Tucked away in the scenic outskirts of North Fork, Idaho, the trail from Big Hole Pass to Sheep Creek promises a thrilling cycling journey. With its intricate terrains, steep descents, and rich historical residues, this route deserves the attention of those who seek challenges in the world of mountain biking.
Starting from the Big Hole Pass, head south on a double-track road. Brace for a couple of sharp inclines before spotting the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) on the left, roughly a mile into the journey. The CDT introduces riders to a delightful 2-mile stretch of rolling singletrack within a dense forest. Emerging from this, encounter a hunting camp perched on a ridge.From here, eyes are directed to a gate signaling the beginning of a rather steep descent. Note that as of early 2013, there's ongoing work to reroute the CDT from this road, aiming to enhance the riding experience. As this decline evens out, the road reveals signs of yesteryear's mining endeavors before presenting a major stream crossing.Post this aquatic interlude, the trail takes cyclists past a rustic cabin, leading to a pivotal junction. Here, take the right turn, veering away from the CDT and embracing the Sheep Creek Trail. This segment features yet another stream crossing and a challenging ascent—almost 1000' over 2 miles. But worry not, for the steep pushes are interspersed with level sidehills, making the ride feasible.After crossing a ridge, prepare for a 500' descent, followed by a traverse across an open face leading to another ridge. The culmination of this journey is the mesmerizing 1200' descent into Elkhorn Gulch, ending with a shallow stream and a ride alongside Sheep Creek. As the journey nears its end, the trail widens into a gravel road leading down to the highway.
To embark on this adventurous journey:
The trail from Big Hole Pass to Sheep Creek is not just a route; it's a rite of passage for avid mountain bikers. Its varied terrains and historical remnants make it an unforgettable experience, representing the raw beauty of Idaho.