Dirt Buzz Ride: Boise – Prairie – Boise

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Idaho is paradise for the adventure motorcycle rider; and being based in the southwest corner in Boise affords one the opportunity to ride in any direction and find amazing gravel roads and two-track. The Owyhee Mountains, Silver City, Hells Canyon Gorge, Sawtooth National Forest, and Boise National Forest are all within a few hours reach from Boise. With so many places in all directions it can be a difficult choice as to where to ride on any given weekend.

So we thought we’d share one of our favorite new rides that’s perfect for a short day ride. This scenic route is very easy and takes about three hours depending upon how many stops you make. (Which can be numerous with so much awe-inspiring scenery.) On this particular ride there is about 25 miles of pavement, with most of it coming at the start and end. The rest is fun gravel roads!

Ride Name: Boise ­– Prairie – Boise
Distance: Approximately 130 miles (depending upon start location)
Trip Time: 2:50h (+ or - depending upon how often you stop)
Average Speed: 45mi/h

The Route:

This circular out-and-back loop is easily accessible from Boise. (Click on Image to Enlarge)

[Map Point 1]  About 28 miles into the ride you begin to follow the South Fork of the Boise River. (Click on Image to Enlarge.)

[Map Point 2]  After climbing to the canyon rim you are rewarded with this million-dollar, mini-Grand Canyon-like view of the South Fork of the Boise River. (Click on Image to Enlarge.)

[Map Point 3] Lucky for me I didn't pin-it out the corner previous to this straight. Just as I was about to get on the throttle a deer ran across in front of me; and knowing they usually run in groups, I waited a moment and sure enough two more ran across. But it did allow me time to enjoy the scenery and snap this photo. (Click on Image to Enlarge.)

[Map Point 4] With the Spring temperatures melting the mountain snow this waterfall was in full flow. (Click on Image to Enlarge.)

[Map Point 5] The village of Prairie is a peaceful idyllic setting, especially for those that want to live off the the grid. (Click on Image to Enlarge.)

[Map Point 6] Idaho has some amazing geological features. I stopped here to inspect a section of an underground lava tube. Here thousands of years ago lava flowed underground toward the West Fork of the Boise River. The tube is clearly visible from the satellite Google map in the next photo. (Click on Image to Enlarge.)

[Map Point 6] This map clearly shows the lava tube. Lava flowed from right to left underground and off the side of the cliff into the gorge of the West Fork of the Boise River. (Click on Image to Enlarge.)

[Map Point 6] While inspecting the lava tubes I thought I'd point out the Danskin Peak Lookout in the distance. With a lot of snow still up there, a summit on the 1190 wasn't going to happen just yet. (Click on Image to Enlarge.)

[Map Point 7] South of Prairie a few miles before dropping down into the West Fork of the Boise River Gorge. (Click on Image to Enlarge.)

[Map Point 8] Another of Idaho's geological treasures. After you wind your way down to the West Fork of the Boise River you follow the river for a few miles before climbing up the south side. (Click on Image to Enlarge.)

[Map Point 9] The West Fork of the Boise River. A perfect place to hang out and bask in solitude for awhile. (Click on Image to Enlarge.)

[Map Point 10] After climbing out the West Fork of the Boise River gorge there's a 10-mile-ish stretch of fun twisty gravel followed by a short stint of pavement on U.S. Route 20. From there you head west on Immigrant Road and follow the original path of the Oregon Trail. (Click on Image to Enlarge.)

[Map Point 11] Taking Foothill Road you follow the Oregon Trail route through more fun twisty gravel. Be cautious in this section as it is Open Range and there are a lot of grazing cattle. On this ride I had to cautiously sneak though a group of bulls that were right on the edge of the road. After this snack stop it was on to Black's Creek Road and then pavement back to Boise. (Click on Image to Enlarge.)

All-in-all this is one fun ride with lots of amazing scenery. Next time I will have to stop at the Prairie Store for a bite to eat, as I have already been told the food there is great. For a little more of a look at this ride, here is a short video recap: