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Eastern Idaho has over 1800 miles of groomed trails, numerous off-load areas and quaint warming huts, as well as endless breathtaking open ridges, meadows, scenery, and wildlife. Learn More

May is When the Party gets Started

Posted On
May 08, 2015


May is here (almost), and this drier weather, getting out in the trails for hiking and biking is a little ahead of schedule.

Starting Friday, all of the trails open up on Kelly Mountain and the Kelly Canyon Area. Prior to Friday, most of the south side trails were closed to protect wildlife.

If you’ve been itching to get on the rails, most should be good to go, especially trails such as the Sidewinder and Stinking Springs trails which face south.

Other nearby trails, such as those in the Hawley Gulch area and Wolverine Creek area should be in good shape with perhaps a few wet areas in the extra shady spots. These trails are popular with mountain bikers and hikers, and close enough for after work outings if you live in Idaho Falls, Rigby or Rexburg.

Most of the trails in the Horseshoe Canyon area (on the east side of the Big Hole Mountains) are good to go with a few wet areas. It’s best to tread lightly on wet sections so as not to leave any lasting damage.

“I just rode Horseshoe Canyon Trail last night,” a spokesman at Fitzgerald’s Bicycles said Wednesday.”It’s riding very well. The report on Aspen Trail is it is riding good as well.”

If you’re headed to Teton Valley this weekend, I recommend trying out the Aspen Trail for biking/hiking. This 4-mile trail (one way) is a little lower elevation in the foothills of the Teton Range and outside of the wilderness area. I like to do it from south to north, starting near the mouth of Darby Canyon. The trail ends on the north at the end of Rapid Creek Road. For more directions, consult the book, “Eastern Idaho Sweet Spots.”

For those looking for a long mountain bike ride, set a weekend day aside this season to do the Ashton to Tetonia Rail Trail. This adventure – about 29 miles - takes at least half a day with stops for picture taking and car shuttling, etc. There are thrilling bridges over creeks and chasms worth pausing to soak up the views. The best bridges are over Bitch Creek and Fall River. If you want to do the entire route, I like the north to south approach. If you just want sections, the southern half is great.

I have friends who solve the car shuttle challenge by starting at opposite ends and exchanging car keys when they meet in the middle. You just have to hope neither party gets off route and misses the other. The path is generally obvious, except for one detour in the middle.

A favorite early season hike is up Moose Creek Canyon east of Victor. This canyon is a little lower elevation and melts out sooner than most. If you go too early, you could be fighting snow, but after the snow melts, there is an impressive falls not far up the canyon from the Meadows (about 4 Miles).