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County Loop

Bannock, ID

One fun thing about working on the County Loop series is discovering all the things about an area I didn't know existed. Living in Seattle means I don't get a lot of time over in Idaho, so as I work through each ride in this state, I realize I'm living not too far from what seems a foreign country. Fact is, it's only a day or two away by motorcycle.

Bannock County is anchored by the city of Pocatello, but the county also includes the Caribou National Forest, Idaho State University and the Idaho Natural History Museum. The main artery in and out is Interstate 15. On either side of that lies the old roads, the original US 30 and Old Highway 91. And therein lies the meat of this county loop.

Begin by departing Pocatello along the Portneu f River , riding southeast on the Bannock Hwy. You could start your day with breakfast at the Riverside Golf Course, where there's also a filling station nearby. The first GPS waypoint is located there.

Meander down the road a stretch and then take a right on Mink Creek Rd and follow the signs that take you to the Scout Mountain cross country ski area, which will require a left onto East Fork Mink Rd. Ride it out all the way to the end. The higher you go the tighter the corners get.

Return back down the hill and go right, back onto Bannock Highway heading east through Portneuf. At Inkom , turn southward on Marsh Creek Rd. and follow Marsh Creek. At Robin , take a left on Arimo Rd, then a right onto Marsh Valley Rd and follow it south till it ends. Cross under I-15 and head back toward Pocatello by turning left onto Malad Hwy. At Downey , ride north on Hwy 91. When you reach Virginia, continue straight onto Old Hwy 91 and continue north through McCammon.

As you near Inkom , take a right on Green Canyon Rd which will provide a short side trip up to the Pebble Creek ski area. No plans for skiing today, but smart riders know where there's a ski area there's probably a twisty road and this one is no exception.

Ride west back down the hill then proceed north onto Rapid Creek Rd. Follow it to the left as it becomes Hoot Owl Rd and later Buckskin Rd as you pass through the Pocatello Range. There are a number of horse ranches up here in the hills above town.

If you'd like the map and GPS file for this ride, send an email with your request to sreditor@soundrider.com


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