On bikes, ride East and then South on Forest Road 315 for approximately 2 1/2 miles and 350 feet of uphill. In a saddle where the main road begins its descent into Meadow Creek turn right on Forest Road 306. Ride about 1 1/4 miles of flat, then a short 1/2 mile climb (300 feet) to a saddle on the main divide. (The single track on the right of the saddle will take you back to Rabbit Creek Summit.) Ride through the saddle and descend on the main road for about 1 mile to a junction with the old, but heavily used, Bannock Creek Road (now abandoned.) Turn right and descend North on the road for 1/2 mile to the trailhead described earlier. A very short sprint up and to the right will put you on the Bannock Ridge trail.
This trail is a well used motorcycle trail and easy to stay on route. If ever faced with indecision, either stay on the main ridge or look for what amounts to the most heavily used trail. The trail stays on the ridge following the terrain in its ups and downs for its entire length. The one and only push is 1/2 mile out. Following that, in the next two miles, there are three short, demanding advanced/expert descents through loose rock and decomposed granite sands. The rest of the ride is more user friendly, becoming more so as you descend further. At about mile 6 you will be faced with a steep descent down to an old logging road. If you notice leading out to this descent, there was a single track angleing down to the left. This will help you bypass the steep and at the bottom continue straight across the road onto a jeep trail and short climb over a small hump. Stay on the obviously heavily motocycled trail as it curves around to the left and shortly descends down into some unusual volcanic soils/rock and back onto the bottom end of the Bannock Creek road and out to your car. Total uphill: about 1000 feet. Total downhill: about 2500 feet.
The trailhead for this ride is to be found on the Rabbit Creek Summit Quad of the U.S.G.S. 7 1/2 minute topographic series. The actual beginning of the 7+ mile sigletrack trail is to be found in Section 10 of Township 5 N., Range 6 E. After locating this section, go to the S.W. corner of the S.W. quarter. Where the Bannock Creek road (solid lined road) and Granite Creek are the closest together (on the map) is where you will leave the road and get onto the single track that will then stay on the divide between Bannock Creek and Granite Creek in its entirety as it descends back to Highway 21. The best way to do this ride is with two cars, leaving one at the Pine Creek/Bannock Creek turnoff 1 1/4 miles east of Idaho City on Highway 21. In the second car, drive another mile+ east on Highway 21 to Granite Creek Road and drive approximately 6 1/2 miles to Rabbit Creek Summit. Park Here.
Reviewed by: poacher
Cross Country Rider
, from Boise
Summary: This is a great cross-country downhill trail, although it does have its ups, also. The short, but intense downhill sections are definetly advanced, but riding them is as solid as anything Trail 4 in Boise can throw at you.
After you get about four miles down on the divide ridge the trail leaves it to the left (west) and goes through some flat areas as it winds its way down through a well manicured young forest and eventually out along another low ridge to where you should be looking for the diagonal left-slanting trail that bypasses the last steep.
Recommended Route: Park after crossing Moores Creek on the Pine Creek/Bannock Creek road.
Ride up Bannock Creek for 4 1/2 miles. (Good idea to have computer on your bike and both Idaho City and Rabbit Creek Summit 7 1/2 minute topo maps.)
This road is abandoned after about 3/4 mile, but is still ridable. At 1 1/2 miles the W. fork of Bannock Crk. takes off to the right. Don't go that way. Continue in Main Fork of Bannock Crk. and enjoy the fact that you are the only people there. It gets rocky in a couple spots: they're short in duration. At about 3.3 miles you will leave the old road and go up on the right hillside on single track for two short stretches. After the second one continue on the road to about mile 4. Here you need to go left to stay in the main drainage as the head of Bannock Creek begins to open up out in front of you.
At 4 1/2 miles you will come to the upper-end road closure (tank traps and steel gate.) Go around gate and go left up Road 203 for another 2 3/4 miles.
At about mile 7 1/4 you should be at about 6100 feet and on you left is the short access by which you gain the divide and the beginnig of the trail.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Pine Creek Divide. Check it out in IDAHO Trails on MTBR.com trails search.
Review Date July 20, 2003
Overall Rating 4 of 5
Aerobic Difficulty 3 of 5
Technical Difficulty 4 of 5
Ridden Trail: Once a month
Reviewed by: poacher
Cross Country Rider
, from Boise
Summary: This is a great ride and I recommend you have the Idaho City and Rabbit Creek Summit 7 1/2 minute topo maps before attempting it. Much like Trail 4 off of the Boise Front road into Hull's Gulch: you will either love it or hate it. After the three slightly hairy, short steeps, the riding becomes reminiscent of most motorcycle trails: roller coaster bumps and smooth, banked turns.
Getting to this trail is the hard part. There are three options.
1. Rabbit Creek summit shuttle as described.
2. 1 1/4 miles E. of Idaho City on Hiway 21 turn right onto Pine Crk/Bannock Crk. road. Cross the bridge in 1/4 mile and park. Ride left up old Bannock Creek road (#203.) At 1/4 mile the volcanic area on your left is where you should come out at the end of your ride. After a short distance this rode becomes impassible by vehicle. Ride about 1 1/2 miles and cross the creek to road #305 (W. Fork of Bannock Creek.) The first 3/4 miles is a pull, but from then on it's cake. After about 1 1/4 miles stay left on the main road. In another 2 1/2 miles of easy riding on a good road you will come to a junction with road #304. Turn left and continue up. Stay on this easy, fast road for another 4 miles where you will come to a nice little treed flat (on your left) on an open ridge where people have camped and had fires and a single track passes through the campsite. Your odometer should read 9+ miles. Get on the single track and continue uphill for another 1/2 mile. At this point the trail goes steep and an old, flat road goes off to the left at the bottom of the steep. Turn left and ride out into the old burn. Continue clear around the head of Bannock Creek (flat and slightly down) for 2 miles to the next major road. This should be the Bannock Creek road coming in from the top. Go left down it for 1/4 mile and take the short 100 foot access trail off to the right that puts you onto the main Bannock Ridge Divide trail.
Back at the W. Fork of Bannock Creek turnoff you could stay in the creek bottom for another 2 3/4 to 3 miles and then go left on the old road for 2 1/2 miles up and out of the creek to the short access trail just described. I've not gone this way yet so good luck.
3. Ride Pine Creek Road (#304) all the way to the treed flat/campsite just described and get on the uphill single track.
Recommended Route: West Fork of Bannock Creek. 9.2 miles up. 9.3 miles down.
Other recommended trails in the same area: There are motorcycle trails all over in this area. Spend some time exploring: you never know what you'll find.