Situated in the heart of Idaho's captivating landscapes, the Elk Trail Loop, close to North Fork, is a test of endurance and will, promising not only an adrenaline boost but also the sheer beauty of the surrounding mountains. While its complex terrains offer an adventurous ride, the array of wildlife populating the area adds an unexpected charm, turning each ride into a tale worth sharing.
Elk Trail Loop prides itself on its intricate single-track terrains, derived largely from old road beds and game trails frequently used by the region's wildlife. The ascent is notable for its challenging nature, complemented by an equally exhilarating downhill segment. From the onset at the Wagonhammer Creek, riders are faced with a stream crossing approximately a mile in. A sharp turn to the right directs cyclists onto a steady climb, following an old road bed leading to a ridge saddle. Maintaining the path means sticking to this old bed and making a sharp left, progressing until another saddle and gate are reached.The highlight of this trail is the long sidehill section, which showcases steep and wide-open faces, truly testing one's biking finesse. After navigating this segment, another fence and saddle await, with the continuation of the loop found to the left (beware of the misleading trail to the right that reaches a dead end). The following section is marked by sidehilling leading to a ridge, adorned by a carsonite Lewis and Clark sign – a nod to the iconic explorers who ventured here centuries ago.The descent that follows is both sharp and exhilarating, dropping a whopping 1000' within a span of just over a mile. This decline culminates near the Wagonhammer Creek, and from here, it's a serene ride along the creek back to the starting point, interspersed with a few fence and stream crossings. For those with energy reserves, the Burns Loop offers an additional challenge. It's accessible by turning right post the rocky road segment following the aforementioned descent.
To reach the Wagonhammer Trailhead:
In conclusion, the Elk Trail Loop is more than a bike trail; it's a rendezvous with nature, history, and adventure, all rolled into one.