Top 10 Places to Visit in Idaho by Bike

Top 10 Places to Visit in Idaho by Bike

 Take your bike with you, because this can be a biking getaway.

There are some places where hundreds bike trails just waits for you to take a ride.

1. Boise

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The capital of Idaho, Boise is home to beautiful parks, great museums and unique attractions. Take in scenic views from the Boise River Greenbelt, admire contemporary art at Boise Art Museum and visit the vibrant Capital City Public Market.

Cyclists who love road riding have plenty of options in Boise.

The Boise Greenbelt from Eagle to Boise to Lucky Peak Dam is a main artery for road cyclists itching for long-distance biking. From the town of Eagle, road bikers can take off on Idaho Highway 55 and climb Horseshoe Bend Hill 23 miles to the town of Horseshoe Bend, or just turn around when they hit the summit of the hill. Cyclists can do Floating Feather and Hill roads from Eagle to Boise, or just climb the 16 miles and 4,000 feet on Bogus Basin Road to Bogus Basin ski area.

The popular routes from East of Boise go from Greenbelt to Discovery Park below Lucky Peak Dam or further up to Hilltop Summit.

Or you can ride the farm roads on the outskirts of Boise, Meridian, Kuna, Nampa, and Caldwell link the cities throughout the Treasure Valley to add up to 100 or more miles of riding. One popular ride in the area is from Kuna out Swan Falls Road with side trips to Celebration Park or Swan Falls Dam on the Snake River.

2. Coeur d'Alene

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Coeur d'Alene lies to the north of Lake Coeur d'Alene and is also known as the Lake City. The city is located near two prominent ski resorts, Silver Mountain Resort to the east and Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort to the north.

The area is surrounded by dozens of lakes left behind by the glaciers of the ice age. There are more than 55 lakes within easy driving distance of Coeur d'Alene, but none more scenic and full of activities than Lake Coeur d'Alene itself. There are many fun lake activities from boat rentals, to paddle boarding, to eating at The Buoy Food Boat.

The City of Coeur d'Alene has 39 miles of pedestrian and bicycle paths (including the Centennial and Prairie Trails), 18.5 miles of bike lanes, 5.75 miles of "Share the Road" bike routes; and 6.2 miles of hiking trails. The future will see another 22 miles of bike paths. Pretty good to take a ride!

3. Sawtooth National Recreation Area

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The Sawtooth National Forest is a very special place here in the heart of Idaho.

756,000 acres of scenic mountain country.

The Sawtooth NRA has over 700 miles of trails, 40 peaks rising over 10,000 feet and 300 plus high mountain lakes that add to the spectacular scenery and vistas. Summer and fall activities within SNRA include fishing, hiking, mountain climbing, nature trails, wildlife viewing, mountain biking, bird-watching, canoeing, kayaking, and whitewater float boating.

Most trails within the Sawtooth NRA are open to mountain bike users, with the exclusion of wilderness trails. If you need a place to stay, there are 37 developed campgrounds with a total of 700 individual sites along the Salmon River in the Stanley, Redfish, and Alturas Lake areas and in the Wood River Valley. Camping outside of developed campgrounds is allowed with some restrictions.

The Sawtooth NRA is heaven for those looking for scenic drives. Three National Scenic Byways—the Sawtooth, Salmon River and Ponderosa Pine Scenic Byways—converge in Stanley, the largest settlement in the Sawtooth NRA.

4. Pocatello

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Known as the U.S. Smile Capital, Pocatello is famous for its hospitality.

A well-spent day in Pocatello includes a trip to Old Town, including a Historic Walking Tour of buildings that date to the late 1800s. The downtown district features specialty shops, antique stores, bakeries, galleries and restaurants, plus Old Town hosts an annual Portneuf Valley Farmers Market from spring to fall.

Don’t forget to get a ride on the newly built Sterling Justice Trail, a 12-mile ride with about 1,500 feet of vertical gain.

5. Lewiston

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Lewiston’s central location makes it an ideal base when exploring the area. At the confluence of the Clearwater and Snake rivers, Lewiston is the lowest point in Idaho at only 738 feet above sea level. That’s why you’ll find a mild climate making outdoor activities possible almost any time of year.

Walk or bike along the Snake River or take a refreshing break at one of the many city parks. There is plenty to see and do in Lewiston with many lodging and dining options for the day’s end.

There are 5 mountain bike trail areas within a 45 minute drive from Lewiston and Clarkston. The closest one, Hells Gate State Park, is in Lewiston right along the Snake River with access from Tammany Creek Road, Snake River Avenue, or the bike path. Three of trail systems are on publicly owned land, while the fourth (Moscow Mountain) is on private land. Terrain at these venues varies from sandy/rocky soil in an open space at 700 feet elevation to windy single-track through the woods at elevations of 3000-4500 feet.

6. Sandpoint

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Nestled between three mountain ranges on magnificent Lake Pend Oreille, with a wide variety of outdoor recreation plus arts and cultural events happening weekly, Sandpoint is amazing. Sandpoint is a year-round outdoor paradise. Warm summer days include trips to the beach and boating across Lake Pend Oreille. You can also enjoy hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, fishing and sightseeing.

Sandpoint bicycle riders have a lot of options thanks to the efforts of community groups like North Idaho Bike ways. The Carlson-McConnaughey Sagle Community Trail connects the Long Bridge path to a new path leading to Sagle Road.

Schweitzer Mountain has also become a summertime destination for mountain bikers. A number of mountain biking events have been held at Schweitzer in recent years. Plus, Schweitzer has been running the Great Escape Quad chair lift in the summer time for those bikers (and hikers) who prefer to avoid the steep uphill climb.

7. Meridian

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If you come here, reserve few hours to travel on Western Heritage Historic Byway. Offering a panoramic, breathtaking view of the Owyhee Mountains, the Western Heritage Historic Byway encompasses vast sagebrush lands and canyon rims of the Snake River. Birds of prey are often spotted in this area, but the best time to spot them soaring through the skies is March to late June.

The area attractions include the Kuna Visitor Center; Silver Trail at Indian Creek; Pioneer Cemetery; Initial Point; Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area; Dedication Point; Snake River Canyon Rim, Swan Falls Dam Historic Powerhouse and Museum, Celebration Park, Owhyee County Museum.

You will drive 47 miles, probably 1.5 hours.

After you will be back, go to The Ram, the nationwide company with brew pubs across the country. The Meridian location is close to shopping and entertainment.

If you’re more into wine, Vizcaya just waits for you, only 15 minutes from Meridian. 

8. Sun Valley

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Sun Valley, Idaho, where the first destination ski resort in North America was established in 1936, may have its roots in winter. But now this is a cliché.

They named it Sun Valley for good reason. Welcome to a land with 250 days of sunshine a year with a constant stream of opportunities to put more adventures and experiences on your "great memories" list.

Riding in Sun Valley means easy access to more than 30 miles of paved, car-free bike paths, plus hundreds of miles of single-track mountain bike trails.

A trip to world-famous Bald Mountain is as easy as a walk in park, from the summit, you can stroll the meadows or challenge yourself to a full day on the trailsSun Valley has slowly become a biking mecca. It has now 400-plus miles of singletrack right out of town, lift accessed trails on Bald Mountain, the Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival. This means a weekend of epic racing and unparalleled good times. . If you need gear to rent, Pete Lane’s Mountain Sports is ready to help, offering equipment, guided tours, rentals or just some local savvy.

9. McCall

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Located within easy reach of Payette Lake, McCall draws everyone from family vacationers and couples embarking on the ultimate getaway to serious outdoor adventurer. Mountain bikers who ride McCall experience terrain that is anything but boring, from forest service roads to single track trails right outside your door.

Ponderosa Park, Bear Basin and Jug Mountain Ranch all offer miles of well maintained single track to experience all levels from family fun to technical riding. You will also find miles and miles of single track trails for all abilities and types of riding around McCall at Brundage Mountain and Tamarack Resort.

Road biking in the McCall area offers varying scenery and terrain and little traffic. One good ride is the 16 mile Payette Lake Loop.

10. Shoshone Falls 

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At 212 feet, the falls are higher than Niagara Falls. You look at a natural beauty on the Snake River. The falls offer a unique blend of recreational facilities, including playgrounds, hiking trails, picnic areas, a boat ramp, swimming area, and a scenic overlook. A picnic in the shaded, grassy areas provides a perfect vantage point for viewing Shoshone Falls. Enjoy a view of the waterfalls from one of the many lookout decks. For a longer adventure, hop on the paved Centennial Trail and walk, run, or bike 1.4 miles to the site of Evel Knievel's unsuccessful 1974 jump across the canyon on a rocket powered motorcycle. Shoshone Falls is among the most spectacular of natural beauties along the Snake River. The cost for admission at Shoshone Falls Park is $3.00 per car.

Having the wrong type of bike saddle can really ruin the fun of a nice bike ride. Even 1.4 miles seems like a thousand if you’re not comfortable on your bike — in that case, Bikeroo's Universal Oversized Bike Saddle is a solid choice with a pressure-relieving profile and spring support.