The public lands surrounding the Pocatello valley are literally crisscrossed with a network of mountain bike trails. It isn't an exaggeration when we say that the riding here is outstanding. There is something for everyone. We have had riders from throughout the United States come on our common adventure rides and nearly all say that Pocatello trails are among the best they have ever been on. A recent magazine article seconds that opinion, describing the Pocatello area as a little known mountain biking paradise. Terrain ranges from mild jeep roads to technical single tracks. You can meander across sage covered benches, dart through cedar covered hills, and coast beneath the sweeping boughs of grand old firs and pines.
This guide is best used in combination with Mike Sullivan's Pocatello
Area Trail Map. This exhaustive map is available at Pocatello Sporting
Good Stores or at the ISU Outdoor Program. We encourage all riders
to obey all posted signs and to take care of our environment. Please
pack out all your trash and stay on the established trails. To be
certain you are riding on trails and roads that are open to mechanized
travel it is advisable to obtain a Travel Plan Map from the Forest Service.
This map is available for free. Just stop by the Federal Building
located at 250 South 4th, room #187, Pocatello.
This area is a good place to ride in cooler weather or when time is short. To get to it, drive from Old Downtown Pocatello north on Main Street to Carson Street. Turn left on Carson and head west to Raymond Park. Keep heading west over the Portneuf River and up Trail Creek Road. (Carson ends at the bridge where there is a big intersection of streets and then the name changes to Trail Creek). Follow Trail Creek to Foothill. Turn north (right) and follow Foothill for three blocks. You should be at the top of Ravine and the bottom of Trail Creek Road. Head up Trail Creek to the top, park, get out your bike, and enjoy.
The map below is somewhat vague. This is because the trails go
everywhere, crisscrossing each other. Trying to explain how to stay
on a given route is madness so just go explore this area.
Having said this, there is one particular trail that should be mentioned. Just south of the Trail Creek road is a drainage that has a nice jeep road ride. The drainage was the site of a fire in 1992 so the trees are all charred. To get on the trail, park your vehicle just past the last home in the school bus turn-out. Ride up the road and watch for a spur road heading to the left through a fence. Follow the spur road which eventually turns into a cow trail near the top. This alternate route is a popular ride that is out of the way of shooters.
Begin the ride by following the trail along the City Creek riparian zone. You'll be heading in a westerly direction working your way up to the base of Kinport Mt. The trail is a great single track and used frequently by other riders. Some sections of the trail offer technical riding avoiding roots, rocks, and worn shoulders. At times it pops out onto a gravel road, but just look for places to get back on the single track in the trees. About a mile and a half up the trail there is an intersection. Turn south to go up Kinport via Cusick Creek, the next drainage south of City Creek, or keep heading west to climb Kinport via City Creek. Turn north to get on the City Creek gravel road. Cusick Creek is a narrow service road which is more like two parallel single tracks. The route is somewhat rocky and steep in places. The scenery is great especially as you near the top of Kinport.
City Creek is a mix of single track and dirt road. Around a mile
after the intersection the single track darts out onto the City Creek road.
By this time the road is dirt and nice to ride on. When the road
starts to switch back out of the City Creek drainage, you can either head
up the road to summit Kinport or stay in the drainage following the creek
along a nice single track. Eventually the trail diminishes.
Turn around and enjoy the descent. In the higher elevations of City
Creek you get into some beautiful pines and aspens. The trails are
fairly smooth with occasional interuptions of rocks.
Finding either of the two trail heads can be a tricky endeavor. To get to the Gibson Jack access drive towards Scout Mountain by following Bannock Highway. Across from the entrance to the Juniper Hills Country Club is Gibson Jack Road. This is approximately four miles out of town. Follow Gibson Jack until the road ends. Park and ride following the single track that heads south (right of the parking area). Cross Gibson Jack Creek and ride up a series of switchbacks out of the drainage. This trail will eventually take you to a point just north of the Bannock Guard Station. From here you can ride back on Bannock Highway to Gibson Jack and your vehicle.
To start at the Bannock Guard Station keep driving up Bannock Highway past the Scout Mountain turn-off (Fuzy Tree Farm). About 100 to 200 yards past the Fuzy Tree Farm intersection is a hard to see dirt road dropping off to the right (north) of the road. The road is narrow and tall weeds and brush conceal it until you are right next to it. Turn down this road, cross Mink Creek, and park. The trail leads up a drainage then switches back up and out onto a ridge heading northwest towards Gibson Jack.
This ride is a challenging piece of trail. The climb is steep and somewhat technical, and the descent is fast. It alternates from open ridges and vegetated draws. In places, the trail is worn away and tends to suck a tire off, sometimes throwing a rider. Don't let it scare you. This ride is excellent.
The trail head for Valve House is on the east side of the Bannock Highway and begins beside a small building. Valve House is a cruise as it follows a fairly smooth jeep road. A loop can be made by dropping west off of the Valve House trail on a single track which connects with South Fork road. The single track can be hard to find but it is well worth the effort. Look for it when the climb up Valve House eases up and you start to descend. In this area, you will pass through a fence (this should be the second fence). About 100 yards down the trail from the fence, a drainage drops to your right. A single track descends into this drainage, follows it for a while, then climbs out of it and drops into another eventually making its way to the South Fork Road.
The single track is a downhill run and fun as can be. The scenery is excellent, if you take the time to slow down and see it. The trail is well traveled so you shouldn't get lost. Once on the South Fork, you can follow it back to Bannock Highway and return to your vehicle.
The Corral Creek trail leads west from the parking area, climbing up a drainage lined with trees. Eventually it connects with the Clifton Creek trail. From here, several loops are possible, either by heading south towards Crystal Summit or north towards the West Fork of Mink Creek. The Corral Creek trail is challenging, offering a good climb with technical areas.
The trails in this area range from smooth 4x4 roads, which resemble parallel single tracks, to rocky, rutted-out hill climbs. The rides mix quick descents with short hill climbs. This area is great in cool weather or when you need a quick mountain biking fix.