Sawtooth National Recreation Area

Mountain Biking
Gorp.com

Mountain biking is very popular at Sawtooth National Recreation Area. The region has many great routes. Here is a tempting sampler:

Easiest
Chemeketan Campground: 6 miles round-trip. Mile Post 162.2 on Hwy. 75. Turn south onto Salmon River Headwaters Road. Ride the six-mile loop.

Decker Flat Road: 12 to 14 miles. Mile Post 174.7 on Hwy. 75. Turn west on Decker Flat Road. An easy scenic ride on a dirt road. Perfect for a family ride.

Nip & Tuck Road: 6.5 miles one-way. Mile Post 125.9 on Hwy. 21. Turn north on Valley Creek Road (across from Stanley Lake Road). Go about 1/2 mile then turn right and continue. This historic road, once used by freight wagons, offers views of the Sawtooth and White Cloud Mountains.

More Difficult
Fisher Creek - Williams Creek Loop: 18 miles. Mile Post 176.3 on Hwy. 75. Turn east on Fisher Creek Road and park. Bike trail goes up Fisher Creek Road and returns to highway at Williams Creek trailhead. A ride through mostly wooded areas, passing the log buildings of the old Aztec Mine, which is private property. This is a very heavily used route.

Galena Loop: 8.5 miles. Mile Post 151.9 on Hwy. 75. Stop at Galena Lodge, on the right. Trailhead is at the end of the parking lot. Views of the Boulder and Smoky Mountains, meadows, and historic cabins.

Smiley Creek: 14 miles round-trip. Mile Post 165.6 on Hwy. 75. Turn west onto Smiley Creek Road. A gravel and dirt road that leads to Vienna City, a historic mining town.

Most Difficult
Elk Meadows - Stanley Lake Loop: 12.5 miles. Mile Post 125.9 on Hwy. 21. Turn west onto Stanley Lake Road, then take the road that passes the lake on the right. This ride offers views of Stanley Lake, the Sawtooth Mountains, and Elk Meadows, where you may see wildlife in the evenings. A challenging rough and rocky trail with stream crossings.

If you'd like more detailed information, books and pamphlets about other routes are available at the SNRA Headquarters Visitor Center.


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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