Bear Lake – Sept. 2010

Sept. 4-6, 2010

The Bartons were kind enough to invite us up to their cabin at Bear Lake again this year.  We were able to do two rides; one south of Logan Canyon towards Old Ephraim’s Grave, and one north along the Highline trail.

Photo Album:

For additional photos, check my Picasa photo album at:


  • Dee, Kim, Jamie, and Jason Gardiner (and a short visit from Kevin).
  • Scott, Terri, Allyson, and Peter Barton.
  • Paul, Liz, Lauren, Sarah, and Matt Bradley.
  • Kevin, Rebecca, Jarett, and Spencer Jolley.
  • John Jensen.


The weather was reasonably nice.  It was hot and sunny on Saturday, cooling and windy on Sunday, and quite cool on Monday.

Old Ephraim Loop – Saturday Sept. 4:

We had a somewhat chaotic start to our adventure, but things worked out in the end.  The Jolleys had planned on renting a Rhino but things fell through at the last minute.  They sold Spencer’s ttr125 with the intent of moving Spencer up to Kevin’s old xr200.  The xr200 was in the shop and didn’t get repaired on time.  That left the four Jolleys with just Jarett’s crf250r, which was recently repaired with a new set of valves.  Rebecca enjoyed her time at the cabin, Kevin attempted to ride our drz400e (more on that later), Spencer borrowed Jason’s crf230, Jason rode Barton’s crf250x (which made him nervous), and Peter moved up to their crf230.  So Peter, Spencer, and Jason were all riding bikes larger than they were used to.

Peter’s crf230 had a dead battery.  Kevin’s drz400e battery went dead before we could get it started.  So Peter and Kevin got to push start their bikes most of the day (I nick-named Peter “push start Pete”).  Scott traded off with Kevin, letting Kevin use Scott’s xr400.

We finally got under way on what turned out to be a very long ride – coming in at almost 65 miles.  There is a dirt road right from Barton’s cabin up to the summit of Logan Canyon.  This is about a 6 mile ride on old Jeep roads that are fairly rutted and somewhat rocky.

From the summit we headed south on a nice gravel road (#3) and turned west towards Peter Sinks (see Figure 1).  The Peter Sinks trail was rougher than I expected, but enjoyable.  Rather than complete the Peter Sinks loop we turned south on the new Turkey Trail.  We stopped for lunch at a scenic location.  After our lunch break, we headed down the Turkey Trail and on to the Little Bear Trail.  Both trails were steep and rocky – giving them an advanced rating (red).

Old Ephraim loop

When we reached the Temple Fork road we stopped to use the restroom and cool off in the beautiful stream.

Rest stop at Temple Fork

The Temple Fork road is fast with some fun inside banked turns, but you must watch out for on-coming traffic.  We then turned south on trail #2 and stopped at the monument grave site for “Old Ephraim” – a grizzly bear that stood at 9’ 11” tall.  The monument matches the bear’s height.

Jason (6' 3") standing by the monument (9' 11") for Old Ephraim

Resting in the shade at Old Ephraim's grave

Note how white Sarah’s (second from left) jersey and pants are.  That will change.

In support of Scott’s fixation on never riding back the way we came, we continued south on #2, then on to #27, and east to the main road #3.

For the most part, road #3 is a fast and easy ride, but there are a few rocky sections and even a small canyon to ride through.  I stopped to take some video of the small canyon and happened to catch Spencer lose control and take a nasty spill.

Spencer loosing control

He came to rest inches from the large boulder

A littler further along, Jason splashed Sarah in a large muddy water hole.  And I mean splashed!  Apparently a wave completely drenched Sarah and she was unable to see and ended up crashing.  Take a look at her lovely white riding outfit now.

Sarah's outfit is now brown and wet

Lucky for Jason, Sarah is a good sport.  But I wouldn’t be surprised if she pays him back some day.  She is likely to get help from Matt, who got splashed in mud earlier in the day by Jason.

Highline Single Track  – Monday Sept. 6:

On Monday the lady’s decided to stay around the cabin so the others could ride the famous Highline Single Track trail.  Last year we rode two sections that are now ATV double track, but we were unable to ride the middle single track section.

The lady’s dropped us off in the small town of Bloomington, Idaho.  We then rode west up Bloomington canyon.  My original intent was to ride an ATV trail north to Paris Canyon, visit the Paris Ice Caves, and then up to the Highline trail – but we decided that would take too long and we were on a tight schedule.  So we continued up Bloomington Canyon to Telegraph Flat.

Telegraph Flat is a fast and fun ride with tight turns through the trees and a few nice jumps.  It ends with a challenging hill climb to join the Highline Trail.  Last year we rode the ATV trail south, while this year we turned north along the single track section of the Highline Trail.

Kevin on the hill climb (it looks much steeper in person)

Some of the single track trail (#316) is beautiful as it crosses meadows with wonderful views in all directions.  But most of the trail is quite intimidating because of the steep side slope.  You really need to pay attention in order to stay on the narrow trail.

Jarett on the single track

The single track is very challenging because a good percentage of the trail is rocky.  If it weren’t for the rocks, it would have made my “favorite trail” list.  It was definitely worth riding, but it was a real workout.  We started out cold while riding up Bloomington Canyon (the temperature was about 54º), but soon most of us had our jackets off because we were working up a sweat.

We stopped for lunch on one of the ridge lines with nice views of Bloomington Canyon to the east and Preston, Idaho to the west.  We even had a chance to visit with a fellow that grew up in the area.  He had plenty of interesting stories to tell of riding these hills in the old days.

The single track section is just over 7 miles long.  When we reached Danish Pass, the Bradleys took the main road down because they had another commitment to go to.  The rest of us continued on the ATV portion of the trail heading south towards Gibson Basin.  The trail seemed rockier than last year – probably because it is getting more ATV use than in the past – but it was still very fun.

Gibson Basin is a fast and fun ride with numerous whoops where you can get good air.  The kids went back for a second run.  Jamie got video with the helmet camera, but the trail was so dusty she couldn’t follow close behind another rider.  Jamie was even able to talk on her radio with Kim who was waiting at the Beaver Creek trailhead over 4 miles away.

We then rode the last portion of the Highline ATV trail from Gibson Basin down to Beaver Creek.  This is a fun section, but has one gnarly rock section to descend.  The trail ends at Beaver Creek, which is fairly deep and has hidden boulders.  From there it is a fast cruise down Beaver Creek road to the car.

Peter making a big splash in Beaver Creek

The total ride was just over 32 miles, 20 miles of which is rated intermediate or advanced.  It was a great and memorable ride.  Everyone seemed to enjoy it even though there were some extremely rocky and challenging sections.  I think everyone is a better rider after this experience.

Highline single track

About gardinerfamilyadventures

A really great family!
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