September 6, 2020
Baked Potato, Sunday, September 6
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Mileage: 102.67 miles
Elevation gain: 6,271 feet
Type of terrain: A little bit of paved and mostly gravel
This iconic course adds a few miles to the original RPI route, showcasing Idaho's awesome mountain vistas and remote landscape. We start and finish at Festival Meadows in Sun Valley with a neutral rollout. Trail Creek road is our gateway into the mountains. You’ll follow rolling hilly pavement for less than 10 miles, then the trail really kicks up, the pavement turns to gravel and you are truly earning your entry into Private Idaho. From the starting elevation, you’ll climb about 2,000 ft to the top of Trail Creek Summit and rest stop #1. This is the biggest climb of the day and you get it out of the way early. From Trail Creek, you hit the fast, smooth gravel that drops you into the aptly named Big Lost River basin. To your right are the distinctive Pioneer Mountains, Idaho’s 2nd highest mountain range topping out over 12,000 ft. This high mountain valley is home to pronghorn, deer, elk and moose outnumbering humans. As you turn toward Wildhorse Canyon, the gravel is often full of washboards that keep you on your toes. At Wildhorse rest stop, riders head into Wildhorse Canyon to Fall creek before turning back towards Wildhorse rest stop. BE AWARE this section will have TWO WAY RIDER TRAFFIC. At the rest stop the course splits and the Baked Potato riders head right toward the Copper Basin, a stunningly beautiful valley filled with sagebrush and willow-rimmed creeks, all hemmed in by the great White Knob and Pioneer mountain ranges. This is the most beautiful and most challenging part of the course. The gravel is chunky and where it looks deceptively flat, it is not. You'll take the 25-mile journey around Copper Basin Loop road and hit the Copper Basin Rest Stop at the start and finish of the loop. Note: CUT OFF TIME to reach Copper Basin Rest stop is 11:30 AM. You must be through the rest stop by that time to continue onto the loop. Riders who do not make the cut off will turn around at the rest stop. Then it’s time to reverse your tracks and head back to Sun Valley via Wildhorse and Trail Creek. At mile 81 Baked Potato riders will take a short 5 mile diversion off Trail Creek Road on a section that Rebecca calls El Diablito for the devilish technical aspect, but also the breathtaking views of Devil's Bedsted. Take care in this section to protect your tires and yourself. This new section is short but technical. Back on Trail Creek Road, the trip home may include headwinds and more washboards, but when you top out at Trail Creek Summit again, you’re almost done. Just a 2,000 foot harrowing descent before hitting the pavement once more and returning to civilization in Sun Valley. Your long journey into the remote landscape of Idaho will be celebrated during the Off-The-Wagon Days Celebration at Festival Meadows. We’ll be waiting for you there!