Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: SW Washington, USA
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My wife and I rode this route in 2001, east to west. Just thinking about it still sends chills down my spine -- the good kind. We went from Rexburg up Hwy 28 to Salmon, through Stanley, McCall, to the Snake River. Spectacular scenery from Salmon all the way to Hells Canyon, especially the Sawtooths. Roads were excellent, and relatively low traffic except on Hwy 95. Seeing as that was 6 years ago, road conditions might have changed... But I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
Lots of campgrounds, hot springs on Hwy 21, Stanley has the best bakery in Idaho, historical sites abound. The first 80 miles out of Rexburg (westbound) are the only exception; this is dry and desolate, only one town (Terreton) and a couple hamlets until Leadore.
The stretch between Lowman and Garden Valley follows a river, but it was surprisingly tough because the road climbs and dips multiple times, high over the bluffs. One of the best parts of the ride was descending out of the Sawtooths, I seem to remember about 20 miles without pedaling, lots of it on the brakes. If you're heading east..... forget I mentioned it