Trans America Trail

September 12, 2018 — Idaho

290 miles

This morning I grabbed coffee with Peter at the gas station, and we chatted a bit more, so I got a bit of a later start than usual. From Arco, the trail heads northwest across the Lost River and into Challis National Forest. The roads were good with no real surprises or tough sections.

The trail worked its way over Bear Creek Pass and into Copper Basin, which was massive and gorgeous. I came down into Sun Valley, saw green ski slopes and rich folks, and had lunch in Ketchum. People kept talking to me in town, and I got stuck chatting for longer than I wanted, but that was all right. While getting gas, I spoke with a guy heading to the KTM rally in Park City on his 1290 Super Adventure. He showed me a couple dirt options to get around the mudslide east of Featherville, but they all looked like they'd take more time than I had. He did mention that the dirt roads in Camas County were immaculate, so I had that to look forward to.

I ended up riding the TAT to Indian Head Rock, then heading south to Fairfield to bypass the mudslide. I took a dirt road west that paralleled US-20 for a while and then had to jump on the pavement for a stretch. I then cut back north on a forest road, got gas in Pine, and continued on the TAT at Featherville. Once back on the dirt, I saw that my friend on the 1290 wasn't lying these were perfect dirt roads. The trail climbed up to about 7,000 feet and then followed a ridge for a few miles. There had been fires here earlier in the summer, and it was evident, but the riding and views were great. I dropped back down in elevation via a series of tight switchbacks, and the road was tight, single lane dirt through the forest.

The next section was another of my favorites. The road widened a bit and followed alongside the path of the Boise River for 60 or 70 miles. I was on the gas for most of this section, as I wanted to be out of the woods before the sun went down, but I'd come back and ride this stretch at half the speed any day. You could stop every five minutes and take one perfect photo after another. It was simply gorgeous. As I got nearer to Boise, the washboard got a bit heavy, but it was still excellent riding.

I stopped outside Boise for the night. Oregon tomorrow.