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Idaho Nerds off Road

The Elusive Hagerman Off-Road Park


As we sit here in a random south Idaho parking lot, getting buffeted by 30mph winds and much stronger gusts, it seemed like a good time to write another blog. We’ll be here for at least 4 hours, til 6pm, when the wind is supposed to die down, then driving as far as we can before we’re too tired.

In the last blog I mentioned that we had a hard time finding dirt roads or trails for our bikes, and because we couldn’t use the truck for a while, we couldn’t take them anywhere. We spent a couple evenings after work riding around to places on the map that looked promising and finding either pavement or private roads. One evening we checked out a “road” that went through a Nature Reserve to find it had been gone for years and there was just a walking trail now, no motor vehicles allowed.

Our second Saturday in the area, we headed out to check out more of the Hagerman Fossil Beds. Before we had only ridden a mile or so in when it started getting dark and we had to turn back. After a 10 mile road to the park, we saw two vehicles in a row with ATVs and dirtbikes. As we kept going a third vehicle with 4 bikes in the back turned from a road onto the one we were on. This was a definite sign. We headed up the road to backtrack where they’d come from and within a mile found an offroad park that covered hundreds of acres!

Luckily we were already wearing all our motorcycle gear this time so we had a great time exploring trails, roads and hills. Many of the hills were really meant for wirey little 2 stroke dirt bikes half the weight of our bikes, but we managed pretty well on the more reasonable hills. There was sand at times, rocky areas, burms and kelly bumps that made some of the trails feel like a roller coast ride. We kept exploring til we made it to the end of the park, where we saw way more cows than people, and found a little oasis with trees, bushes and a water crossing (creek) before heading back towards the start. We did one trail twice on the way out. There had been an intimidating hill on that trail but even worse from the other direction. I have problems trusting my bike’s power on hills, often I’m in the lowest gear by the time I reach the top and this hill was longer than some of the others, and sandy. Nevertheless, both of us managed fairly easily and neither of us dropped our bikes once the whole day. Pretty good start to the season!

We returned one weekday evening and again our last Sunday in town, again with no spills, even when we found ourselves in 7-10 inch deep sand, which neither of us have much experience in. Maybe we need to step it up a notch – it just doesn’t feel right not to drop the bike at least once in a while! This place was relatively calm compared to some of the stuff we did in California and Colorado, aside from the crazy steep hills. We did a couple moderate ones and most of the rest seemed out of our range, but we probably could have pulled off several more. There’s always the next park, trail or mountain road! – After 2 weeks in Spokane, it’s off to Bend where there’s forest service roads right next to the RV park. We’ll be set!


Leaving the park a bit early because of lightning and possible hail.

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