Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mahalo Trail is a great fall destination

Nick Raganit's mother expresses her appreciation

Former SWIMBA President David Thomas rides the memorial bench

Mahalo Trail profile (click to enlarge)

Mahalo Trail map (click to enlarge)

Hi all,

The Southwest Idaho Mountain Biking Association (SWIMBA) had a trail-dedication Sunday for the brand new Mahalo Trail near Bogus Basin, so I thought it'd share some information about it.

I rode the trail today (see helmet cam video), and it was totally beautiful up there on the Boise Ridge, with the fall colors (yellows and reds) kicking in big-time. I really enjoyed the trail -- it has some challenging rock features, fun switchbacks with banked corners, and lots of twisty singletrack through the woods.

SWIMBA trail-building leaders Dan Meeker, Mike Edwards and SWIMBA volunteers have put 2,000 hours into creating this trail. It's been a huge effort. These are the same guys who brought you the Eastside Trail, Mr. Big and Sinker Creek Trail near Bogus Basin. If you like these new trails, do your part and join SWIMBA to contribute to the cause.

Stephanie Church from the Mountain Home Ranger District of the Boise National Forest has been instrumental in assisting with the trail-creation effort, Edwards said. Thanks to Stephanie and the BNF!

How to get to the Mahalo Trail:
1. Drive to the trailhead: Take Bogus Basin Road about 12 miles toward the ski area. Turn right on Forest Road 275 next to a pullout. This is the Deer Point service road which connects to the Boise Ridge Road. Shift into 4WD, drive toward Deer Point, and at the Deer Point junction (gated), bear right and go .8 miles to the trailhead at Forest Road 275C. Ride on 275C past a gate .03 miles to the Mahalo Trailhead. The loop is 4.7 miles. 1 hour travel time for average riders. (See map above)

2. Do the loop from Bogus Basin. Park at the Simplot (Lower) Lodge. Take Deer Point Trail #91 about 2 miles to the top of Deer Point, then peel left to the Boise Ridge Road and go .8 miles past the gate to Forest Road 275C. Go left and proceed .03 miles past a gate to the Mahalo Trailhead. Ride the Mahalo Trail and circle back on the Boise Ridge Road to Deer Point (all uphill) and return to the lower lodge.

3. Incorporate Mahalo Trail as part of a Hard Guy-Dry Creek loop ride. Climb Hard Guy to the Boise Ridge Road. Go left and climb to Forest Road 275C. Turn right and ride the Mahalo Loop. Go left at Peace Rock Junction and watch for the Dry Creek turnoff on the right in the next mile. Descend Dry Creek (6.8 miles) to Bogus Basin Road and return to Boise.

It was really neat to see the photos of the SWIMBA trail dedication on Sunday posted by Dan Meeker on Facebook. Mike Edwards created a really nice memorial bench out of a ponderosa pine tree for the late Nick Raganit, who was a very dedicated SWIMBA ride leader and volunteer. Nick was a great guy who'd always help out the slowest riders or those in need. He used to come to many of my REI presentations to add helpful information to newcomers in Boise. You can see from the photo of his mother (above) that she was so grateful for the wonderful tribute to Nick.

It should be noted that even though the Mahalo Trail was built by mountain bikers, it's open to hiking, biking, running. It's a non-motorized trail, and there are several trail barriers/step-overs to ensure that it stays that way.
See if you can get out there and enjoy the new trail before winter sets in. You'll be glad you did.
- SS

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