|Whether you live in Idaho or just come for a visit, when asked the impression of the state, overwhelmingly the answer will be, wow! The Stanley Basin and the Sawtooth Mountains are amazing, and that is why it is the number one choice route from all of our past years’ riders, and this year we are taking you back.
Our first day, which is registration packet pickup day, we will gather and camp at Atkinson Park in the infamous town of Ketchum/Sun Valley, at the base of Bald Mountain Ski Resort. It was made famous by notable people, who over the years have come to ski and socialize, and by the famous author, Ernest Hemingway, who spent much of his life writing, fishing, hunting, and of course hanging out with his local buddies throughout the Wood River Valley. His home, burial spot, and museum have been made available to visitors in honor of his legacy. Many of us will meet for the first time in the Ketchum Town Square where we will have live music and local brews as we gather our information packets and roam the streets full of unique shops and restaurants.
Sunday morning, day 1, you will think you have died and gone to heaven as you leave the valley floor riding the Wood River Bike Path. You will start a gradual climb up Galena Summit, on the Sawtooth Scenic Byway, past Galena Lodge and to the top of the summit where you will get your first glimpse of the Sawtooth Mountains, Stanley Basin, and where the “Wild and Scenic Salmon River” originates. From here and for the next 4 days, you will learn how the river got its name as it gathers volume from the many tributaries that converge along the way. Lunch stop on this day will be at Redfish Lake, which is arguably one of the most beautiful mountain lakes in the world.
Our first overnight town will be Stanley where we will camp at Mountain Village, with breathtaking views of the Sawtooth and White Cloud Mountains as well as the basin valley floor. Stanley is known as the gathering place for thousands of enthusiasts who come to raft the mighty Salmon River. Stanley is also host to many outdoor events that take place throughout the year.
Leaving Stanley riding north toward Challis along the Salmon River Scenic Byway, there will be an option for those that want a white water rafting experience. You will start the day off with a 14-mile bike ride, followed by a 10-mile river float trip, and finish the day with a 33-mile gradual downhill into our overnight location. Click here for details and to book the raft trip, www.therivercompany.com
Leaving Challis we will again maintain a route that follows the Salmon River and arrive in the town of Salmon. Our camp will be on the edge of the downtown at City Park adjacent to the Sacajawea Interpretive, Cultural and Education Center where we will dance that night to the sounds of “PJ Destiny”, one of our liveliest musicians from past years.
Returning to Challis, keep your eyes peeled for an opportunity to spot one of the many bighorn sheep that sometime stand abruptly on an outcropping of a rocky cliff. Leaving Challis we will ride through Grandview Canyon which is in the north end of the Peaks to Crater Scenic Byway. You will ride past Mt. Borah, which at 12,662 feet, is the tallest peak in Idaho and Mackay Reservoir before arriving in Mackay, a small town with a great mining history.
Riding south through the Lost River Valley we will pass through Arco, “The First City in the World Lit by Atomic Power”, then onto the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, which boasts some of the most unique lava formations in the world, and former training grounds for NASA astronauts. From here we will continue west through Carey and onto our last overnight location in Picabo. This community is surrounded by large ranches and fields which are irrigated by the pristine Silver Creek renowned among fly fisherman and was a favorite of Ernest Hemingway, who enjoyed hunting and fishing along the stream with local rancher Bud Purdy. The name “Picabo” was made familiar by Picabo Street, the Olympic skier who grew up in nearby Triumph.
Our final day of riding will lead us up the Sawtooth Scenic Byway starting with the town of Bellevue where we jump on the Wood River Bike Path that passes through Hailey and onto Ketchum, which will then mark the end of a great and memorable week of riding.
Cheers! and join us in 2017 creating new friendships
and great memories!
Check-in: Ketchum Sun Valley
Day 1: Ketchum Sun Valley to Stanley
Day 2: Stanley to Challis
Day 3: Challis to Salmom
Day 4: Salmon to Challis
Day 5: Challis to Mackay
Day 6: Mackay to Picabo
Day 7: Picabo to Ketchum Sun Valley
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