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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey follks,

My friends and I are going to be coming through McCall, Stanley and Sun Valley this fall. I just need a little bit of "inside baseball" knowledge from you locals. I know how hard it is to give up some "private stash" so if you are ever in New England, we'll treat you right. Thanks in advance.:)

1.) Are slime tubes, or something like it, necessary?
2.) What sort of weather should we expect in early September?
3.) If you had just one or two trails that you wanted to ride in the above named locales, what would they be?

Our group ranges in age from about 35 all the way up to 60 but all are advanced riders who don't mind climbs, technical, speed, etc.....essentially anything that can be ridden. Don't let the old guy's age fool you! Our current plans call for hitting "Bear Pete" trail in McCall, "The Bowery Loop" and "Fisher Creek" in the Stanley area and just about anything that comes up in Sun Valley. We really like all day affairs and "out there" rides. We're willing to modify our current plans if it means we'll do a ride that shouldn't be missed. We would even welcome anyone who wants to join us for a day.

Thanks again,
Alf
 

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King of the Barneys
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GandALF said:
Hey follks,

My friends and I are going to be coming through McCall, Stanley and Sun Valley this fall. I just need a little bit of "inside baseball" knowledge from you locals. I know how hard it is to give up some "private stash" so if you are ever in New England, we'll treat you right. Thanks in advance.:)

1.) Are slime tubes, or something like it, necessary?
2.) What sort of weather should we expect in early September?
3.) If you had just one or two trails that you wanted to ride in the above named locales, what would they be?

Our group ranges in age from about 35 all the way up to 60 but all are advanced riders who don't mind climbs, technical, speed, etc.....essentially anything that can be ridden. Don't let the old guy's age fool you! Our current plans call for hitting "Bear Pete" trail in McCall, "The Bowery Loop" and "Fisher Creek" in the Stanley area and just about anything that comes up in Sun Valley. We really like all day affairs and "out there" rides. We're willing to modify our current plans if it means we'll do a ride that shouldn't be missed. We would even welcome anyone who wants to join us for a day.

Thanks again,
Alf
Well, you'll likely get lots of answers, but here's my take on your questions. BTW, was this group on F/W last summer, 3-4 guys on higher-end rigs? Sounds similar.

1. I love slimed tubes
2. Warm to cool, and take a jacket. Weather can change quickly.
3. In McCall, I like to ride up to Duck Lake and out 20-Mile Creek, and the Ruby Meadows to Loon Lake to Chinook campground rides. Eagle's Nest is a fun, long singletrack down if you ride it as a loop. Stanley you might add Basin Creek, and Elk Meadows (short and easy, but fast and scenic)

Some of the regulars around this board know of some really outrageous trails outside Stanley, and I'll defer to them. Re SV, check this board for some pictorials on SV riding, there's a lot written up about the trails, and they tend to be well maintained.

CDB
 

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In addition...

if you stay up in elevation, you won't encounter goatheads too much so you should be able to get away with regular tubes. You'll only need slime or stans if you ride the trails lower down (such as Boise).
I have some friends from the mid-Atlantic that are visiting around the first week of September and we'll be riding up around those parts so feel free to PM me and we can tell you our schedule and we can show you some good stuff...
CBro's recommendations below are spot on. Those trails are the most popular and best marked...
 

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Don't worry, be happy!
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I'd second 20 mile and or Ruby Loon in McCall. BearPete is rumored to be a pretty intense verging on epic kind of hard core ride... Cbro and I had a very strong rider from Cascade do a "beta" on that one a few years ago, and said rider was not happy with me for sending him on that recon mission.

But you would not be sorry at all with the above mentioned rides. Finish off with Burgdorf hot springs of course. Fall should be awesome.

Formica
 

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GandALF said:
Hey follks,

My friends and I are going to be coming through McCall, Stanley and Sun Valley this fall. I just need a little bit of "inside baseball" knowledge from you locals. I know how hard it is to give up some "private stash" so if you are ever in New England, we'll treat you right. Thanks in advance.:)

1.) Are slime tubes, or something like it, necessary?
2.) What sort of weather should we expect in early September?
3.) If you had just one or two trails that you wanted to ride in the above named locales, what would they be?

Our group ranges in age from about 35 all the way up to 60 but all are advanced riders who don't mind climbs, technical, speed, etc.....essentially anything that can be ridden. Don't let the old guy's age fool you! Our current plans call for hitting "Bear Pete" trail in McCall, "The Bowery Loop" and "Fisher Creek" in the Stanley area and just about anything that comes up in Sun Valley. We really like all day affairs and "out there" rides. We're willing to modify our current plans if it means we'll do a ride that shouldn't be missed. We would even welcome anyone who wants to join us for a day.

Thanks again,
Alf
Slime is not necessary where you're talking about riding.

McCall: Rather than Bear Pete, I'd do in Ruby Meadows, ride the Loon Lake loop, and then back out on Ruby Meadows. You can also do an out and back on Victor Creek from the Loon Loop. I'd also highly recommend an out and back on 20 mile to Duck Lake and back from the Upper Lake 20 mile TH. A Loon/20 mile combo in one day would be "all day" and "out there." (Not to mention insane.) Another fun 1/2 day McCall ride is Bear Basin road to the top of Brundage, down one of the fun Brundage trails, back up to the top and then down the Rim trail. That one may take a little local knowledge.

Stanley: Yeah, do Fisher Creek, but I hear Big and Little Basin Creek loop is more fun. I hope to get up there to do that next month. Redfish loop I hear is also a mini epic. You could easily do Basin and Fisher creek in one day.

Ketchum/Scum Valley: Almost everything is waaaay too much fun. Do a Mahoney, Red Warrior, Mars Ridge, Greenhorn, Imperial loop ride - you won't regret it. Another option is Baker Creek Road to Oregon Gulch to Fox Creek and then to Adams Gulch. Also much fun.

Enjoy and post some pictures!
 

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I'd do in Ruby Meadows, ride the Loon Lake loop, and then back out on Ruby Meadows.
hmm, there's a thought. I've done the Ruby-Loon-Chinook as a shuttle, and then I've done the Chinook-Loon Loop. But I've never done Ruby-Loon-Ruby! Tell me why you like that particular combo - other than no shuttle :) Seeing as I may be back in Mccall soon...
 

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formica said:
hmm, there's a thought. I've done the Ruby-Loon-Chinook as a shuttle, and then I've done the Chinook-Loon Loop. But I've never done Ruby-Loon-Ruby! Tell me why you like that particular combo - other than no shuttle :) Seeing as I may be back in Mccall soon...
Probably because you don't have to ride the Warren dirt road for 7 or so miles... Ruby is the "scenic" way out and back...
 

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There is absolutely no good riding out here in the eastern part of the state, but that apparently has been adressed. Carry on.
 

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flipnidaho said:
Probably because you don't have to ride the Warren dirt road for 7 or so miles... Ruby is the "scenic" way out and back...
I pulled out my maps last night to see what loop you were talking about.... you go all the way to chinook, loop it back to Loon and then out? Sounds like fun, but I don't know that we'll be up for 25 miles. :) OTOH, I think we'll have some folks to shuttle our vehicles for us, just for a nice drive....

formica
 

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formica said:
hmm, there's a thought. I've done the Ruby-Loon-Chinook as a shuttle, and then I've done the Chinook-Loon Loop. But I've never done Ruby-Loon-Ruby! Tell me why you like that particular combo - other than no shuttle :) Seeing as I may be back in Mccall soon...
Hmm, 18 miles of less driving, no dirt road riding for 9 miles, and about 6 - 7 more miles of riding single and double track. Park at 364 at the end of the pavement on WW Road, ride Ruby Meadows, do the Loon Loop back to the Loon - Ruby junction, and then ride back to your car. Remember - always maximize your singletrack. :D
 

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GandALF:

Another epic ride in the Stanley area would be to park at the Williams Creek TH (the end of the Fisher Creek loop), ride down Highway 75 to 4th of July Lake road, ride up the dirt road 13 - 14 miles to the 4th of July Lake TH, ride to the Lake, ride up and over the ridge into Ants Basin, ride out Ants Basin on Warm Springs to the Meadow, ride from the Meadow to the Fisher/Williams loop junction, and ride out Williams Creek. I think that would net you about 40 - 45 miles, with only about 4 miles or less on pavement. Certainly "out there" and lots of fun. I've done it as a shuttle (leaving one car at the Williams Creek TH and driving the pavement and dirt road sections) and even then it was at least a 25 mile and 4 - 5 hour ride. Also, it's my understanding that some or most of this area is slated to be closed to bikes soon, so ride it while you can!
 

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Earthpig said:
Hmm, 18 miles of less driving, no dirt road riding for 9 miles, and about 6 - 7 more miles of riding single and double track. Park at 364 at the end of the pavement on WW Road, ride Ruby Meadows, do the Loon Loop back to the Loon - Ruby junction, and then ride back to your car. Remember - always maximize your singletrack. :D
EP, not sure I'm following, remember I'm a Washintonian who only plays at being in Idaho. Normally for Ruby we'd park at the trailhead, that's really near the turn off for Burgdorf. Do I need to pull out my Gazetter or a topo and then it will be all clear?

thx.
 

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AHHH,

Now that's the one I was hoping that you or Harley or Brett or somebody would chime in on. What an incredible looking and sounding epic from the pictures and writeups you guys have done...

CDB
 

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Penny, what I think Geoff is saying is to skip the ride out to Chinook at the end, but go in at Ruby Meadows, down to the lake, and back out through Ruby Meadows, so that way you don't have to shuttle a vehicle to Chinook or ride the 9 mi of dirt road back to Ruby from the campground.

You'd have to give up that great piece of the trail along the Secesh River, if I understand correctly, though, which I think is pretty cool.

CDB
 

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formica said:
EP, not sure I'm following, remember I'm a Washintonian who only plays at being in Idaho. Normally for Ruby we'd park at the trailhead, that's really near the turn off for Burgdorf. Do I need to pull out my Gazetter or a topo and then it will be all clear?

thx.
No, park at the same spot. Years ago, there wasn't a bridge over the Secesh river at the Chinook Campground, so what people did to ride the loop (and to not have to ford the Secesh at the campground) was to ride in through Ruby Meadows, head to the lake, ride to the bridge across the Secesh about 3 miles downstream from the campground, ride back to the campground along the River and then ride the road from the Campground back to the Ruby TH. However, once the bridge at the Chinook Campground was built, I've been driving the dirt road all the way to the Campground, riding across the bridge and then riding out to Loon, with a return trip along the river to the Campground. That's only a 10 mile ride and really takes only a little over an hour - not really worth the time of the drive, unless you ride it twice.

However, to make your ride longer, and save some serious driving time, you park at the Ruby TH (FS Road 364, right by the Burgdorf turnoff, where the pavement ends on WW road), ride to the Loon Loop via Ruby Meadows (as you have done in the past), ride out to the lake, ride back to the Secesh Bridge about 3 miles downriver, and ride back along the lake to the Campground. From there, instead of riding back to your car via Warren Wagon road, you ride across the newer bridge at the Campground and ride that singletrack south to where it joins with the Ruby Meadows trail comes in from the right. Take the Ruby Meadows trail back to your car. If you envision it, it looks like an upside-down lolly pop - your going in on Ruby, riding the full 10 mile Loon Lake loop, and then riding back out on Ruby the way you came. Impossible to get lost and a great ride, maximizing your singletrack and minimizing your driving and road riding time.
 

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No EP's refering to parking at Ruby, then riding to the lake, then continuing the Loop backwards to Chinook, then climb back out of Chinkook back to the intersection with Ruby, then back to the car at Ruby
 

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CBro said:
Penny, what I think Geoff is saying is to skip the ride out to Chinook at the end, but go in at Ruby Meadows, down to the lake, and back out through Ruby Meadows, so that way you don't have to shuttle a vehicle to Chinook or ride the 9 mi of dirt road back to Ruby from the campground.

You'd have to give up that great piece of the trail along the Secesh River, if I understand correctly, though, which I think is pretty cool.

CDB
No, that's not correct - you still get the piece along the Secesh. You start at the end of the pavement on WW, go through Ruby, out to the lake, ride to the Secesh, cross on the bridge, then ride to the Campground along the Secesh, AND THEN you cross the river again AT the campground on the newer bridge and ride back to the Ruby/Loon trail junction, and ride back the way you started. There are TWO ways to get to Loon Lake from Chinook Campground - either by going out along the river and crossing the bridge 3 miles down and climbing up the twisty singletrack to the lake OR crossing the river AT the campground and riding that singletrack to the lake.
 

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CBro said:
AHHH,

Now that's the one I was hoping that you or Harley or Brett or somebody would chime in on. What an incredible looking and sounding epic from the pictures and writeups you guys have done...

CDB
Yeah, I hadn't thought about that one when I originally answered, but if this guy wants epic miles, epic views and some serious all-day riding, that's the loop in Stanley to do, IMHO. Too much pavement and dirt road riding for my tastes (I'd rather shuttle the road parts) but some people (Visicypher, GreenGoat, Twisted, and anybody who rides Cycle Idaho) seem to take some perverse pleasure in riding their mountain bikes on two-wheel-drive dirt roads. Ick. 5 miles of singletrack is better than 45 miles of dirt roads.
 

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Back to the original message-
Here's my two cents-
Slime is necessary in Boise and desert like areas, but not above 4500' or "in the mountains"
Early September is a mixed bag- personally I love it in McCall at that time- evenings and mornings can be cool, but it will still get warm during the day. Pack a jacket for possible thunderstorms though.
The "nicest" ride around McCall is Loon Lake/Ruby Meadows and the variations being discussed. "Nice" means it is a relatively easy ride, not too rocky, lots of wildlife, creeks, a lake at the midpoint, and a hot springs near the end.
Bear Pete is a fun ride, but very different- rocky, more remote, unbelievable views from the ridge top and a hot springs near the end. Very "out there"
I would probably put Eagle's nest and 20 Mile ahead of Bear Pete.

Regarding Stanley- I've only ridden Fisher Creek and Little Basin-something trail- both were great.

PM me when you're in McCall, and I can give you an update
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hey folks,

Thanks for all the tips. I'll give you a few more details about our group. There will be 11 of us. We've chartered the nice folks at Adventurebus.com to do the driving/cooking/shuttling/etc. They've taken a full size bus and ripped out the seats and replaced them with beds. Shuttling won't be a problem. It's a perfect scenario for a bunch of smelly MTB'ers who like a nice cold one waiting at the end of the ride. All we have to do is ride!

A couple of us will be arriving and staying in Boise on September 5th with the rest arriving on the 7th. The early arrivals will put in some rides around Boise and then everybody gets on the bus on the 9th for the drive up to McCall. We'll probably get there sometime in the early afternoon. If anyone wants to join/lead us that day just let me know. We're planning on spending about two days in McCall and then heading back down to Stanley.

The rest gets a little fuzzy since I don't have the list of trails with me at the moment. There is one that is just northeast of Stanley that I think is called "Little Boulder" or "Big Boulder" or something like that. Anybody ridden there?

Thanks you guys,
Alf
 
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