Fall weather always inspires the inner cyclist in me to go biking! Cooler temperatures make cycling feel a little easier, it seems. And with the coming transformation of fall colors and the sweet aroma of the changing seasons in the air, it’s a treat to be outdoors in Southern Idaho.
In hopes of inspiring the inner cyclist in you, we’re recommending five fall bike rides that are sure to please, featuring a wide variety of challenge and distance.
We’ll start with some easy rides and work up to rides that require a little more endurance.
1. Canyon Rim Trail – This is a very scenic paved trail system that runs parallel to the Snake River Canyon by the Southern Idaho Visitor Center in Twin Falls and Shoshone Falls Park. The trails provide huge scenic views of the Snake River Canyon. You can cover more than 10 miles if you ride the whole thing. The City of Twin Falls has a new map of the trail, providing tips about sights along the way. More information here.
2. Auger Falls Trails in the Snake River Canyon in Twin Falls. Located on a rolling bluff next to the Snake River, the Auger Falls Trails are an excellent system of dirt, singletrack trails. Follow Homestead Trail and Eagle Trail, moderate trails for all abilities, on a tour through the rocks to a beautiful overlook of Auger Falls. You can return on Koda’s Trail and the Haunted Forest back to the trailhead for sweet 5-mile tour. Riding time is about one hour. There are a number of other twisty trails that you can explore through rocks and sagebrush. The trails are marked and signed, with a suggested ability level. Here’s a guide to the trails on mtbproject.com.
3. Indian Springs trail system in the foothills of the South Hills, south of Kimberly. The Indian Springs trails are more challenging for experienced mountain bikers. There are over 25 miles of trails open to hiking, trail-running, horseback riding and mountain biking in this area on BLM land. To reach the trailhead, go directly south of Kimberly for 8 miles on Main Street, cross 2900 East, and park at the BLM trailhead on the left. Here’s a trail map.
One recommended route: Take Sweet n’ Low trail over to Lower Dry Gulch, climb Dry Gulch trail on a gentle uphill with multiple creek crossings to Matt’s Trail. It’s a steep uphill climb on Matt’s to the top of the foothills. Take Lower Sugarloaf downhill to return to the trailhead. This loop is about 8 miles long. Riding time: 1.5 hours
4. Ride the roads at City of Rocks – There are some nice dirt road rides at City of Rocks National Reserve and Castle Rocks State Park. These rides are most suitable for a mountain bike or a cross bike with wider, knobby tires. In City of Rocks, the road from Circle Creek Overlook to Stripe Rock is closed to motorized vehicles, so that makes it a nice quiet biking experience. The road from Elephant Rock to the Nematode and beyond to the Bread Loaves along the Tea Kettle Trail is another excellent ride, offering spectacular views of the many rock features in the park. Check out the biking trail maps at the visitor center. Castle Rocks State Park has some singletrack trails open to biking, too.
5. Cave Canyon – Hook up with Rock Temple at Rock’s Cycling and Fitness in Burley to ride Cave Canyon in the mountains near Oakley. The 10-mile ride is one of Rock’s favorites in the aspen trees and canyon features near the Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s Cottonwood Wildlife Management Area.
When you’re out riding, remember to be courteous on the trail and yield right of way to uphill traffic of all kinds, walkers, bikers and horseback riders. Take plenty of snacks and water with you on your ride, and a windbreaker/rain coat. Have fun!