Idaho’s Hot Springs and Cold Creeks, Day 6: back to Ketchum

Route of Day 6, 59 miles.

Route of Day 6, 59 miles.

Elevation profile of Day 6. 3900 ft. el. gain.

Elevation profile of Day 6. 3900 ft. el. gain.

We woke up to find everything dry; no dew had come down nor had humidity collected on stuff overnight. The sun was shining and we had a laid back gravel grinder to Ketchum before us. I wasn’t exactly sure how many miles it would be, I was guessing 40ish, but there was a 9000 ft. pass along the route. No rush to get up, so I laid there and enjoyed the morning for a while, while Lee dutifully took down the our hanging food from the bear rope and delivered me my bag.
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The Nat. Forest Dev. Rd. 80 lead us quickly to a crossing of the Bear Creek; it was a big stream and my shoes went from dry to totally soaked once again.

Down Bear Creek on the Nat. Forest Dev. Rd. 80.

Down Bear Creek on the Nat. Forest Dev. Rd. 80.

A few vacation houses lined the Boise River Road and lead us to the even bigger Nat. Forest Dev. Rd. 227. The gravel was white and my eyes hurt in the bright sunshine.

Quite a few travel trailers made the Nat. Forest Dev. Rd. 227 road a bit annoying.

Quite a few travel trailers made the Nat. Forest Dev. Rd. 227 road a bit annoying.

"For Sale By Owner"

“For Sale By Owner”

While waiting in the shade, I heard some splashing in the creek behind me but I couldn’t see anything. Just as Lee rides up, he sees a cinnamon-colored bear crossing the road behind me. We both couldn’t get our cameras out in time, but I did get his footprints 🙂

Wet bear footprints.

Wet bear footprints.

The road soon turned east towards Worswick Hot Springs and Ketchum, and became much quieter. For the next 25 miles, we encountered only 3 pickup trucks. Nice.

Along the quieter portion of Nat. Forest Dev. Rd. 227.

Along the quieter portion of Nat. Forest Dev. Rd. 227.

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Worswick Hot Springs looked really inviting, big sky and quiet, but I had read that there are red spider mites at this hot spring, so we passed on. Anyhow, it was hot and sunny, we were sweaty, the last thing I wanted to do was jump in some hot water.

At Worswick Hot Springs.

At Worswick Hot Springs.

Worswick Hot Springs.

Worswick Hot Springs.

The gravel road up and over Dollarhide Pass seemed to go on for quite a while, then the downhill seemed to be even longer. It was certainly pretty, just much longer than I had thought.

Crested the pass.

Crested the pass.

Down on Warm Springs Creek Road.

Down on Warm Springs Creek Road.

And then it got more populated, as evidence by car alarms, urban trash containers waiting for pick up, and lots of signs.
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Frenchman's Bend Hot Spring

Frenchman’s Bend Hot Spring

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Finally, we had made it back to Ketchum. Our ride speed had been pretty well matched today: sometimes we yo-yoed back and forth, but overall didn’t fall grossly out of pace.
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A quick stop at the Ketchum pump track.

A quick stop at the Ketchum pump track.

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We had completed our 6-day loop and didn’t know what to do next! How about some food? We poked around town on our bikes and found a mexican place. Not long after sitting down, we saw a car with 2 red Salsa Spearfishes off the back. Those look familiar. And then Ryan and Bryan stepped out and joined us for dinner. What a nice surprise! Some chatting over food and beer was had.
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We looked for a place to sleep in Ketchum, but it all seemed very expensive. So we drove on to Arco and slept in a small motel for $75. Lee did his bike-packing miracle in the morning; it took about 45 minutes to take the bike apart and store it in 2 boxes that he checked as luggage with Allegiant Airlines.
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Quite the efficient packing system. The wheels went in the 2nd box. 29ers are big!

Quite the efficient packing system. The wheels went in the 2nd box. 29ers are big!

And I had a long drive back to Seattle, which seemed like a blur.
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Afterword:

I had wanted to ride a lot more in the beginning of this trip, but we seemed to equalize by day 3.5. Overall, I am quite happy with what we had accomplished and astonished by what we had seen. “The one who goes fastest goes alone.” – Making compromises and communicating our expectations were some things we worked on during the trip. That really made the trip happen in the end, and I think we both were glad that we put in the effort. Biking is one thing, but biking and adventuring together for days is quite another. It’s not often that one finds a combination that works: fitness, reliability, patience, and getting along, all need to happen. Thanks, Lee, for a great week!

Check out the other days and gpx track of route on the main page.

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One Response to Idaho’s Hot Springs and Cold Creeks, Day 6: back to Ketchum

  1. Pingback: Bikepacking Idaho’s Hot Spring and Cold Creeks | 2wheeltrails

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