Tucked away in the remote terrain near Leadore, Idaho, Big Timber Creek offers an authentic backcountry experience. This trail promises 19 miles of rugged, scenic riding best suited for those looking for a challenge. In an age where "flowy" trails often gain the most attention, Big Timber Creek harkens back to the days when trails were meant for navigating nature's challenges rather than smooth sailing.
Access to Big Timber Creek starts in Leadore, which is situated about 50 miles southeast of Salmon and approximately 100 miles northwest of Idaho Falls. From Leadore, head west on the only available road going in that direction. After a mile, take a left at the old road grader, following this gravel road. Roughly 7 miles in, you'll encounter a gate and an information panel. Continue for another 5 miles on Road 6105 to reach the starting point.
From the gated trailhead, riders follow Big Timber Creek Trail (Tr 6183.1). The initial section of this loop is heavily frequented by ATVs and showcases a rocky, loose surface. Brace yourself for an exhilarating descent into the Big Timber Creek drainage. However, caution is advised, as you'll need to climb back up this route on your return.Further down, riders will hit a gate that marks the end of ATV access and the beginning of a single-track journey. This leads to a stream crossing at Rocky Creek. Take a right onto Rocky Creek Trail (Tr 6184) to begin a 7-mile, 2,200-foot climb leading up to a mountain pass flanked by Rocky, Junction, and Yellow Peaks.
For this kind of trail, preparation is key:
Big Timber Creek offers a remarkable yet challenging ride for seasoned mountain bikers. From difficult climbs to scenic views, this trail brings the raw beauty of Idaho's backcountry front and center. After a long ride, you may find solace in knowing you've conquered one of the Gem State's most challenging trails. Don't forget to stash some beers in a cooler at the trailhead; you’ll have earned them.