Over the last few weeks I’ve ridden the loops in Rick’s Basin several times. I hadn’t been out there all summer until just recently but it’s been nice to get a quick and easy pedal in after work. Also, I needed to see the improvements made to the Rick’s Basin trail and to check out the new Perma-Grin loop. Last fall Andy Williams rerouted the climb back out of Rick’s to eliminate the steeper, narrow, rutted section. Now it’s much wider with a couple of switchbacks which definitely makes it a bit easier.
Perma-Grin is brand new and open as of this last week. It’s a two and a half mile loop connected at both ends to the east side of Rick’s Basin. This trail climbs up the North Boundary Traverse out to the canyon rim. If you’ve ever skied Targhee in the winter you probably know this is how you get back to the base of the Blackfoot chairlift after a powder lap on Lost Warrior or Powder Cache. After reaching the north boundary of the resort take a minute to check out the view of South Leigh Canyon and the valley below before dropping into some pretty fun and flowy XC singletrack. Overall, it’s a great addition to the 6.5 mile loop made up of the Rick’s Basin, Snowdrift, Quakie, and Shoshone trails. It’s still a little on the soft side but should be good soon with a little more rain and a few tires on it.
Otter Slide is the brand new flow trail just north of the Dreamcatcher lift that Harlen and Alex has been cranking out with some heavy machinery this summer. In just over a half a mile, they were able to pack in twenty turns, most of which are overhead berms that you can lay into at full speed. They also added a few wood features which include a wall ride and a tabletop jump. This trail conveniently has snow making hydrants right next to it so they were able to water the heck out of it as they went. It just opened on Saturday and is already in perfect condition. To access this trail take any of the downhill routes from the top of the lift to the first intersection. From there take Bullwinkle to lower-middle Sidewinder or stay on Sidewinder. Otter Slide starts just between the top of lower Sidewinder and the top of Shoshone. With less than a month left of lift serviced biking, you’ll probably want to ride this soon. The Wydaho Rendezvous Mountain Bike Festival takes place this weekend and would be a great excuse to do some biking up at the ‘ghee.