You are hereHit 10 2012 Challenge Sites in 2 "half day" rides

Hit 10 2012 Challenge Sites in 2 "half day" rides

By daxm - Posted on 03 June 2012

 This ride report is aimed to help a newbie offroad rider (such as myself) to at least achieve 10 Challenge sites for the 2012 Challenge!  (If you are reading this after 2012 then just ignore the bandana in all my pictures and enjoy the ride!) :-P

So, here are the 10 challenge points you will achieve after having ridden these 2 "1/2 day" rides: 02 Quartzberg, 03 Pearl, 04 Lucky Peak, 07 Squaw Butte, 14 Water Crossing, 18 War Eagle Mountain, 19 Ruby City, 20 Rockville, 25 inskip Station, and 29 Birch Creek Historic Ranch.


"1/2 Day" trip #1

The first loop will grab you Lucky Peak, Quartzberg, Squaw Butte, and Pearl (in that order).  I actually rode this trip in the other direction but I think it will be easier to describe in this order.  I left Boise around 14:30 and made it home by about 20:30 doing this trip.


04 Lucky Peak: Take Hwy 21 towards Idaho City.  After passing the front of the Lucky Peak dam watch on yoru left for a street named Highland Valley Rd on the left hand side of the highway.  Take that road and following it as far as it will go!  I've ridden this road twice now.  One time it was NOT graded and there were some not-so-nice washout areas.  Now it is graded and those washout areas are not-so-nice soft dirt areas.  Be sure to position your weight "uphill" from the back tire and keep the throttle rev'ed.



02 Quartzberg:  From the Lucky Peak challenge site return to Hwy 21 and continue towards Idaho City until you reach Grimes Creek Rd.  Take Grimes Creek Rd and follow it until it Ts into a paved road.  (Yes, a paved road in the middle of the moutains!)  , NF-307 is the name of this road.  Take a left onto the paved road and follow that road until it Ts into Placerville Rd.  Turn right onto Placerville Rd and follow it into Placerville.  This road will then T into Granite Creek Rd (in the middle of the city of Placerville).  Turn left onto Grante Creek Rd and follow it out of Placerville.  A few miles up this road there will be an road that splits off to the right and immediately crosses over a large culvert.  There are several "No Trespassing" signs on this road so either follow the road up to the mine or just take your challenge photo at this intersection.


07 Squaw Butte Outlook: Return to Placerville and turn right back onto Placerville Rd (returning the way you came).  Placerville Rd will change into Star Ranch Rd which will then change into Harris Creek Rd.  It is all the same road but follow it all the way until it connects into Hwy 55 just south of Horseshoe Bend.  Turn right onto Hwy 55 and go through Horseshoe Bend.  On the other side of Horseshoe Bend take a left onto Hwy 52.  This road will take us towards Emmett.  Hwy 52 will eventually take a sharp left towards Emmett, however, you are going to take a right at this intersection onto Van Deusen Rd.  Follow Van Deusen Rd  until there is a white fire district building on your right.  Take a right onto Butte Rd.  In about 1 mile take a left onto a dirt road that heads up to the Butte.  Follow this road till it ends.

Note:  Thanks to IdahoSam for the directions.  I would have never found this place without his guidance.  (That is what I get for heading out without a GPS, or even a map on this day!)



 03 Pearl:  Come down off of Squaw Butte and return the way you came to the intersection of Van Deusen Rd and Hwy 52.  Follow Hwy 52 into Emmett.  Hwy 52 will become Washington Ave which will finally T into Hwy 16.  Turn left onto Hwy 16 and follow it up and out of Emmett (towards Boise).  Watch for a road on the left labeled JAG.  Take this road.  (According to Google Earth JAG is really named Jackass Gulch Rd.)  JAG will T into Pearl Rd.  Turn right onto Pearl Rd.  Most of us stopped and took our "Pearl picture" in front of an old mine that has a front end of a car sticking out just above the entrance to the mine.


From here return the way you came and go home for a well deserved rest.  You've got a big day ahead of you tomorrow! 


"1/2 Day" trip #2

The second loop will grab you War Eagle Mountain, Ruby City, Water Crossing, Inskip Station, Birch Creek Historical Ranch, and Rockville.  I know what you are thinking: "6 sites in 1 day!"  but actually it isn't too bad.  I did notice my mileage on this day and I logged just over 300 miles in total.  Also, I left Boise around 13:00 and got home around 21:00.


19 Ruby City:  To get to Ruby City you need to go to Silver City in the Owyhees.  From Boise I went West on I-84 and then went West on Hwy 55.  In Marsing, turn left onto South Hwy 78 towards Murphy.  Follow Hwy 78 until about 5 miles past Murphy where there is a placard (and a road) to Silver City.  Turn right on Silver City Rd.  This road will wind into the mountains.  Unfortunately I need to have you pass the War Eagle Mountain turnoff (because I don't know how to explain where to turn from this approach) but it isn't too much of a backtrack.  When the Silver City Rd finally Ts into a road you have essentially reached Ruby City.  Yes, it is a bit anti-climatic but this is the spot. 

On the way to Ruby City:


18 War Eagle Mountain:   Turn around and head back up Silver City Rd towards Murphy/Boise.  Take the first right and follow this road up to the top.  I almost made it to the summit but just prior to reaching the top I ran into this snow drift.  :-(

 Note:  You can also get to War Eagle Mountain by going through Silver City and taking the second water crossing path (discussed in the next challenge point).  HOWEVER, it is not an easy path.  (A Silver City resident told me it was a Jeep trail, NOT!)  After stalling in the water and then crashing on the steep rocky climb I finally came to rest and took some photos.

This is back towards where the hard part was:



This is up the path.  Notice the fork in the road.  I took the wrong one (go figure) the first try and had to return to this spot and take the higher road:



14 Water Crossing:  Return to the Ruby City location and take a left.  This will take you into Silver City.  Pass through the city and along the left there are at least 2 places to record your water crossing.  The 1st place is fairly easy (I've driven my car through it) and I would advise you to use this location as your water crossing if you really are a newbie.  For the more adventurous (or less smart, such as myself) you can pass this spot and continue further out of Silver City and there is a more challenging crossing.  This crossing doesn't look like much but it is deeper than it looks!  (I stalled my bike out in it and the water was over my knee!)  Though the following picture is not from the Silver City area I'll post it here as a place marker.


25 Inskip Station: Go back through Silver City and continue straight on the road.  (i.e. Don't turn onto the Silver City Rd which goes toward Boise.)  Google Earth doesn't have a name for this road but follow it all the way to Jordan Valley, Or.  In Jordan Valley, Or turn left (South) onto Hwy 95.  About 5 miles out of Jordan Valley Hwy 95 will veer left and a road, called Danner Loop Rd, will continue straight.  Take the Danner Loop Rd until it Ts into another road.  Turn left onto this road and about 1/2 mile down this road you'll find the grave of John Baptiste Chardoneau.  This is essentially Inskip Station.

 Here is a close up of the placard:


29 Birch Creek Historical Ranch: Return to Hwy 95 and return to Jordan Valley.  Turn left to stay on Hwy 95 and leave Jordan Valley.  About 8 miles out of the town turn left onto Jordan Craters Rd.  Follow the signs that point toward Owyhee River.  (Note: As a side trip you can follow the signs to Jordan Craters, which is only another 3-5 miles from the Y in the road.)  You will drop down into canyon with a steep grade road.  Not that I would count them as "water crossings" you do "cross" over a stream 6 times while going through the canyon.  Eventually you pass the ranch.

 A couple of shots of Jordan Crater:



20 Rockville: On to our last challenge point!  Return to Hwy 95 and turn left (North).  Take the Succor Creek "exit" and follow that road.  If you are following a map be careful not to take your first major right turn along this road, my map barely shows this wrong turn and the sign that reports it as a dead end is "technically" no longer there.

Continue along the Succor Creek Rd until the 2nd major right (not this dead end road).  There will be a series of mail boxes at the corner.  Turn right onto this new road.  This road will eventually pop out back onto Hwy 95 on the Idaho side at mile post 5, however, about 3 miles before that there is a fork in the road.  As best as I can tell this fork is Rockville.  Note:  You'll know when this fork is upcoming because there is a yellow warning sign indicating the swerve in the main road along with a 25 MPH speed limit.

The day is almost over and it is time to go home.  Continue on the main road and you'll end up on Hwy 95.  Turn left (North) and watch for the signs to take you back to Boise.












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