Bike And Soak: Maps Take Riders On Hot Springs Tour Of Central Idaho

Feb 25, 2014

Soaking in an Idaho hot springs may be the perfect way to wrap up a challenging mountain bike ride. The Adventure Cycling Association has combined the two activities into one, with the “Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route.” It’s a two-map set that takes bikers through 518 miles and 50 hot springs in central Idaho.

Cartographer Casey Greene drew up the routes for the new maps. “There’s really nothing more relaxing, that I’ve found personally, than after a hard day of mountain bike riding, to get into a refreshing hot spring,” says Greene. “It sort of soothes the whole body, the muscles, the skin and all that kind of stuff.  You get out and you feel so refreshed afterward.”

Relaxing at a hot springs along the Middle Fork of the Boise River.
Credit Casey Greene / Adventure Cycling Association

The main route is a giant loop that’s 518-miles-long. It includes Featherville, Ketchum, Sun Valley, Stanley, Warm Lake, McCall, Crouch, and Idaho City. The maps include instructions for bikers who want to hop off an airplane in Boise, and catch up with the main route. There are also four substantial single-track options for riders.

Greene says it’s hard to pick a favorite part of the loop. He does say his favorite landscape is the Stanley area. “A lot of people when they drive up to Stanley, they see the Sawtooth [Mountains] and they’re in your face, right on the highway there.”

One of the routes goes through the White Cloud Mountains. Greene says there are some great little hot springs along the East Fork of the Salmon River. “The White Clouds are a very impressive mountain range, they’re very massive compared to the jaggedness of the Sawtooths,” Greene says. “For me, going down there, the White Clouds are the most impressive mountainous terrain on the entire route.”

The Sawtooth Range and Stanley, Idaho.
Credit Casey Greene / Adventure Cycling Association

“In the end, they’re going to be blown away by the landscape of Central Idaho,” says Greene. “Especially people coming from out of state who have never been to this part of Idaho before. They’re going to be absolutely blown away by the terrain, the rivers, the mountains, the wonderful small mountain towns, the people. I am really excited for people to get out and ride this.”

Find more information on the maps here.

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