Mountain Bike Vs. Dirt Bike in the Idaho Mountains
Endless miles of connecting trails surround my hometown of Sun Valley, Idaho, and create the gateways to the Pioneer, Boulder, and Smokey Mountains adjacent to the resort community. After mountain biking locally in Sun Valley my entire life, I thought I’d ridden almost all the trails our area had to offer — boy, was I mistaken.
This spring I popped for a 4-stroke 250 enduro bike after a kick in the ass by a few friends who often ride 75+ miles of single track in one afternoon. The mountains and trails don’t stop at Sun Valley — traveling north over historic Galena Summit, the Sawtooth and Whitecloud Ranges jut out from Stanley Basin near the headwaters of the Salmon River. This network of trails will take you wherever you want to go, given you have a good map and the motivation to explore high-alpine basins, fields of wildflowers, crystal clear freshwater lakes, and dramatic views of jagged mountains for 360 degrees.
As an outdoor and action photographer, I was enthralled at my new-found ability on the motorbike to travel great distances into the mountains and carry my camera gear on my back. Locations once too far to imagine schlepping my camera suddenly became accessible with relative ease. I quickly found myself standing atop new mountain ridges, catching the last light of an epic sunset to the west and watching the moon rise to the east. I began to realize I was exploring trails on moto that would have otherwise been impossible to pull off on a mountain bike ride due to loose soil, steep climbs, and remote locations.