- The East West Tour
Five hundred enjoyable riding miles, dual sport friendly, great variety, brain burning scenery - and it kinda looks like a big old smiley face on the map. What's not to like?
The Tour of Idaho II begins near Alpine, Wyoming, in the shadow of the Tetons, and traverses the southern part of Idaho to Jordan Valley, Oregon. The overall length of T2 is about 500 miles (more or less - depending on the exact route taken) and encompasses fast dirt roads (60%), primitive roads (25%), single track trail (5%) and pavement (10%). Though street legal dirt bikes are recommended T2 is entirely appropriate for most bikes with any off-road capability. With the exception of one short segment of single track (easily bypassed) T2 is entirely passable even on very large dual sport bikes. Idaho has new rules governing OHV's. If your bike is plated out of state you should be fine. Check here for OHV requirements in Idaho.
Though not as remote or rugged as the south to north Tour of Idaho (a.k.a. T1) or the dual sport version of the Tour of Idaho, T3, much of the two days required for T2 (at anything less than a race pace) is spent far from civilization. Cell phones are largely useless. Water, food, emergency supplies and fuel must be carried and bikes must be capable of a 200+ mile range if the most remote variants are taken.
T2 encompasses elevations from 2600' at the Bruneau River to 8000' at Monument Peak and traverses environments from mountain passes to forests to marshlands to deserts. We have encountered everything from mountain lions to wild horses along the way. T2 is generally passable by mid June and remains ridable through early November during most years. Maps, directions and the route gps are provided below.
NOTE: Changes to the route made on May 2010 are reflected in the gpx file and the written description below.
T2 begins in a parking area on US 89 on the southern end of Palisades Reservoir about a mile south of Alpine Junction, Wyoming. From the parking lot follow NFD 087 around the southern end of the reservoir then northwest to the McCoy Creek Campground where the road turns west and heads into the mountains. From here NFD 087 winds some 16 miles through Caribou Basin to an intersection with Grays Lake Road at Herman on the northeastern edge of Grays Lake National Wildlife Refuge.
Turn right (north) and follow Grays Lake Road west some 5 miles to an intersection with Cranes Flat Road. Turn left (southwest) and proceed mostly southwest 11 miles to an intersection with Poison Creek Road. Turn left (south) and proceed 5 miles to the northern edge of Blackfoot Reservoir. Turn right at the bottom of the hill on the northern shores of the reservoir onto Government Dam Road. Follow this around the northwest end of the reservoir a few miles to a bridge crossing the Blackfoot River. From this bridge proceed south along Government Dam road 0.6 miles to an intersection with Corral Creek Road on the right (west). Follow this 3 miles to a intersection with Cow Camp Road on the left (south).
Cow Camp Road winds 11 miles southwest up and over
the scenic crest of the Chesterfield Range (7100') and
down into the historic Chesterfield settlement. Head west
Chesterfield Road 1.5 miles beyond Chesterfield then jog right
0.5 miles to an intersection with Kelly Toponce Road. Turn
left and head west 2.75 miles where Kelly Toponce Road swings to the
south. Continue another half mile to an intersection with Toponce
Canyon Road on the right (west).
Proceed several miles up Toponce Canyon Road to Dry Gulch where the road loops south for another 1.5 miles to an intersection with NFD 208 on the right (west). Proceed west 2.5 miles to an intersection with East Inman Canyon Road on the left (south). Head steeply up then down the rugged dirt road a little less than a mile to a "T" intersection. Turn right (west) remaining on East Inman Canyon Road and proceed west 1.5 miles to Inman Pass (6600') and an intersection with T1. Proceed down Inman Canyon 5.25 miles to an intersection with Rapid Creek Road. Turn left (south) and proceed south then west 3 miles into the small town of Inkom. Gas, food and supplies are available at several locations in Inkom and lodging is available 10 miles to the north in Pocatello.
route out of Inkom proceeds proceeds uphill past the cement plant in
the center of town on
West Portneuf Road. At the top of the hill turn left (south) on North
Marsh Creek road and proceed south 5 miles to Walker Creek Road on the
right (west). Head west 4 miles along West Walker Creek road until it
ends in a parking area. Follow the obvious ATV trail out of
the west end of the parking area
across the creek and proceed about 0.25 miles to a fork in the
trail. Take the right fork and ascend steeply 2 miles of single track
trail to Indian
Mountain Pass (6600'). Continue along the trail steeply
downhill another 3 miles to
Lead Draw. From
Lead Draw turn right (west) onto East Fork Mink Creek road (paved) and
0.5 miles to South Fork Mink Creek Road. Turn
left (southwest) and
follow it about 4 miles to Crystal Summit and another intersection with
T1. From here the two routes run together for 20 miles or so.
Riders on large dual sports will probably want to avoid the steep and fairly technical single track by riding west then north from Inkom along West Portneuf Road to an intersection with Mink Creek Road just south of Pocatello. From here it is about 8 miles to Crystal Summit. One may also try any of several routes in and out of Pocatello indicated in the T1 and T2 gpx files and topos. The preferred Pocatello route goes up Blackrock Canyon to the top of Chinese Peak and down to the Tour of Idaho Flagpole/Mailbox.
Crystal Summit head south on Mink Creek Road south
several miles to an intersection with Lusk Loop on the left. Follow
Lusk Loop south then west several miles to an intersection with Arbon
Valley Road. Cross Arbon Valley Road and go another 0.5 miles to an
intersection with Bailey Road. Turn left (south) and follow Bailey Road
a mile or so to Knox Canyon Road.
Turn right (west) and follow Knox Canyon Road several miles west and south to a pass just north of Deep Creek Peak. Continue west, descending into Big Canyon toward ID 37 in the Rockland Valley. At the intersection of Big Canyon Road and ID 37 continue west, crossing ID 37, to Flint Canyon Road. Follow Flint Canyon Road southwest about 9 miles to an intersection with NFD 579. From here the routes part and T1 veers north to Canada.
To continue along T2 turn left and follow NFD 579 as it winds south for a couple of miles to Hartley Canyon Road. Turn right (south) and go about 0.1 miles to Sublett Creek Road on the right (southwest). Follow this about 8 miles to Sublett Reservoir. Continue another 5 or so miles west along Sublett Road to 3350 E Road on the left (south).
The next 50 miles or so are very fast.
Head south about 3 miles to an intersection
Spring Canyon Road. Turn right and head southwest about 0.25
I-86. Take the underpass beneath the freeway and turn right (north) on
Juniper Road then go another 0.25 miles to Pierce Lane on the left
Proceed west 9 miles to an intersection with Clover Lane on the left
(south). Head south 6 miles to a "T" intersection with Kelly
Turn right (west) and go 0.5 miles to a point where the road veers
south. Continue 2.5 miles to an intersection with SR 81/Old Highway 30
S. Cross the highway and
miles Ey Road. Follow Ey road
generally west through the Raft River Narrows 9 miles to Narrows Road
on the left (south). Go west 7 miles to Almo Road. Turn right (north)
and proceed 1 mile north into Almo. Gas, food and lodging are available
The route out of Almo heads back south to City of Rocks Road on the right (west) just south of town. Follow this west 4 miles to an intersection. Turn right and continue west along City of Rocks Road 4 miles to Birch Creek Road. Turn right (north) and follow Birch Creek Road 13 miles northwest to Oakley. The last few miles into Oakley are paved. Gas and food are available in Oakley during daylight hours.
Take South College Street out of Oakley which turns into 500W. Two miles south of Oakley the route turns right (west) onto 2200 South. After 0.5 miles turn left (south) onto 600S. After another 0.5 miles veer right (west) onto Trapper Creek Road/NFD 533. Proceed around the north side of Lower Goose Creek Reservoir and some 15 miles southwest to an intersection with NFD 538/Monument Peak Road on the right (north). From here the route climbs 4 miles to the spectacular summit of Monument Peak (8000') and it's commanding view of the South Hills (Note: The road across Monument Peak is often blocked by snow drifts until late in the year. This is easily bypassed via ATV trails on either the north or south). Continue north another 5 miles to the beginning of paved road (Rock Creek Road) just south of Magic Mountain Ski area. Proceed north 2 miles to Shoshone Basin Road on the left (west). Follow Shoshone Basin/Magic Mountain Road generally west about 24 miles to US 93 and the town of Rogerson. Gas and food are available at Rogerson.
From Rogerson it is possible to ride 19 miles south on US 93 to the casino resort town of Jackpot, Nevada where one will find relatively luxurious dining, lodging and gambling if that's your game.
up with gas at Rogerson as it's difficult to find for much of the
western part of the route (200+ miles if one takes the route through
the Wikahoney stage stop). From
Rogerson proceed west 8 miles west to Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir. Go
west another 2 miles along Three Creek Road to to Antelope Spring -
Roseworth Road on the right (north).
The next 150 miles are very fast. Proceed northwest about 3 miles to a nondescript road that heads west down into Cedar Creek. Follow this road about 3/4 of a mile down into the canyon. Proceed south for about a mile down the canyon to a hairpin that heads back to the north and out the west side of the canyon. At the canyon's rim turn left (south) onto a series of roads that parallel Cedar Creek (Note: it is also possible to follow Antelope Spring-Roseworth Road northwest a few more miles to an intersection with House Creek Road).
After a few miles turn right (west) just west of Three Mile crossing and continue northwest another 5 or so miles to an intersection with House Creek Road. Turn right (northeast) and proceed 0.5 miles to another intersection on the left. Turn left (northwest) and proceed 7 miles to Devil Creek and Big Bend Crossing. Head west 4 miles to a "T" intersection. Turn right (northeast) and go 0.5 miles. Turn left (northwest) and proceed 7 miles toward Horse Butte on
|Horse Butte Road. Continue
miles north then
west to Clover Road. Turn left (southwest) and go a few miles
an intersection with Clover Three Creek Road on the right.
From here the route west splits. The northern variant is more dual sport friendly and much faster. To follow this variant turn right and proceed northwest along Clover Three Creek Road 27 miles to an intersection with Hot Springs Road on the Bruneau River. From the intersection with Hot Springs Road head northwest 0.5 miles along Hot Springs Road to Blackstone Grasmere road on the left. Turn left (west) and go about 0.25 miles to an intersection with Sugar Valley Road. Turn right (north) and proceed north then west along Sugar Valley Road some 9 miles to an intersection with ID 51. From here it is possible to proceed about 7 miles north to the small village of Bruneau for gas before 7 p.m. Proceed west across ID 51 to Shoofly Road. Follow Shoofly Road northwest approximately 10 miles to an intersection with Poison Creek Road. From here it is possible to proceed about 8 miles north to Grandview for gas 24/7. Otherwise turn left (southwest) and go 8 miles to Poison Creek Cutoff on the right (north). Continue southwest along Mud Flat Road several miles to an intersection with Antelope Ridge road on the right (north). This is followed northwest some 45 miles to Jordan Valley.
southern route is more scenic (it rocks - literally!) but also much
rugged. There are three variants and the choice depends on
inclination, ability and fuel range. To begin proceed south to
Clover Crossing. From here head south a little further
along Clover Three Creek Road to Indian Hot Springs Road on the right
(west). Follow this 4WD road west then south about 15 miles
the Bruneau River Launch Site. After climbing out of the west side of
the Bruneau Canyon follow a series of nondescript desert roads south
and west about 20
miles to Rowland Road.
The first variant is the easiest but requires a 200+ mile range since there is no gas before Jordan Valley (it is the only variant possible before late June). To begin follow Rowland Road north to the Grasmere Town Site (no gas). From Grasmere the route heads generally west some 20 miles along a series of roads past Duncan Butte, Wickahoney Point, and along Jacks Creek to Battle Creek Road, then northwest along Battle Creek some 15 rugged miles to an intersection with Mud Flat Road - almost directly south of Antelope Ridge Road.
From here there are two
options for the
distance to Jordan Valley: the recommended option is
more rugged and heads
northwest along Antelope Ridge road to Flint Creek road and into Jordan
Valley after 45 scenic miles, the longer (easier and equally scenic)
route proceeds southwest then north along the Owyhee Uplands Back
Country Scenic Byway/Juniper Mountain Road some 65 miles into Jordan
The second variant follows a series of nondescript and often rugged roads and trails from Rowland Road west and south along Antelope Creek to the town of Riddle on ID 51. Riddle has a general store that has gas when it's open (not often). It is possible to head west from Riddle to Garat Crossing on the Owyhee but this isn't recommended until late in the season (and even then not highly). Otherwise from Riddle it's 15 miles south along ID 51 to Mountain View Lake where the route leaves the pavement and heads west (note: it's possible to go another mile south along ID 51 to a fully equipped gas station and deli), skirting the southern end of the Blue Creek Marsh, crossing the Owyhee just north of Pleasant Valley Road. Jog south to BIA904/State Line Road which is followed west for about 10 miles to an intersection with 45 Ranch Road. Follow this west, then north then northwest some 30 miles across the YP desert before turning north toward the Crutcher Crossing on the Owyhee.
climb north out of the Owyhee Canyon and proceed north along a
jeep trail 10 miles through Bull Basin and then to Bedstead
Ridge. Another 10 spectacular miles north over
Juniper Mountain and the route intersects with the Owyhee Uplands Back
Country Scenic Byway/Juniper Mountain Road which leads west and north
some 40 miles into
Fuel availability (along the recommended route):
- Martin Hackworth and Dan Colvin
1. TOPO image (map)
2. Google Earth Image
3. TOPO image (map)
4. TOPO image (profile)
5. Poison Creek Road
6. Blackfoot Reservoir
7. Indian Mountain Pass
8. Raft River
9. City of Rocks
10. Lower Goose Creek Reservoir
12. Monument Peak
13. South Hills
15. Bruneau Overlook
16. Bruneau Crossing
17. Owyhee River Canyon
18. Owyhee Canyon, Crutcher Crossing
Maps: GPS, 500K Map, East 100k, Central 100k, West 100k Legend: white = paved, blue = gravel/chipseal, red = dirt, yellow = jeep/atv, green = single track. For National Geographic TOPO users, the .tpo map file.
Video: Bruneau River Crossing, Flint Canyon mp4, Trapper Creek/Monument Peak Road mp4, City of Rocks mp4, John Boyd Draw mp4.
Related Story: T2 2009