The trees across the trail that the other ride had to get over after your return - woof.

    Those last two scenic shots you posted with the mountains in the background are amazing, really like seeing the trail/road wind off into the distance - looks like nirvana.
    #31
  12. Bentspokes

    Bentspokes Adventurer

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    Brilliant...
    #32
  13. OrangeYZ

    OrangeYZ Long timer

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    Got gas got soda got a toothbrush in Stanley, then went across the street to the restaurant to wait for Chad and Scott.
    By "wait," of course I mean "eat." Burger was good, fries were so good I got a second plate for dessert. In about an hour or so they showed up and had their dinner, refilled waters and we were on our way.

    Apparently I missed out of seeing the aftermath of a massive avalanche across the trail that probably nobody will get around to cleaning up for a couple of years
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    We hit the highway east to camp in the middle of the Casino Creek bonus loop, and Chad found some more Jet Boil gas at the store in Lower Stanley.

    We rode up Little Casino Creek Trail, smooth and fun, and only at the top looked at the map and realized the lakes were at the top of Big Casino Creek. There's a trail that connects the two up top, and we would be riding it in the morning, but it was getting dark and we settled on a nice flat spot with lots of grass. Kind of bummed about no fire rings and no water.

    You know what made it better though?

    Being on top of the ridge it was only about a 15 minute ride to this
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    #33
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  14. haystack

    haystack Just ride

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    "A man might be thought wealthy if someone were to... draw the story of his deeds."
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    I love a good ride report!
    #34
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  15. Olde Phart

    Olde Phart Olde Phart

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    Outstanding!!! Rode much of this many moons ago based out of Baumgartner Hot Springs ... gives me the yen to go back!!

    Good sidehill to ya!!
    #35
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  16. 2 SPOT

    2 SPOT bring the rape whistle

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    excellent ride report !!

    hate that area,, nobody should go there.
    #36
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  17. OrangeYZ

    OrangeYZ Long timer

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    Back into Stanley to top up on gas. Only went 25 miles since last night, but lesson learned, lesson applied

    We headed north, back towards Basin Butte. Lot of burned areas, so a lot of chainsaw use.

    The route looped Northwest and then back across the highway to Elk Meadows
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    Started out smooth and fun, until it wasn't.

    There was a water crossing
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    Like a serious water crossing
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    So Elk Meadows Trail is a swamp. It's like a 1.5 mile non-stop mud bog to get across the valley to the real ground on the other side.
    There were water holes deep enough we had to jump into them full power and keep moving before the wave came back high enough to get in the air box. I don't know how we got through without drowning a bike.

    0/10, would not recommend.

    But we got through.

    Back on solid dirt and normal hillclimbs
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    At one point I stopped to rest my arms before the next climb, and fumble-footed and dropped my bike on the wrong side of the sidehill. That cost a lot of energy.
    But I got to the top and found Chad and Scott trying to dry their gear. We resolved that we are going to camp reasonably early, near water, and have a campfire tonight.

    Not here, obviously because it's noon, but that would be pretty cool. Another addition to the list of places we need to come back and camp at
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    "The trail out of Marten Lake starts with a very loose hillclimb"

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    Yeah, it kind of does!

    I bounced wrong off the smallest of rocks...
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    And hit a tree even more wrong, got stuck under my bike for a minute and tore the shoulder cup off my chest protector!
    It's pretty messed up. 21 years was a good run, but it might be over

    Wait
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    Ok nevermind, we're good

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    Here's to another 21 years!

    And we're on the way up the ridge
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    Where we run into Moto Family
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    "Ok Joe, we're rolling"
    "You're not the boss of me, I'm going to hang out here a minute and check out the view!"
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    #37
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  18. OrangeYZ

    OrangeYZ Long timer

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    There is only one God of the single track, and KTM is his prophet
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    #38
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  19. fuggy

    fuggy Canyon Explorer

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    Ha! That worked out well for you. While Scott and I punched through more dead fall single-track, you ended up relaxing next to Bull Trout Lake 'talking to hot moto babes and drinking their cold beer'. :photog (James and Kell are gonna be sick to their stomach when they read this)
    #39
  20. fuggy

    fuggy Canyon Explorer

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    Day 4 for me was some of the best single-track I've ever encountered in Idaho. Halfway through the day Scott and I had dropped Joe off at Bull Trout Lake Campground and we attacked the trails up to Cape Horn Summit (Fir Creek Trail, Wyoming Creek Trail, and Gates Creek). These trails were mostly through a burned area. While challenging, theyhad nothing outstanding to write home about. When Scott and I got back to our planned meeting spot, social butterfly Joe was nowhere to be found. We were circling the area and ran into some kids who had a small dirt bike that wouldn't start. We helped them out by switching the gas tank to reserve and kicking the 100cc motor to life. These kids ended up being with the same moto family we ran into earlier in the day. So while we were helping the kids, Joe was off socializing with moto babes we met earlier in the day! We regrouped and then started MY FAVORITE TRAIL OF THE TRIP!




    After 13 miles of a wide grinning smile, we made it to the bottom and soaked our jersey's in the Payette River to cool off. It was hot, we were hungry, and we needed refreshments! Thankfully the Sourdough Lodge was just a few miles off route! We had a few cold beers and one of the best patty melts to date. We also grabbed a few tall boys for the road, and of course I had to eat some ice cream before fueling up the bikes with ethanol free 91 octane! :D

    Scott near the end of Warm Springs Trail. He also agreed it was one of the better trails of the trip.
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    Had a snack here while Joe cut a tree that was blocking the steep side slopped trail:
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    I believe this was a nice spring coming out of the wall into the Payette River. We wanted to go swimming so bad as the temps were approaching 90 degrees
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    Some pics from earlier in the day;
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    Small bedroom, bed springs, and out house with the door blown off! What else do you need for epic views at the top of Basin Butte @ 8900ft?
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    #40