Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Check out 5 new rides in the Yankee Fork, Bayhorse areas near Challis

Bayhorse Pacific Mine Tour

Big mountain views are easy to find on the Bayhorse Lake - Trealor Creek Loop

Bayhorse Lake

Looking off into the Squaw Creek drainiange

Hi all,

We wanted Idaho OHV riders to know that we've added five new rides to the Where to Ride section of the http://www.stayontrails.com/ web site, including the new Lombard Trail that starts and finishes at the Land of the Yankee Fork State Park in Challis, Idaho.

With the five new rides, there are now a total of 31 OHV trails statewide to check out on the http://www.stayontrails.com/ web site. Most of the rides are appropriate for ATV or motorbike use, and a few of them feature singletrack rides for skilled motorbike riders.

As we mentioned in our last blog about the Lombard Trail dedication on Saturday, Sept. 11, the Yankee Fork region is loaded with literally hundreds of miles of OHV trails. The Yankee Fork District of the Salmon-Challis National Forest, the Challis Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management and Idaho Department of Parks & Recreation officials have been working together to develop the trails, sign them and map them. See the overview map above for a glimpse of the possibilities.

Here's a breakdown of the five new rides. Click on the title of each ride to get more detailed information about the ride on http://www.stayontrails.com/.

1. Lombard Trail - The Lombard Trail, named for IDPR Board Member Ernest Lombard, runs for 13.5 miles one-way from the Land of the Yankee Fork State Park to the mining ghost town of Bayhorse. It takes about 1.5 hours to ride to Bayhorse. The Lombard Trail is an ATV trail but it is suitable for motobikes as well.

2. Bayhorse Pacific Mine Loop - You can either ride the Lombard Trail from Challis to Bayhorse or drive to the Bayhorse ghost town and trailhead to do this ride. The mine loop runs for 15 miles, and you should allow at least two hours for the tour, so you have time to walk around, take pictures and read interpretive signs. This trail is suitable for ATV's or motorbikes.

3. Bayhorse Lake - Trealor Creek Loop - This ride starts and finishes at Bayhorse Lake, which is a nice place for overnight camping and fishing. The loop is 25 miles from Bayhorse Lake. If you start from Bayhorse, it's five miles to Bayhorse Lake from the ghost town. This trail is more demanding than the Pacific Mine Loop. It's suitable for either ATV's or motorbikes. It has several challenging steep climbs and descents and some rough, rocky riding in the last five miles of the ride. Otherwise, it's a gorgeous trail with many big views of the surrounding mountains, fun ridgetop riding and curvy trails that weave through deep woods.

4. Martin Creek - Squaw Creek Loop - This ride features a number of singletrack trails, so it is suitable for motorbikes, but not ATV's. The 25-mile loop takes about three hours. Motorbike riders should have experience riding rocky and uneven terrain before attempting this ride.

5. Cinnebar - Five Mile Loop - We had to include a more epic ride from this region, and this is it. Again, this ride features mostly singletrack trails, so it's suitable for motorbikes, but not ATV's. The ride goes for about 50 miles. It's a big tour of the Yankee Fork region, starting from a trailhead on the Squaw Creek Road. Because of the distance of the ride and the variable terrain, it's best for experienced motorbike riders who like to ride a lot of miles in a single day. Be sure to bring plenty of food and water for the ride.

Have fun!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Idaho OHV enthusiasts to ride the Lombard Trail in Challis Saturday for trail-dedication event

Ernie Lombard

Pacific Mine Loop

Views from the Lombard Trail

Old Mill

Lombard Trail map (courtesy IDPR)

Motorbike and ATV riders are heading to Challis this weekend for a trail ride and trail-dedication event on Saturday, Sept. 11, to officially open the Lombard Trail in honor of Ernest J. Lombard of Eagle, Idaho, a long-time Idaho Parks & Recreation Board member, trail enthusiast, history buff and architect.

Anyone who wants to participate is welcome. The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, Bureau of Land Management, Great Basin Institute and the Challis Area Chamber of Commerce are co-sponsoring the event. A number of Idaho ATV and motorbike clubs are expected to be there, as well as the Idaho State ATV Association and some out of state clubs.

Activities begin at 9 a.m. Saturday morning with the trail-dedication at Land of the Yankee Fork State Park in Challis, followed by a trail-ride at 10 a.m. on the Lombard Trail, BBQ lunch at the Bayhorse ghost town at noon ($5 per person), and then folks can take off for additional rides or ride back to Challis.

Here's a brief video of the Lombard Trail. It runs for 13.5 miles from Land of the Yankee Fork State Park to the old Bayhorse mining site and ghost town. The trail is well-designed so it can be ridden by all skill levels. It climbs several thousand feet and suddenly you are riding among the mountain peaks near Challis, affording awesome 360-degree views.

Once in Bayhorse, there are many trail rides available that people will enjoy. One of the new trails in the area, the Pacific Mine Trail #390, provides a great tour of the Bayhorse mining area, where people can see the old mines, a stamp mill, a smelter, cabins, bank, cemetery and more.

Bayhorse also is a jumping off point for literally hundreds of miles of trails in the Yankee Fork region. IDPR has produced an excellent overview map (see above) that shows the myriad of options available. The Idaho OHV Public Outreach Project is in the midst of publishing trail descriptions and maps to five specific rides in the Bayhorse area on http://www.stayontrails.com/.

For more information about Saturday's event, contact the Land of the Yankee Fork State Park, 208-879-5244.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Dozens of road construction projects in the Payette National Forest could cause delays or restrict access

We wanted to give OHV riders and hunters a head's up that the Payette National Forest has numerous road and bridge projects under way this fall that could cause delays or restrict access to an area you may wish to reach during hunting season.

Please check the details in an updated press release that explains all of the various road and bridge construction and improvement projects going on throughout the Payette National Forest to check on road closures and status.

The Payette National Forest was hit particularly hard by heavy rain and rapid snowmelt in late May and early June, causing enormous amounts of damage throughout the West Central Mountains.

Several roads were closed as a result of the damage, including:
  • The East Fork Weiser River Road #172, due to a bridge washout near U.S. 95.
  • The Middle Fork Weiser River Road #186, which is closed just below Cabin Creek Campground. The Fall Creek Road is suggested as an alternate route.
  • A 500-foot section of the paved South Fork of the Salmon River Road was washed out by flooding and closed by Buckhorn Creek. A foot trail has been established to get around the washout area.

In addition to these closures, there is a considerable amount of road-improvement work going on throughout the forest that may cause delays for hunters, depending on location.

The Warren Wagon Road is being widened and resurfaced between Payette Lake and Secesh Summit. Possible delays are occurrding during blasting periods. Work is supposed to be completed by mid-September.

Please contact Laura Pramuk at the Payette National Forest for more information, 208-634-0784.