Thursday, May 25, 2017

Around The Little Camas Canals Bike Ride

Last edited on May 25, 2017

This May 10, 2017, southern Idaho mountain biking ride in the hills south of the South Fork of the Boise River was a good experience for a guy who just trying to find his "bike legs." The adventure consisted of riding on gravel and dirt roads as well as a segment of 2-track in a location that never gets much vehicle traffic. It also follows along a 100-year-old canal system that runs high above the Boise River system.

Mountain bike on trail above the South Fork of the Boise River
The mountain bike ride provides grand views of Idaho's South Fork of the Boise River

Where The Ride Starts, Goes And Ends

My trailhead is located near the intersection of Nation Forest System Road 131 and Northeast Dixie Cut Off Road off Idaho's U.S. Highway 20.  I just pull off the road and unload my mountain bike and ride away.

The first leg of the ride in about as straight a dirt road as is possible. It's also an undulating uphill ride that even I don't have to dismount to get up the hills. There are three cattle guards that I still walk across, however.

Make a left or go north on NFS 164A that will wind you around the canal system on a 2-track road. As of mid-May 2017, there were no signs for NFS 164A. This hard packed dirt road hangs on the hillside about 1,000 feet about the South Fork of the Boise River. The views are pretty special so do stop and take it all in.

Idaho's Dixie Valley located below the mountain bike trail
Self-named Dixie Valley sits below this mountain bike trail 65 miles from Boise, Idaho.

The 2-track then heads up a hillside overlooking the old settlement of Dixie, Idaho. Good luck in riding up this hill. I'm sure some can do it but I still have to walk most of the way up. Once on the summit, you'll head back down into what I call Dixie Valley (it's not). This portion can get rather steep so use some caution as you head south.

Once you bottom out and follow the canals again for a few hundred yards you'll bear right back on to Northeast Dixie Cut Off Road on your way back to the trailhead. This is another uphill portion of the ride I had to walk but I believe by the end of the summer I'll have the strength to ride it.

Once you've summitted that hill, the ride back is the gradual downhill that you rode on the outward leg. Enjoy the scenery or bomb it back to your vehicle.

The GPX Map

Bike Ride Specifics And Other Information

  • Mileage Of The Ride: 8.98 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1,163 feet 
  • Slope: Average = 4.7% Max = +20.9 /-40.8%
  • Trailhead Coordinates: 43.313215, -115.545617
  • Bike: Cannondale SM700
  • Land Ownership: 100% public lands
  • Facilities: None
  • Road Mileage from Boise, Idaho to Trailhead: 65.4 miles
  • Link To More Photographs:

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Originally published on May 25, 2017.


Tim Bondy
Freelance Writer & Citizen Journalist

I am currently a proud citizen journalist, aka "enemy of the American People!"

P.S. It is my opinion that Mountain Home, Idaho is a city in decline. While you could find goods and services in that town, I suggest you avoid Mountian Home completely.

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