The 5 Best Mountain Bike Trails in Boise, Idaho
Located in the heart of Idaho, Boise has evolved as a hub of mountain biking over the past decade. From easy beginner trails to steep, fast-flowing advanced routes, the foothills of Boise have something to offer to mountain bikers of every level. Single-track trails start from within the town and the farther you go into the mountains, the more challenging trails you can explore and ride.
This mountain biker's paradise is indeed flooded with an array of choices for enjoying an amazing ride, but here are the absolute best mountain bike trails in Boise, Idaho you need to have on your must-ride list.
#1 Around The Mountain
With sharp turns, fast descends, amazing views and some great berms, Around the Mountain trail was perhaps developed with MTB riders in mind. This intermediate trail consists mostly of single-tracks and surprises you with unexpected ascends, descends, switchbacks and berms for a thrilling experience. However, the high elevation of around 7000 feet means that the trail takes a while to steer clear of snow and become operational, particularly towards the northside and shaded sections.
The amazing thing is that Around the Mountain is linked to a number of other trails to create a series of options for the rider. However, most mountain bikers ride it with the Deer Point trail to form a loop of about 12 miles. Starting from the Simplot Lodge, you need to climb along the Deer Point trail for a mile or so before reaching the marked intersection for Around the Mountain trail. Here, you can enjoy the amazing views of Idaho city, the Sawtooth and Moore Mountains as you make your way towards Pioneer Lodge. You can then ride the Morning Star trail to descent all the way down and weave your way back to where you started from.
#2 Table Rock
Unlike the majority of Boise's mountain bike trails, Table Rock is truly a courtyard of clay soil and boulders. Although the trail lasts 3.7 miles point-to-point, it presents quite a challenge to even the most expert mountain bikers and looping it with other connecting trails can give you everything you need for a memorable mountain biking experience.
The trail offers an enjoyable chunky ride with its many rock gardens, tight sections and steep descend though there are some sections you would prefer walking on. The main Table Rock Trail is linked to the Rock Islands Loops that will keep you on your toes with all sorts of rocky obstacles. The eastern part features characteristic rocky yet rollable descend while the western side requires some hardcore riding skills to traverse the challenging "slow tech" features. The southern part of the loop paves its way to yet another rocky descend, the Lower Tram Trail. If that's not enough to quench your yearnings of challenging rides, you can access the Castle Rock loop through the Boise greenbelt.
#3 Hard Guy/ Dry Creek Loop
This popular loop consists of a steep yet sustained climb up Hard Guy followed by a winding ride down the hills through Dry Creek Trail. The single-track ride on Hard Guy trail is not too technical but the unsheltered exposure to sun and wind won't be your friends as you make your way to the top. Nonetheless, the incredible view as you climb up is worth the endless pedaling. The action-packed downhill descends towards the foothills on the Dry Creek, however, is excellent to ride on sunny days with its vast network of shelter-providing trees. With several creek crossings waiting to get your feet wet, the ride keeps on getting better as the sharp descend and washed out corners test your MTB riding skills. Overall, the entire loop is a must-ride if you're in the area.
To access the Hard Guy trail, make your way towards the Corrals Trailhead and keep left on Corrals until you reach the hard Guy intersection. The climb up Hard Guy trail ends into the pines, leading towards the Boise Ridge Road. Take a left on the Ridge Road and stay on it for a few miles until you reach the Dry Creek trail towards your left.
#4 Polecat Loop Trail
This 6.4 miles of moderate single-track trail in Boise features approximately 760 feet of ascending on a dirt and gravel terrain. The main Polecat Loop is connected to two a few other connector trails including Quick Draw and Doe Ridge. When riding here, wildlife sighting are quite normal and the breathtaking views of the surrounding areas attract lots of bikers to the Polecat Loop. Many people prefer to ride the loop in 2 laps to enjoy the varying characteristics in both the directions.
The Polecat Loop can be accessed from two locations: the end of Collister road or the trailhead at Cartwright road. You will face a steep climb as soon as you access the trail from Collister road, but the steep ascent comes almost halfway from the trailhead at Cartwright road.
#5 Watchman Loop
A classic cross-country trail in Boise, the single-track of Watchman Loop is a highly recommended to mountain bike riders of every skill level. The start and end of the trail are quite steep but the rest of the ride features moderate slopes with a few narrow sections that keep you concentrated and motivated as you ride. The wildflowers during the spring month along with the excellent views you get throughout the ride are also an attraction for many nature loving mountain bikers
The flowy trail can be traversed in either direction and is generally looped with Five Mile Gulch and Three Bears for the ultimate mountain biking experience. Starting from the Military Reserve, you can head towards the Five Mile Gulch to climb towards the main Watchman Loop trail. Three Bears trail at the end of Watchman Loop is generally used as a fast and adventurous descend back to the town.
Perhaps, the mountain biking scene in Idaho is quite happening as the diverse MTB trails in the area cater beginner, advanced as well as expert riders. So if you're planning to visit Idaho or are already living there, do check out the above listed mountain bike trails. We're sure you'll not be disappointed!