Gotta Get Up to Get Down: Bikepacking Sun Valley's Sawtooth Singletrack - Video

Sep 13, 2017 at 3:00
Sep 13, 2017
by Freehub Magazine  
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When childhood friends Brandon Watts and Steve Dempsey were looking for a new type of biking adventure, they turned their attention to bike-packing. After a few chats, they decided that they wanted to do a trip where they could fly somewhere with their bikes, hop off the plane and begin riding. No cars, no shuttles; just go, ride and return. They began scouring maps for a location that would suit their fly-in, bike, fly-out goals and after poking around for a bit, they landed on Sun Valley, ID.

Sun Valley provided an ideal location for the adventure with its sprawling network of bike paths and singletrack that connect the downtown area to even the most remote parts of the valley and surrounding Sawtooth National Forest. With the location decided, tickets were purchased and bikes were packed as Brandon and Steve set out to cover a grueling 113-mile route with over 16,000 feet of climbing. Their route would take them from the Friedman Memorial Airport in Hailey, ID up to the Sun Valley Resort, over to Coyote Yurt before ending at the Galena Lodge Miner's Yurt. Over the course of five days, they would experience rain, heat, seemingly never-ending climbs, creek crossings, dirt naps and water shortages. However, those challenges were greatly outweighed by the striking vistas, bleak yet beautiful burn zones, alpine meadows, hot springs and the boundless memories created through the shared suffering of two friends.

For more insights and information on this adventure, read Steve Dempsey's trip notes in our feature, Gotta Get Up to Get Down // A Journal of Navigating Sun Valley's Epic Singletrack. Pinkbike readers also save 40% on subscriptions with our Shared Reader Discount.

MENTIONS: @FreehubMag
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  • + 10
 Part of me wants to try bike packing... But then I think about my soft bed. Idaho is wild man, spent 10 days just north of here on an elk hunt. It's remote and definitely unique compared to Colorado or other more common mountain destinations
  • + 4
 This looks so great. Just need to talk my best friend into it. He's a busy man. I want to try this is in Big Sky country and ride through Noah Bodman territory - Whitefish, MT, where all them good parks and trails are. Or anywhere, really. Take the camping hammocks, strong coffee, some oil and a light weight skillet.
  • + 3
 Good reminder for me. Riding is not just about jumping and going downhill but about having a peaceful experience in nature.
  • + 2
 Balls. It just started raining and I left my favourite chesterfield out in th garden.
  • + 2
 Ride your bike, have fun, camp, have fun, repeat....
  • + 1
 What an awesome adventure. Nice editing, keep it up!
  • + 1
 That looks really fun. Thanks for the video!
  • + 1
 I'd love to try a trip like this someday.

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