When childhood friends Brandon Watts and Steve Dempsey were looking for a new type of biking adventure, they turned their attention to bikepacking. 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 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.