Rocky Bar's James Creek Road on a Mountain Bike - Road Closed
On Saturday May 30th, 2009 I decided I would take a short bicycle trip up James Creek Road that heads to the northeast out of Rocky Bar, Idaho towards Atlanta. The Boise National Forest office in Mountain Home said this road was still closed for the season but hiking, horses and mountain bikes were allowed to use it. So at 12:00PM, I was on my bike and headed up the road with a starting temperature of about 75F.
James Creek Road is a gravel road that steadily climbs from Rocky Bar to the James Creek Summit and then back down to Atlanta. With Rocky Bar at about 5,300 feet and James Creek Summit at 7,600 feet, I wasn't expecting to make it up to the snowbound section of the road. My goal was to get to the bridge crossing of a creek called Elk Creek. Overall, the gravel/dirt road was in good shape but there are a few places where the road got slight landslided on.
Characterization of the AreaThis little portion of Idaho could be characterized as a trail that follows a nicely treed creek bed with some awesome views of the surrounding mountains. There are quite a number of places one could camp in relative solitude. Off the road, the terrain is rather steep in most places but for the adventurous souls, some cross country hiking could lead to even better views and fun times. If the sheer amount of tracks are any indication of how many deer live in this area, then I'd say it's highly populated with them.
Things I SawThe Elk Creek waterfall where it crosses James Creek Road was running very high on this day. I stopped for a while and rested while taking in the scenery. Definitely a place to see during the Spring melt season. I also encountered a very curious mule deer on the road. This deer actually saw/heard me and instead of running away, it actually came towards me to see what I was. There were thunderstorms in the area almost the entire time I was out there. I never got rained on but one lightening strike hit rather close by around 12:45PM making me jump...to say the least. One of the best part of the whole trip was what I didn't see or hear. I was totally alone (I think) on a warm Saturday in the Boise Mountains at the end of May.
Details:Date: 30 May 2009
Who: Tim Bondy from the bondyweb.com
Distance Covered: About 10 Miles or 5 miles up the road and 5 miles back.
Altitude Change: From about 5300 feet at the start of the ride to 6650 feet before turning around.
Top Speed on my Bike: 23mph
Best Season: Early May until the James Creek Road opens for the season. I'd avoid trying this on a mountain bike when there are cars and trucks on the road.
Biking Fun Factor: Very high on the way down the road but low heading up the road.
Scenic Factor: Very high!
Exploration Factor: Medium as it's a dirt road.
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