As we point our bikes up Rd 172 the track starts to narrow and the trees begin to close in, indicative of a more primitive road. We approach the first minor switchback where the road begins to start it’s climb up towards Loon Creek Summit, we take notice of a fairly large primitive camp spot down off the road. This is the first “Non-Campground” spot we have determined worthy of inspection. The spot is spacious and otherwise not too bad, but a fair hike from water … we ride on.
The road begins to climb and wind around switchbacks making it obvious that we are gaining elevation quickly. Right before the final turn at the top we stop and take notice of the drainage we just road up as with the now quiet Sunbeam Mine.
Final gap before the top …
Loon Creek Summit –
Right as we crest the summit we cross paths with a group of KLR’s working there way out … as we’re chatting one of the riders appears to be in a bit of discomfort. It is then disclosed that he is riding with an injured foot …. no doubt a product of some midnight refreshment induced hooliganism of the previous evening … and with little sympathy from his riding buddies. My guess was that this guys injury was cutting their stay short and they were making a late day run back to Boise to get checked out.
We drop down the back side of the summit where the road runs along Mayfield Creek. The views along the upper stretch are awesome, but regrettably since the day was running long I failed to stop along this stretch for pictures …. next time.
As we work our way down Mayfield Creek and towards Loon Creek we pass a number of camp spots … the first nice one was of course occupied, the next was a nice spot, but with a lot of noticeable dead snags around the camp area waiting to fall on an unsuspecting tent with the first real wind… we’re near the bottom so we continued on.
….. Loon Creek GS and the Diamond D Ranch
The Diamond D is one of those off the grid remote ranches that have carved themselves a niche as a vacation destination … a beautiful spot for those looking to get away, but I still default to the adage of … “Your vacation is my weekend”
Our sights at this point are on a little campground a few miles down the road called Tin Cup. Right as we pass the ranch and make the turn towards Tin Cup an opening comes into view on our right, a trailhead actually … I make a hard right turn to inspect … nice open view, Loon Creek in close walking distance, a table, and no people … we have a winner!
Tents are set up, bikes are allowed to rest, dust from the day rinsed off in the creek, water on boil for dinner, and evening libations are pulled from panniers.
We spend the rest of the evening enjoying company, sharing past adventures, and solving most of the worlds problems. Then to turn in in preparation for the next oncoming day ….
…. To be continued