Trail Creek Road is a part paved, part gravel road that goes over a mountain range which I could not find a name for and connects Sun Valley (where we are) to Highway 93 in Idaho. It is a short cut to the towns of Challis and Arco, but not a road to be taken lightly as a Sunday Drive. I thought I would take the bike up the road as far as it and I could go before it got so steep we couldn't continue.
A mile up from camp I was greeted with this sign.
A bit further this sign.
They really want to stress the point it seems.
I honestly didn't think I'd make it to the summit not knowing how far away the summit was nor how steep it would be, so I was really surprised to see the road level out at 6.5 miles into the ride. Still I wasn't sure if this was the high point or not. I talked with a man in a truck who had just come up from the other way and he didn't know either except to say it was all uphill on his side with no downhill so this was it, the summit.
Plus it was the dividing line for two different national forests so that pretty well cinched it. Nothing stated what the elevation was and after a bit of research back at camp I found 7910'.
My camp is at 6353' so the climb was 1557', no big deal. I see a lot of road cyclists go by camp and assume they turn around at the dirt. I see a lot of cars with mountain bikes strapped on go by and they probably are parking at the dirt and ride from there on to the summit.
Anyway, it wasn't all that terrifying of a road as some accounts put it online. As near as I can determine it is another 50 some miles to Highway 93 so it can't be all that steep on the other side. Nevertheless they seem to want to freak out those coming from that direction for in addition to the signs I saw at the beginning they had this one for those heading downhill to our camp.
At the summit was a weather station set back in the woods. From what I read online the snow can get well over 10 feet deep in the winter. The road is only open during the summer months and it takes them four to five days to clear and grade the road before opening it up to travel.
There was this too.
I want to be in the path for this and tentatively planning for Nebraska as my viewing location.
Time to head downhill to camp.
I got up to 33 mph.
Don't tell anyone.
A stop along the way to show it isn't so bad a road and would in fact be a nice Sunday drive after all.
See the white car?
Incidentally, I met a truck dragging a camper trailer up the gravel road.
No big deal.